our recent travels took us across state lines to what some consider ‘the garden state’, others, ‘the armpit of america’ and others still, ‘the diner state’. we went to jersey to watch the nets vs. clippers and see some live dunks from blake griffin. he didn’t put on much of a show, but the nets managed to narrow a 20 point clippers lead and head into overtime where they won by four points. the highlight of the game until the fourth quarter was probably the half-time show. basketball games i’ve realized, mean constant flashing lights and bursts of deafening music.
after the game, we needed food after the fumes of microwaved hot dogs, cheese sodden fries, low quality beer and sticky soda. we were staying with a friend who told us that our two options were fast food and diner food, but that jersey was known for its diners. according to josh, the Edison Diner is the best because it has the most food for the least amount of money. josh is getting a certificate at westmin because he wants to become a missionary vet and teach people in developing countries how to care for livestock so that they can be self-sustaining.
we stayed at his house and met his racist dog who started barking and growling the minute he saw nate which apparently happens with every non-asian. nate and i were given a single mattress, one blanket and one pillow. the deranged dog continued to bark and snarl and slobber until the lights were off and we were completely silent, then began to bark again when he realized nate was still there in the morning. on the way back to philly, we stopped to get cheesesteaks from a place called hoagie haven. think enormous steaks with bacon and egg.
we’ve met some pretty cool people in philly, but small talk is frustrating and explaining where i’m from somehow becomes “cleveland”. i really miss hanging out with people who know me. i had a friend write, “it’s hard to remember when the friends you prefer, the old friends, were once new friends”, and like nate always says, small talk is like a long-term investment. eventually, the hope is that these new friends will be old friends.