Well it has been a quieter week here in America than previous ones, but I think this will be a one off, especially with birthday shenanigans taking place next week!
As I mentioned last week, there had been a spate of shop hold-ups in the local vicinity, but luckily the people carrying out these robberies have all been arrested. This week it's a similar story but instead of robbing shops, it's peoples' houses which are being broken into at gunpoint. It has been an average of one a night so far!! Looks like I will be spending even more time cowering underneath the bedsheets like the masculine guy that I am!!!
Another tragic story to hit the headlines this week was the accidental death of a 22-year-old woman and her unborn baby. Unfortunately she happened to be walking below a multi-story car-park when a driver on the 2nd level somehow managed to crash their car into the wall when trying to park, knocking a 6000 pound piece of concrete straight down on top of the unsuspecting woman. What a harsh way to go.
This week I had the pleasure of a trip down to a place called Cumberland Falls. The ride to Cumberland Falls was a little disturbing due to the amount of dead animals on the road! Everything was on show, from birds to deers and a never-ending supply of squashed raccoons. Cyril Sneer would have had a heart attack if he had seen this!!
Cumberland Falls is known as the 'Niagara of the South' and is supposed to be a smaller version of Niagara Falls. It's also one of only two places in the entire world where you can see a Moonbow (the other place is Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe), although there was a little chance of me staying around waiting until midnight for the chance of seeing this!!
Don't get me wrong, Cumberland Falls is a gorgeous place (as can be seen in my photos!!), but the beauty was lost slightly with the amount of rubbish floating down the river. People further up the river have been using the river as a source to dump their rubbish for free. While I can't fault their ingenuity, I was a little concerned to see three motorcycle helmets floating by in the water. There must be a story behind that somewhere down the line!!
I also had the pleasure of a trip to a Civil War Museum in a small town called Bardstown. Although American history isn't one of my favourite subjects, I always find it interesting learning a little about the history of the country I am visiting, and of course using my English accent on the unsuspecting American public, especially in small towns like this!
I actually learnt a lot from my trip (I won't bore you with an American history lesson!), especially that again my sarcasm is lost on most Americans. On leaving the museum one of the staff members mentioned that we had been in the museum for a long time. To which I replied 'yes we have, I'm an expert now and I'm after your job.' The silence and look of evil and disgust in the staff members face after saying this was very unnerving. I decided to leave without muttering another word.
It seems that whenever I travel to some of the smaller towns in Kentucky you always meet a few characters for one reason or another. First off, I met a very nice guy with lobster hands. I have been told that these are a common occurrence in eastern Kentucky villages bordering the Appalachian mountains, due to cases of 'inbreeding'. I have no idea if this is true, but if there are people with blue tinted skin living in the Appalachians from 'reproducing from a small gene pool', then I don't think lobster hands are out of the question!!
The pleasure was also had in participating in one of the strangest conversations I have ever had. After the educational trip to the civil war museum, we stopped off for food at a restaurant, where a lovely old lady accosted me while I was eating with the question 'do you like frogs?'. Never being asked such a question before, let alone when eating, my instinct was to answer 'yes'. This brought a huge smile to the lovely old ladies face and the reply, 'awesome, I just love giving people plastic frogs', and then grabbed my hand and put a handful of plastic toy frogs in my palm.
Having never been in the situation of having free plastic frogs on offer, I decided to take them with a smile and a 'thank you' and not hurt the old ladies feelings. She left the restaurant like a young Mother Theresa as though she had just saved a whole nation single handedly from starvation. I can assure you these frogs won't go to waste though as I am sure I can use the same lines on my English students in Ecuador. I bet they have never been offered plastic frogs in their life either. It does beg the question though to how old she actually thought I was. Or maybe all 25-year-old's in America play with plastic frogs on a regular basis? Who knows!!
The last piece of news from Kentucky, in an effort to stop deaths from not wearing a seat belt (560 of the 980 odd deaths on Kentucky roads last year were due to not wearing a seat belt) one fast food outlet has come up with the ingenious idea of offering a free Pepsi to everyone who makes an order through their drive-thru while wearing a seat belt. Now, I am in favour of all ideas making people safer drivers, but I'm not quite sure to the success of this initiative, other than increasing the intake of unhealthy sugary drinks in a population that should really be cutting down on these substances!!
I have also decided that, like an alcoholic with alcohol, I cannot last any longer without having a marathon to train for, so I have entered another. This one is in Guayaquil, Ecuador at the start of October, so it should be an interesting run, as they say that you shouldn't run at all for 3 weeks when you move to live at an high altitude, so I won't be able to do that much training before I run! It's all about the medals anyway, not the times you run!!
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