On my way to Mexico I had a short lay over in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Sadly not enough time to get into the town center and have a mooch around, but enough time to step into a world that I was totally not a part of.
Spoiler alert…hunting fans…your eyes will glaze over!
I’ve been to the Southern Parts of the States before and I quickly learned not to order the Ice Tea, unless I said with NO SUGAR! They have a super sweet tea, Southern Sweet Tea, and to a one teaspoon per massive teacup person like myself, it is an instant coma inducing drink.
There wasn’t enough time…well it really wasn’t worth the cost to rent a car, so I walked over to a local restaurant and passed by that cheerful shark fellow full of teeth. Always reminding me, you don’t want to swim in the ocean. I am of the school, I don’t go places where I am the menu!
Bread is a commonplace pre meal offering, which I find odd in one way. You fill up before the real meal arrives, so I usually avoid it, that is unless I am in an Italian restaurant and then I just can’t avoid the fresh-baked olive rolls, with bits of olives snuggling about, just begging to be dipped into a pool of Balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Oh heaven and who cares about those calories! Today’s bread was a shocker to me. It was white bread, and looked as if someone had dunked the top into water and then smooshed it into white granular sugar. I cut into it to make sure, and sure enough that was what it was. I am always one to try new things, so I did. It tasted like white bread dipped in sugar and absolutely devoid of flavour. This had me seriously worried about the meal ahead of me. So, I asked the waitress about it. Not a good idea.
She looked at me with instant distaste, and said, “It’s very popular around these parts.”
“No doubt,” I said, “What’s it called?”
“It isn’t called anything.”
“But the menu says….”
“Is there anything else you need?” Her face was a solid rock of disdain.
Time to go for a walk!
Needless to say, the rest of the meal was just passable. I was so glad I ordered simple travel food, Baked potato, salmon baked, and it was edible, that’s about all I can say for it. It was time to head out.
Nearby was a store, who shall go unnamed, bored and not ready to go back to the hotel room, I walked in. My first response– Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.
The place was massive. It made shops I had been in the past, feel tiny. I came across some interesting food offerings. Fancy some road kill sausage? Or how bout some trailer trash nibbles? Ummm thanks, but no thanks.
I turned the corner and stopped. I have never been in a place so devoted to the art of killing. There was everything there a hunter could dream of. Knives, guns, bows, arrows, fake deer and fake scent to lure the living to instant death via high-speed bullet or modern age cross-bow. Take your pick. I was stunned. I know hunting exists, but seeing it all in one place, so much of it, so large, so big, it took my breath away and not in a good way.
The gadgets, the tools, the camouflage neck-rests, in what world could this be called a sport when the tools used to hunt are so high-tech? There isn’t a sporting chance. There was sport fishing, catch and release, which I find an odd sport. Just how sporting is it to have a hook in your mouth for fun? I know… I know…I’ve never been, so then how can I write about it? Well, I’ve never been a fish either, but I can imagine that a hook in my mouth isn’t a load of fun.
Why do we need all this? Do we have a deep-seated need to prepare for the dystopian world to come? Will I want one of these hunters on my team when the civilised world ends? Do we really want our children to have all the play bows and arrows on offer and then to grow up to use the deadly ones as adults? Is this supposed to be fun? I don’t know. I can tell you this much, when I walked back out in the sunlight, I really felt I had escaped something dark.
One of the wonders of Florida is the wildlife, and it’s everywhere. I walked back to the hotel and noticed a rock moving! Too much sun? No, it was lizards sunning themselves. A gate kept me from going too close, and since I don’t shoot with a telephoto lens, this was the closest I could get to them. I never would have noticed them, if that one in the middle hadn’t proudly raised his head. He turned and looked at me with the same curiosity I had, although I imagine he was much less impressed with what he saw!
I really wished I had time to go into Fort Lauderdale proper. Perhaps next time. In the meanwhile, whilst we battle the cold spring, I leave this trip behind with the sound of palm trees blowing the in the breeze…