Trip Start Jan 22, 2006
156Trip End Aug 16, 2006
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By now we pretty much know what to expect of an American town, they don't really seem to have town centres as you would expect to find them in England. Instead you get several long roads that are chock full of fast food outlets, shopping malls and hotels. The larger the town, the more of these roads you get and the longer that the roads are. It's all very convenient for the person travelling through on a freeway, as these roads of plenty are normally run of them. However it does make most of these towns feel fairly soulless and that once you've seen one of these towns, you've seen them all.
Bakersfield is not really any different this regard, which is not to say that it isn't pleasant enough. It seems to be full of oil refineries and today in the morning there was a haze of fog hanging over the place (I'm not sure if these two facts are related). Although I think it's more likely that it's because that Americans seem to drive everywhere, not for them that long 100 yard walk from their drive to the local shop.
The hotel room that we've been given at the moment is absolutely boiling hot, at about 2.30am Lynne worked out this was because the air conditioning vent was churning out hot air, regardless of what setting we put it on. I reported this to the front desk in the morning that we didn't think our air conditioning was working, to be told that's because they didn't turn it on at this time of year and instead they turned their heating on. This is a admirable policy if the hotel was located in England, but through the night, the temperature barely fell below sixty degrees (I also bitterly noticed that the air conditioning in the hotel lobby seemed to be working perfectly).
Twice today we were told how nice our accents were (or as I believe one woman described them, they were "tight"). It's weird how aware of your accent you become when you're away from your home country, as a result the way I speak suddenly turns posher and more like the Queen's English (well as close as I'll ever get to it anyway and probably with more swear words!).