After an infamous bus trip from Sydney to Perth with a mate of mine when I was 16, I promised I would never travel by bus again. Granted, a 3 day bus trip to Perth is alot different than a 5 hour bus trip from New York to Washington D.C, but buses are truly a hideous way to travel.
So I was somehow coaxed into getting the bus to DC. Trinh couldn’t believe how cheap it was compared to flying, hiring a car or taking the train. I knew better. I knew that although the bus is cheap, you eventually pay with your sore back, your pounding headache and your sanity.
Enough of the bus experience though, let’s discuss Washington DC. Visiting this city is like stepping into Doc Browns time machine and setting it for 1972. It’s a city in serious need of an update. Everywhere you look is late 60’s architecture, mid seventies cars and people who look like they are stuck in Saturday Night Fever…..but not in a “cool” way! I’m talkin’ cheesey coloured striped carpet, vinyl covered lounges and bald, hairy chested men with open shirts and medallions.
Our hotel (or should I say, our 1972 time portal) was located only a few streets from the White House so that was our first stop. I’ll give you the best description of the White House as I can: Firstly, it’s a house. Secondly, It is white.
As I stared through the fence at the most famous house on earth, I felt an urge to show my disgust at some of the decisions that have come out of this place. I felt I needed to display my anger at the man inside who’s behavior in recent times has caused the world such needless destruction and mindless warmongering. So I looked down at the Banana and Strawberry smoothie I was sipping, I raised it in the air and with a dramatic thrust I threw its contents onto the ground in front of me. With this, I confidently said, “This spilt smoothie is a reminder of the innocent blood spilt around the world from this countries cruel regime!” The tourists around me cheered and lined up to shake my hand.
Well, ok…..it didn’t quite happen that way. If you must know the truth….I actually made a complete idiot of myself. Two young girls asked me if I could take their picture in front of the white house. I said yes and stupidly put my smoothie down near the fence, only to have it fall off and spill everywhere. I think it even splashed the girls I was doing the favour for. Trinh and I left the scene pretty quick. We didn’t want to be put on the terrorist list for this. I’ve decided I’m going to tell my future children the first version of the story. Let them think their Daddy stood up for injustice and stared down the most powerful man in the world….armed only with a banana and strawberry smoothie.
…and speaking of George W Bush, here’s another thing that resembles a big penis:
Don’t get me wrong here, Washington DC has some impressive sites. The Capitol building, the Monument, the Lincoln Memorial are all great, but I just felt like I was on a school excursion. All around me were fathers pointing to these things and telling their sons that, “this demonstrates why America is the greatest country in the world. Don’t you forget that boy!”. There were so many poor kids being dragged around by their parents or teachers. Bored to death by lectures on why a big phallic structure signifies democracy and freedom. It was all a bit creepy. Or maybe I’m just a cynical old fool.
Trinh and I went to the COOLEST restaurant one night. It was Moroccan and it was crazy. We were seated on cushions. Waiters came around to wash our hands and we ate the food completely with our hands. Good fun. Throw in a half-naked belly dancer and it was quite a night. We ate so much that we physically struggled walking home.
Easily the best thing about Washington DC though, is the museums. We chose to visit the Air and Space museum and the Holocaust museum. Both were amazing. The Holocaust museum especially was incredible. Trinh and I planned to spend an hour or so there and ended up spending 3 hours without even knowing. We almost missed our bus home because of it.
So I’m glad we did the DC trip. It’s quite a come-down from the buzz of New York City, but thanks to the cool museums alone, well worth a visit.
-Posted By Adam