So, my time in Phoenix has come to an end. Waking up early; I decided to trek back out to Matt’s Big Breakfast for another round of eggy goodness. As luck would have it, even though it took me a while to get ready, I still managed to get there before the queue’s started.
Sitting down in the same seat at the bar, I once again looked to the specials menu for inspiration.
Eggs Benedict was set before me, by a waitress who, whilst friendly, did not seem as genuine as the one from my previous visit. Working through my breakfast, I reminisced about arriving in Phoenix, and how this trip to MBB, whilst tasty, was a tad disappointing.
By the time I had returned to the hostel, everyone was up and about. Getting my stuff in order, I confirmed my plans with Marty to go and get lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant called Pho Thanh.
As he finished his various tasks, I talked to Canaan about his last flying lesson.
What he’s been doing, parachute flying, looks awesome. If I had £6000 going spare I’d probably give it a shot to. It’s one thing I kind of regret choosing more arty subjects over sciences for, as I love flying, and think being a pilot would be spectacularly awesome. But oh well.
With my stuff all packed, me and Marty messily engaged our respective meals, with both of us ordering various types of Pho, a Vietnamese broth. I’m pretty certain the Vietnamese customers were pretty amused by our attempts at finishing our meal, with one old man even hoping to educate us in how to go about eating.
It was a little embarrassing, but who cares? No one knows me here.
From there, my day changed dramatically; soon enough, I was on the bus watching Dallas Buyers Club. I haven’t actually finished it yet, so my thoughts on it will have to wait for later.
On said bus, I was unfortunate enough to be sat next to a big hairy alcohol-smelling man, who insisted on thrusting his arm in front of my face in order to take pictures of the scenery. After he was finished that, he pinched my arm rest, and started fiddling with it nervously as he chatted away on his phone. Luckily, he seemed extremely polite, which mostly made up for it.
Arriving in Flagstaff, I finished the leftovers from Pho Thanh, which included the remnants of the broth, and a Banh Mi sandwich that I had been meaning to try since being in California.
The sandwich was pretty tasty, like eating a grilled pork subway, but the overall experience was undermined by one of the ingredients being stringy and difficult to eat.
After a slightly strained conversation with one of the other guests, and a few casual introductions with some others, I decided to integrate myself into a group of people.
The problem so far seems to be everyone is already sectioned off. They’re open and friendly, but are mostly focused on conversing with their own friends.
There are the friendly French girls. The reclusive solo travellers. The English-limited Chinese brothers. The stoner-music types. And the fun-loving Australians.
The Australians seem to be the group I’d get on with the most; unfortunately, their ‘fun-loving’ nature takes them around the many bars of Flagstaff, somewhere I can’t follow.
In Phoenix, it was fine; no one really cared. But apparently, what with Flagstaff being a ‘student town’, IDs are regularly checked. And so I had to stay behind as they went off on their drunken adventures.
Turning next to the music-lovers, I was invited to a gig nearby, in a squalor filled house owned by some students (maybe?) where all the alternative crowd seemed to have congregated.
I wish I had been a bit more prepared, as still in my Phoenix summer clothes, I was dressed in a pink shirt, off-white shorts and desert boots, whilst everyone else was donned in black, coupled with either piercings or dreadlocks. It wasn’t my crowd at all, but it was fun to observe. Plus, I met a bearded rocker named Grecko, who drank his beer from a horn. Pretty cool.
We soon left, as the others weren’t really feeling the vibes as the scraggy musician screamed words of hatred and rebellion into the microphone in the dank sweaty basement. Me and Ryan has been nodding along casually, instead focusing our attention on the various young girls and boys who had clearly drank too much, and forgotten how to stand. First time in a few weeks when I’ve hung out somewhere and clearly not been the youngest.
In a way, I sort of wish I’d got changed and gone back, as so far, I’ve never been anywhere where I can really branch out and meet new people my age. And with the way people describe the ‘student party’ town of Flagstaff, I can see that trend continuing as I’m forced to stay behind as everyone heads out for a couple of ‘bevvies’.
There is some hope though. Tomorrow, I’m told, there will be a Independence Day/Anti-America party.
Everyone’s bringing food from their various cultures, and I’m sure there will be booze aplenty.
I suppose I’m just worried that I’m finally in a place where being underage again will actually subtract from my American experience. We’ll have to wait and see.
In the meantime, I need to think of a welsh food to contribute to the party…
So until next time, happy 4th of July!