Sunday, February 11, 2007

Salt Lake City and Strip Malls

DSC01791, originally uploaded by cameronduff.

No better way to shake off the more crippling effects of a night's excess of booze, good humour and fine friends than to recount recent exploits in the land of the free. So Cameron's love affair with these United States continues apace. Whilst Salt lake City may have done little to add further lustre to this enamoured affair, the city still bears describing in my accustomed manner. With both word and image, friends, it seems I have become more interested in sharing traveller's tales on this blog than with reports of a more domestic remit. Still Vancouver has been treating Andrea and I especially well of late and with Spring treating us to its first blushes the prospects are all good. If only I could cease working like a dog for that damn health authority, but that is another unhappy tale all to its own.

Four days in Salt lake were probably enough; three days conferencing on the subject of methamphetamine misuse was certainly enough! In a city where a man can apparently take for himself several wives yet can't reasonably drink in a public place, one is left with many head-scratching imponderables. What an odd mix of religion and self-interest! These odd Mormons are certain God approves of polygamy but are less sure of the proper place of alcohol in all this religious observance, Still it was a fun city set within the most amazing high plains on the fringes of the cascade mountains. Now the cascade mountains are named so for the manner in which they casade up and over the high plains for as far as the eye can see. This made for a riveting flight as I sat glued to my window seat, slack jawed at the amazing beauty of these mountains that seem to stretch all the way across the sky. Quite something. The photo above is the view from my hotel room window - pretty amazing! On the day this photo was taken I was sitting transfixed in front of CNN as my man Barack Obama was wowing the party faithful at the 2007 Democratic national Convention. His speech was full of the kind of soaring rhetoric and inspirational campaigning that goes an awfully long way towards restoring one's faith in the nobility of politics. People in this part of the world are starting to compare him with the Kennedy brothers and certainly some striking parallels exist now and then as America once more grapples with a war of choice and the awful consequences that flow from such choices. Obama's setting out a compelling vision for a more engaged and just America; I'm hanging on his every word these days. This is certainly making for some entertaining discussions over the dinner table as Anj takes up the fight for Hilary and I defend Obama's claims to the Democratic party's nomination. With Rudd looking ever stronger in Australia this really is a great time to be watching politics.

Given that I have been lax in uploading new photos of late I better leave all this talk of politics and return to the photos, lest I lose all readers entirely! Salt lake City was great fun. I made some new friends drinking beer in the freezing cold out on the lawn in front of a rambling, boistrous student party the likes of which I have not attended for many years. With the Clash laying down the right party tunes from inside, and much senseless discussion transpiring out of it, I endeavoured once again to try and understand the many great conumdrums this country throws up from the point of view of the local. My "so what's up with America" conversation opener is surprisingly working wonders as a means of making new friends in America. Everyone has an opinion, and so far, almost all have been happy to share that opinion. Now all I need to do is make sense of the wildly divergent opinions I have so far surveyed. I'll try and write this all down when the moment of clarity strikes me!

I hope all else is well!!



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