Day 21 - Driving
This is the United States. This is what we have come to recognize as our homeland. A country where you see the same exact shit 10 miles or 100 miles away from home. How disgustingly boring.
The interstates in America are void of anything interesting and unique. There is nothing special about seeing another slew of the same chain restaurants that you saw at the last 100 exits. Although the interstates are the quickest way to get across the country, you aren’t really seeing the United States. These chain restaurants lure people in through clever advertising, and have basically taken over. It’s really sad to think that I grew up in an era where chain restaurants have become the norm. What ever happened to locally owned cafes where you get regional food thats cooked by Pap over his barbecue pit? I want to go into an eatery and feel like I am far away from home. I want to go to a place where I can order something that I can’t get in Colorado, and experience someone else’s culture.
I don’t understand why people support chain restaurants at all. First of all the food is disgustingly bad for you and disgusting in taste. Does anyone honestly like that the person serving you has a corporate schpeel that they are required to deliver to you upon entrance to their restaurant?? We are living in a country of marketing - this isn’t even real life anymore! Your server is required to give you a little speech about their specials instead of asking you about your day. It creeps me out, and makes me sad that more people don’t realize how fucked up this is.
I’m determined to escape this somehow, and I’ve recently started reading a book about the back highways of America. Just beyond the interstates are the little US highways that have been around since long before any interstates were built. These are the roads that were once small dirt roads carrying horse-drawn boogies. Along these roads you experience the real country. Small towns that make you think “why does anyone even live here??”. Local eateries where people turn their heads when you walk in the door because clearly you aren’t a local. Farm house with signs soliciting fresh pecans and orchard tours. Jud’s car repair shop, and Clint’s Food Store. This is real! These are the towns that movies are made of, where you can make memories and friends for just one day.
After driving an ocean front US highway and stopping at a local seafood cafe for fish tacos, I’m convinced that I will have a better experience on this tour if I stay off the interstate. I want to leave behind the fast food chains, endless green exit signs, and rude semi drivers. I don’t really care if it takes me twice as long to get where I’m going. It’s about the journey, not the destination.
Hopefully someone will read this and feel inspired to eat locally at home and on vacation. Put these chains out of business.