Friday, July 11, 2008

Day 29. St Luis to Chicago

Day 29 3rd July

Oh the joys of travel. I will take a moment here to apologise for the lack of consistency in updates. Currently I’m sitting in a hotel room, it’s 6am & the boys are sleeping off last night’s wine. I’m up & writing, because I’m trying to utilise the availability of electricity. It would be perfect if I could do this while on the side of the road, waiting for a kind, sympathetic or lunatic soul to take us with them in their car, but sadly, my laptop battery lasts about 20 minutes before shutting down on me. So, when we get off the road & to internet access, I not only have to plug in, sort & download pictures, but & write as well.
So please forgive the tardiness of the posts. I’m doing my best. And now you’ll get to look out & see if you can find which day it was I was writing this…to reveal just how far behind I really am.

We woke at a reasonable hour, despite planning to be gone before sparrows were grinning at their toots, and were given royal treatment in Topeka.
Peggy cooked us a meal to start the day that one on death row would have been satisfied to eat on their last day.

We prayed with Peggy, thanked her for her incredible hospitality & headed off to St Luis.

Anna drove us like a woman on the run & we made good time. Paul in the meantime organised to meet up with one of his internet friends, Reem & her fiancé Howie when we got to St Luis. Reem is a top internet blogger, (http://www.reemabeidoh.com/) but was super gracious with us in our amateur state & went so far as to greet us with the news that she had landed us an interview with St Luis Times. http://www.stltoday.com

Though she’d never met any of us before, she bought all four of us lunch & showed us about St Luis, taking us to it's famous arch.

Howie talked about the declining state of St Luis, with half of the population having left in the past 40 years.

Paul was sure to acquaint himself with the population that remained.


We were on a strict time limit, so unfortunately were unable to spend longer with Reem & Howie, but they assured us, should we decide we couldn’t make it to Chicago in time, we were more than welcome to return & stay with them.

The decision to stay or go was tough, we're not going to lie.


We decided to take the bottles of water she gave us & go, passing through a cloud burst on the way to Chicago, but thanks to Anna’s guardian angel, we made it in one piece. She bought us dinner to go with the miracle. It's not every day you get a miracle & dinner thrown in with a hitch. We were pretty pleased.

And it was here that we met with the quietly famous Mu.
http://muhammadsaleem.com/
Muhammad, or Mu as he’s commonly known, is also a top internet personality, though interestingly, be it through humility or a desire to keep work & play separate, his close friends know nothing of what he does on line.

Mu met us at our car & walked us to the bar where he & his friends were spending their 3rd of July. We joined them & so it was that the monks had their first hookah experience.

We were all pretty tired after such a long drive & had missed the 9pm Chicago fireworks, so agreed to head to Mu’s & hit the hay.

We were welcomed into his home like old friends, where we set up beds, did a little internet time & most of us slept. Paul, too excited to sleep in the presence of a guru, made the most of the opportunity & stayed up, gleaning all he could.

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