14 Jun 2009

Down to Upland

Posted by walterheck

On friday (this is May 1st, just mentioning that since I am behind so much :) ), it was time to turn around and head up to Vegas for my flight to Costa Rica. I had one more stop between SD and Vegas: the town of Upland. When talking to my friend Andrew Farley, he mentioned once that his parents lived in Upland and would be happy to have me over. He himself however was in Costa Rica, so I kind of felt weird about it. Besides, it was kind of out of my way, so I didn’t do anything with it at that time. Now however, I was looking at the map to find a place between SD and Vegas to surf at, and in the middle of those two towns, I found the name Upland on the map. Bells in my head started ringing and I contacted Andrew. He assured me I would have a good time and that it was no problem at all. I decided to trust him (that’s what you do with friends 😉 ) and go for it. He contacted his parents to let them know I was coming for two nights and off I was.
Andy’s other roommate gave me a ride out of SD on her way to work and I hitched from there. Most notable experience on this trip was with an older woman that picked me up.
Her: “so, where are you heading?”
Me: <explains I’m on my way to costa rica>
Her: <blank face>
Me: “It’s a country”
Her: <blank face>
Me: “It’s South of Mexico” (there’s a lot in between, but I figured i’d go easy on her 😉 )
Her: <face lights up>
Her: “Oh, you’re going to New Mexico!” (NM is a state in the US)
Me: <gives up>
This woman seemed to not know of anything outside the US My explanation that I was from Holland yielded a similar response. Quite interesting, actually :)
The next guy was no less of a character: he was a pool-security expert (only in the US 😉 ) that turned out to be a mormon. He really looked like your typical pool-guy from the movies, haha. Anyway, as usual with mormons he was extremely friendly and we had some nice philosophical discussions. It is always interesting to see how I share so many of my core principles with these people, even though our belief systems couldn’t be more different.
He invited me over to his house for lunch telling me it was kind of a mess at his house. I don’t really care about things like that, it is just life with two little kids in a house. Well, the mess was pretty big :) When he called his wife to tell her about me, she clearly was not happy with a stranger in her house, let alone when it was so messy. I had a quick lunch and then took off to hitch the rest of the way to Upland. Right before I left he tried to give me a book of mormons, but I settled for a flyer telling him that I couldn’t carry the weight of the book. Quite a shame, cos I’m curious to see what’s in their book.
When I made it to the metropolitan area, I was dropped off at a bus stop. It was still pretty early (around 2pm) so I had a few hours before 5.30pm when I told Farley I would be at his parents’  place. I had written down the address, not realizing that this street covers 5 miles or so. Of course I realized this looking at a little map I found on the bus, so I had to choose a spot to get off at. I thought I chose a spot in the middle, but it turned out to be at the far end of the street, a coupe of blocks away from it. I still had a bit of time left, and decided to not spend any more money on bus fares and just walk it. It was warm and far with a fully packed backpack, but it was  good exercise too.
When I arrived at the Farley’s, I soon realized that he had been right: they were really nice people and I felt very welcome. Especially his mom was very nice to talk to. I was very tired from the day, so I didn’t stay up too late.

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