Saturday, April 25, 1998

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Amongst school children, if one is “sent to Coventry” he is given the silent treatment. That hasn’t been true for me, however. I haven’t had time to write with all the people I’ve been around.

The bus rolled into Leamington Spa at about 5:30. That was too late for it to be open, but I walked about the town trying to find the National Express travel agency anyway after not getting an answer at Jame’s house. I did find a Dutch coin in the telephone change return, though. Sticking it in my pocket, I tried heading for the tourist information office, which I found to be closed because of the flooding damage. But just then a lady drove up and asked if I needed any help. She told me exactly where the agency was and pointed me toward Tachbrook Rd. I set off with my pack on my back, address in hand, looking for 175. A mile or more later, 175 appeared, a door next to a bookmaker office. That couldn’t be it. So I started walking back, looking for a public phone. I passed one, but there was someone in it. All the way back to the train station I went and called from there. This time someone answered, “James’ answering service…” I asked for him. “Yeah, hold on.”

“Hello, Joanne,” said James. I guess I’m the only American calling him. He said they were just on their way to a park and would come pick me up. A few minutes later, a car with 3 guys in it pulled up. “I’m James,” the bloke in the back seat stuck out his hand. I shook it and stuffed my sack in the back. Then we dashed off down the road, listening to drum and bass music. The car stopped several miles later, and we piled out at a beautiful park surrounding an abbey that had been turned into a hotel. The boys grabbed a soccer ball, football, and juggling clubs out of the back of the car and then passed the soccer ball back and forth to a playground, where James and Al tested the merits of the seesaw while Paul smoked a cigarette. They never grow up, do they?

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