I’d rather expected I wouldn’t be in North America ever again for years. My last two trips had been underwhelming at best, and, let’s face it, it’s a rather bland continent to fly a long way to. I mean, I’ve never been to Rio! I’ve never strolled around Havana with a stinking rum-hangover, or drank a bucket and then had to flee into the jungle from the police at a full moon party at Koh Phangan. Why, with the constant tick-tocking of life an ever-present background muzak accompaniment, would I keep forsaking such adventures?
“Stop saying these things,” my forthcoming host would say. “It’s too much pressure.”
It started well though. My destination airport was small, and felt both deeply 1970s and – compared to the bland uniformity of international airports – thoroughly American. I failed to suppress a laugh at a policeman approaching me on a Segway, proudly embossed with his department’s logo.
“You’re on a Segway!” I told him, causing him to look a little hurt and confused as he ever so slowly glided past.
A week later, as my connecting flight lifted out of Toronto, I inspected the twinkling city below – Lake Ontario causing it to seemingly suddenly drop away into a vast blackness to the south – and decided all was forgiven, and North America and I could be friends again.