The great thing about traveling is that you expand your horizons, meet new people, get to watch crazy people and, no doubt, provide other people with a chance to watch and critique me.
Under the Idiot Category is the driver who tried to kill or injure himself, another couple, and me in Troy, New York. In Florida, the retiree state, it’s no big deal to stop and let someone merge their car into traffic. We have all the time in the world. So I didn’t think anything of it when I did just that in Troy. The person behind me was furious. He leaned on his horn, swerved past me as the person was in the process of merging and gunned his car in front of me. The speed limit in this particular area (near the hospital) is 30 mph. So he couldn’t get too far at his high rate of speed before he was forced to slow down behind other drivers. For grins I kept behind him to see where his self-important morning journey ended. I had to chuckle when he swerved into a Dunkin Donuts a couple of miles down the road. Ah, sugar, the most important meal of the day. Idiot!
Under the Really Hilarious Category was the man I saw at the La Quinta Hotel’s breakfast area in Latham, New York. He came down to eat his meal dressed in a shirt, what looked like boxer shorts, knee socks and shoes. I nearly choked on my coffee. He looked just like Randy Quaid from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. You remember the scene where he, as Cousin Eddie, is standing outside in his undies, dumping the RV’s septic system into the city’s drain? Do you remember the character’s classic line? Well, this guy was a dead ringer for the part. It was all I could do not to stare and laugh, the kind of laugh where tears run down your face.
On the first leg of my plane trip to New York, from Atlanta, Georgia to Detroit, Michigan, I was assigned a seat toward the back of the plane where I found myself surrounded by several Japanese businessmen. The Japanese revere their old people and it showed. The man next to me helped me lift my two-ton carry-on into the overhead bin and after landing, helped me remove it. He helped me order beverages during the flight and made sure I was comfortable. I wish Americans would learn to revere senior citizens. We certainly have earned our wisdom.
The Nicest Person Category goes to Scott Carrino of the Round House Bakery and Café in Cambridge, New York. His café, set in an old bank building, was busy all weekend long. Yet he served me and others as if we were individual guests in his home, unhurried. Scott even took the time to say a few words to me. The food is always fantastic whatever I have ordered there, and Scott’s attention to detail shows. I ordered French Toast both days and was surprised to see that it was a trucker’s breakfast complete with not only the French Toast but eggs, bacon and fruit. When several of us went to his home, Pompanuck Farms, for a Creativity Conference we were treated again as if he (and his wife, Lisa) were serving treasured guests, with a smile and a pure desire that everyone enjoy their meals. It won’t be long before the media catches wind of The Roundhouse Café and then their meals, and Scott and Lisa, will be shared with the world.