Well, I am almost adjusting to my new wake up time of quarter past 5, which is far too early in my opinion! Luke starts work at 6 (Sob ) and we always try to have breakfast together. This may be one of those traditions I wish I hadn’t started but hindsight is a wonderful thing. Maybe I will get away with pretending to sleep through the alarm? I shall schedule a practise fake snoring session for tomorrow. I may also have to practise my tornado evac plan as there are more severe storm warnings for today. I spoke to the gent on reception and he said not to worry as the towers are very solid ( well you would hope that they would be!) but if I am worried I can come and stay with them downstairs. However, he said if the sirens go (and apparently you can’t miss them when they go off) I should get out of the building very quickly, so they can’t be that solid can they? I have placed my duvet by the front door just to be prepared.
There is one good thing, the only thing, about early mornings = an empty gym. No-one else is insane enough to be up at that time and I don’t even have a job to get up for! After the gym, and after seeing some shoots emerging in my mini-vegetable garden ( very exciting news I know), I decided that today was definitely a day for seizing. Therefore, with my trusty Google map directions securely in hand, I bravely ventured out of the comfort of Riley Towers. I never go anywhere without them in order to avoid a repeat of a previous incident when I had to ring Luke to get him to locate me and direct me home after I had taken a wrong turning. Mildly embarrassing, to say the least, as I had lived in Newcastle almost three years by then. I now find that a map is always necessary, especially in new places and in foreign countries.
I tootled along to the first summer market for Indianapolis‘s local farmers hoping to seize some culinary goodies. Unfortunately, the maps really didn’t help me so much because I had no idea whether I was facing North or South and when are you actually allowed to cross the road? Therefore, I formulated a way of getting myself to the market sans Google. This included making sure I always had someone to, subtly, follow across the various roads. This resulted in some very sporadic, sleuth like zigzagging across the roads. Oh well, that way I got to see the shops on both sides of the road. Although, some poor person actually asked me for directions! so maybe I looked like I knew where I was going? They had no hope. Thank goodness, for me, that I spotted this sign though!
Next time, I am taking a compass and possibly a rulebook of how to cross American roads.
Once I had, finally, made it to my destination I was very pleasantly surprised.
There were lots of cute, free-standing stalls filling a street outside of the indoor city market. There was far too much choice! The stalls ranged from oils, wine, apple cakes, flowers, coffee and, of course, doggie treats (www.merchantcircle.com/business/Bags.of.Wags.Dog.Bakery). Everyone was so nice and friendly although I did get a few odd looks when I began to talk to the stall holders. I am hoping it was due to my accent and not that I had been walking around the market with something on my face. However, after the initial hello I got chatting to some lovely people. I was even given a purple asparagus (yes, purple!) as a present by one vendor to go with the green ones I had just brought! I did wonder why he asked me to wait after I had brought my bunch, stopped his lovingly repeated spray of water onto the remaining asparagus so they didn’t get dehydrated, disappeared into the back of his lorry and came back out with this purple stick. It is , quite possibly, the nicest vegetable I have ever been given!
The free things didn’t stop there, oh no! I also got given a sample of ‘chips’ from one vendor when he heard I had just moved here. I say ‘chips’ but it’s what the American‘s call crisps, queue a mini debate about this. I am now going to use being English everywhere to see what other freebies I can get . I am also very proud to have now been officially welcomed to America by its true ambassadors= the markets stall vendors of Indianapolis, who really did say “welcome to America”, a lot.
I did actually spend some dollars too, it wasn’t just a free market. I brought some local mustard; an apple cake with crumble on top, which is the Americans genius idea of half apple pie/ half apple crumble for those who can’t decide which one is better. Let face it, it is a tough choice;
and a croissant for Luke’s breakfast, although whether he gets to eat it will depend on how generous I am feeling at 5:15 tomorrow morning. After my seizing of various bits n’ bobs, I thought I would take the opportunity to grab a coffee, sit outside and enjoy the peace and sunshine. The peace was momentarily disturbed by a huge screeching noise and then police cars pulled up near the entrance to the market. I think there may have been an accident but I’m not sure. The emergency services are completely different to the British ones and they do tend to go all out , even over little accidents.
Nevertheless, I got my cup of Java (aka coffee) from a lovely little stall (http://www.bjavacoffeeandtea.com/), which was actually individually hand-filtered whilst I waited.
Very Impressive! I’m looking forward to getting an iced coffee next week after the lady who was served after me highly, and repeatedly, recommended them. In fact she was so eager to get her iced coffee that she proceeded to knock it all over the table in her excitement. When I get one , next Wednesday, I will aim to keep the liquid in the cup. Unless drinking it off the table is actually the way to drink it? Surely not…
I took my coffee and found a table to sit at, near to a Tamales stall. I had absolutely no clue what theses Tamales were. I was intrigued as they looked very popular so I researched it when I got back (www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamale). I wish I’d got one now! My table was surrounded by lots of different characters. Some looked a bit disheveled; some were escaping the office; some were with their children; and ,thankfully, there were some other happy loners like myself. It was a perfect spot for being able to watch the live band in glorious sunshine – Acoustic Catfish. Yup, Catfish (http://www.acousticcatfish.com/). They even had two big cuddly catfish toys at either side of the stage. At least I think they were cuddly, and toys. I really didn’t want to get too close to inspect them incase the band did something horrifying, like speak to me or get me up on stage. They were fantastic though, proper old school blues/ rock n’ roll. They were even wearing cowboy hats, playing harmonicas and I could not believe it when a lady walked past and completed my shameful stereotyping by yelling ‘Ye’ha’ as she stamped her foot. Love it!
After feeling my experience of the market was now truly complete, I went in search of some emergency suncream as I had enjoyed sitting out in the sun a bit too long. I then took myself, and my pink arms, back to Riley Towers. Proud of my mini accomplishment of getting myself to the market and back without too much incident. Except for a slightly squashed apple crumble/ pie in need of some major reconstruction (sorry Luke!)