I'm in Minneapolis now. In fact I'm writing this (both last night in my yellow notepad and this afternoon on my computer) in a little coffee shop at the corner of N orth Washington Avenue and North Third Avenue, called Marysburg Books. Last night I stumbled into this place due to three main reasons; my great stupidity, the crazy naming system they have for roads in Minneapolis and the freezing Minnesota weather.
You see I thought it would be a good idea to use public transport to get from the airport to the hotel, rather than paying for an expensive taxi. It is quite possible that if I'd had full control of my faculties, as opposed to the drastically reduced state I seem to be running in these days, this would have been fine and dandy although, I suspect if I'd had full control of my faculties I'd have just thought, "Sod it. I'm not paying" and I'd have got a taxi.
Anyhow, I managed to get on the Airport-Downtown light rail link, the Hiawatha Line, which in fact is the only line, as far as I can tell. I even managed to get off at the appropriate station, Downtown East/Metrodome, after that it all went to shit. I knew my hotel was in the campus area on Washington Avenue, and I saw on the little map at the station, that I was just a couple of blocks away from Washington Avenue. So, I decided to walk. Silly bugger!
Not only did I decide to walk, but I decided to walk in completely the wrong direction. In my defence, at the time I started to walk I didn't realise that I was going completely the wrong way (not even I am that foolish); the case for the prosecution would probably point out that I started walking in the opposite direction to which I saw the campus bound bus was going, and they'd be right. Some fourteen or fifteen blocks later, in the freezing Minnesota weather, I arrived at 701 S Washington Avenue. Sadly, my hotel was at 615 Washington Avenue SE (the SE didn't manage to make it into my notebook), which is about three miles away on the other side of the river.
On the plus side, due to the fact that I was both bloody freezing and lost, I stumbled into this nice little coffee, book and wine place. I like this place. After consuming an okayish double espresso, I was given a complimentary glass of wine, as it was an open bottle coming to the end of it's shelf life, and a free scone. All of which, made my fifteen block detour rather worthwhile. Falling on my feet, you might say. Even if the owner did ask me if I was from Australia or New Zealand at least they didn't ask me if my Australian accent was real or fake, which inhabitants of this state have been known to ask.
In case you are curious the United-Palace game finished 5-2, which meant that I won the princely sum of £2.50 (less 5% commission). Yea for me.
Last night I sat in a couple of shitty bars near campus watching Atlanta squeak past Carolina. It was a pretty interesting game. But I didn't do very well at trying not to drink beer, which was one of the things that I was going to try and do this week.
Today, I'm off to DreamHaven, and maybe if I feel like sullying myself to Mall of America. But first I'm off to the toilet.