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America, December 18, 2000

Time to Tan

I even tried to tan while barreling down I-95 at 85 mph!

I always travel cheap
POP! Goes the Wayan
Great Aerodynamics, eh?
Guess what Dad got!
You know they've been married a while
And he gets a kiss too!
Here I am, screaming down I-95 at 85 miles per hour, and I'm getting passed! After a five year hiatus from driving, long enough for my license to expire and my skills to dull, I'm back on the roads again and America sure has changed. When I left, the speed limit was 65 mph, and anything over 75 mph was a hefty fine. Now, I'm getting passed at 85 mph!

traffic is not the only thing passing me by; I'm back in Florida for the holidays trying to keep my cool under an onslaught of shopping and sun tanning.

Its been three wonderful years of shop-less Christmases for me, with only minimal gifts in Russia and a moped ride in Laos, so you can imagine my shock when I'm handed shopping flyers as I push my way out of customs in Chicago.

Down here in Vero, the commercialism isn't so bad, but I did have a Moscow Metro flashback as I elbowed my way through the Mall. Shopping for Ma and Pa was hard. What do you get for Americans who have everything?

I do know what to get for a beautiful young lady across the pond in UK. One of those gold shiny things that she wants to wear on her finger. Of course, that is the hardest present of all, for whatever I choose will be closely scrutinized by that young lady for years to come.

In the past week, I drove a few hundred miles, traveling between Vero, Palm Beach, and Orlando to visit old friends and look for the right gifts. With my usual skill, I'm not spending all my time in the car. I've found ingenious ways to catch a few rays in the process.

At first I just went to the beach to work on my tan, as one would do in a town called Vero Beach, but as the weather has gone unusually cold, I'm now forced to lay out at the pool. Yeah, hard life I live.

PS: Mom, you know I was only kidding about the 85-mph part. Call it creative writing, because I would never exceed the posted speed limit in your car.

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