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The three S : Safe, Sound, and South

June 5, 2008

Well, at 6PM local time (which is 7PM by my internal clock), the airport shuttle finally dropped me off at the Quality Inn in Fayetteville, Arkansas, after a mostly uneventful pair of flights.

Most everything went without a hitch, to tell the truth. Metal detectors caused minimal trouble (ie, the usual zipper issue, but I wasn’t about to wear my only zipper-less pants ; 1)They’re ultra-warm, and 2)They look ugly.). My luggage followed me exactly as it should, and, aside from being forced to abort our first attempt at landing in Fayetteville, then try again a few minutes later, the flight was uneventful.

There were a lot of clouds for much of the trip – once we got past Ottawa (or what looked like Ottawa, to any extent – large city north of the plane,s path sprawled on either side of a river), it was pretty much cloud cover until late in the flight. I did get to see the Great Lakes a bit while we were approaching Detroit. I think part of me had yet to translate the size of them on a map into something coherent, now it’s done. Wow, but they really meant it when they put the “Great” in that name.

Talking about Detroit,. it never cease to amuse me how you english-speaking-type-people have butchered a perfectly serviceable French names. “Dee-Troy” indeed :-).

Second flight had much clearer skies, and it was…something. It’s one thing to view all those places on satellite pictures, where an anonymous machine flew above them and photographed them ; it’s another to fly above them yourself. I had a perfectly clear view of the Missouri and Mississippi at their junction, and of St Louis as well.

Arkansas itself is…well, it’s surprisingly NOT different. I don’t mean culturally – I haven’t had much chance to sample that yet – but I mean geographically, environmentally. By and large, imagine a university town of 60 000 or so in the middle of Estrie (for those of you who’ve been there), and you have Fayetteville. Well, except the “speak english” part.

The accent is a bit hard to follow sometime, but I’m un-rusting myself slowly.

Further updates probably tomorrow!

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