Friday, August 13, 2004

Surf alert !

Christina and I went to Cape Cod yesterday with a couple of friends, Kojo and Tiffany Dufu. Notable occurences:

1. There is surf on Cape Cod. We drove by a surf shop in Wellfleet [called "Little Overhead"] and I made Kojo turn around so I could go talk to the owner.

Side note on surf culture: surfers hate to actually admit that there is surf anywhere in the vicinity, because everybody wants to make sure "their" surf breaks don't get to crowded, so they're very cagy about telling you where exactly the surf spots are. You see this behavior even in people who run a surf shop -- it's like they can't really bring themselves to admit to strangers that there might be a surf spot around their shop, despite the fact that it's a surf shop, which means there's obviously surf nearby.

The owner was nice enough -- he told me that there was surf all along the Cape, and even that there were surf spots in Rhode Island, but that he wasn't going to tell me where the "secret spots were". Fair 'nuff, wasn't really expecting that anyway. We also talked a bit about how warm the water got [warmer than Seattle :-)], whether there were sharks [no], how many people would be out on a really "crowded" day [about 40] etc. All in all, the main point for me was that there is indeed surf around here and so I don't totally have to say goodbye to surfing for the next 4-5 years, which was good news

2. We walked around Provincetown a bit, which was entertaining. Provincetown is basically the combination of a seaside tourist trap with a super-strong gay community -- the result is lots of kitschy shops interrupted by the occasional drag queen loudly proclaiming the virtues of his [her ?] evening show, when you could see even more flesh than he [she ?] was already showing. My "favorite", if that's the right term, was Wonderwoman [Wonderman ?] -- somehow, I never really imagined her with super-long fake eyelashes, handing out fliers and having a conversation with a really hairy, bare-chested fat guy in which she said things like "You wouldn't guess that I'm from North Carolina, would you ?" [that's the snippet of conversation I overheard].

3. Driving in Boston sucks @$$. The roads are really poorly marked and poorly lit, randomly change names and directions [eg to stay on Tremont, you have to take a 90-degree turn at a 4-way stop light, going straight puts you on an entirely different road] and drivers are very impatient. The whole thing is so confusing that even Microsoft Maps sometimes basically throws up its hands, says "You're on your own on this one" and presents you with something cryptic like "Follow local roads to ...". No mention of what the names of the "local roads" might be, just the equivalent of software shrugging its shoulders and looking apologetic. I found this out the hard way trying to get back to our place last night -- all the above factors, combined with rain, meant that it took us close to an hour to get home from the outskirts of Boston. We got on and off the highway 3 times, passed by the scene of a major accident twice, and finally, by blind luck, ended up on a road that we were actually familiar with because we'd taken the bus along it before. Not an experience I want to repeat.


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