I remembered that in school in Germany, we had studied Greek mythology. We studied Apollo and how the Greeks sought his chariot was the sun. Every day was an epic journey for him to travel from the east to the west. Because of this size of America, I thought I was setting out on an epic journey. It was just me and my car driving from the east to the west. In my studies about America, I had read that in vain the Amish, who were of German descent, had settled parts of Pennsylvania. I wanted to go from New York through Pennsylvania so that I could see some of the Amish.
I left New York City early one morning, and I drove through New York to Pennsylvania. Along the way, I drove slowly through an Amish community. I stopped at a small general store. I heard the privateer and the customer speaking, and I was surprised to hear them speaking high German. I found a small item that I thought I would buy, and I laid it on the counter and asked in German how much, “Wie wiel?”
The proprietor replied in German, “You’re not from here, are you?”
I wondered what I had said that caused him to know that I was not from there. I shrugged my shoulders, and said, “No, I’m from Germany!”
He grinned and said, “You said your words the way we used to say them. But I’m glad you stopped by. It is interesting for me to hear the difference.”
I paid for the item and left grinning. I thought it had been such a cool experience. As I drove through their community, I was impressed by the neatness and organization of their farms. I felt like I was back in Germany before the war.
I drove on to Pennsylvania, and I stopped for the night in Columbus. I stopped in Columbus because I wanted to see if the town had a statue of Christopher Columbus. It was nearly dark when I arrived so I didn’t get to see much of anything. But what I was looking for was a plaque that would explain Ohio’s concept of who discovered United States first. I knew that Christopher Columbus never set foot in the part of North America that would become the United States. She discovered the islands in the Caribbean. Then he sailed south, stopped on the shore of Mexico and parts of Central America, but he never set foot in America. The Spaniards marched north out of Mexico and into the country or state that would become New Mexico. They did that in the early Fifteen hundreds. The historians had said that the English landed on the shores of New England in about 1616. But the English didn’t discover America. The Vikings did in in 900 A.D. and in 1100 A.D. I didn’t want to get in trouble by arguing with people when America was really discovered or by whom. I just thought that Americans had been misinformed about the country’s history. So, the next morning I got in my car and drove to Indianapolis Indiana because I wanted to say I had been where the Indianapolis 500 was run. I wanted to go to South Bend, Indiana, but it was too far out of the way him. I wanted to go to South because it was in northern Indiana and not southern Indiana. I couldn’t understand why Americans would name a town in northern Indiana like it was in southern Indiana. But I didn’t ask. So, I drove on to Effingham, Illinois. Him I chose to stay in Effingham because his name was so weird. It sounded like a town in England.
I drove on to St. Louis because I wanted to see a town in America named after a French person. It was a fairly large town, but to me it had such a strange feel to it that I determined I probably wouldn’t want to live there, so, I drove on for a long driving day to Springfield where I spent the night. The next morning, I had a breakfast of pancakes and bacon with several cups of coffee. I enjoyed that breakfast and got back into my car and drove on to an Oklahoma town called Tulsa. I spent the night in Tulsa, and the next morning at breakfast, him I saw an interesting item on the menu. It was called flapjacks and bacon. I knew what bacon was, but I didn’t know what that interesting item flapjacks was, so, I determined to have flapjacks, bacon, and lots of coffee. Imagine my disappointment when the flapjacks arrived looking exactly like pancakes. When I had pancakes, I had determined that I liked the pancakes. I had no problem eating the flapjacks with plenty of syrup and bacon.
I left Tulsa and headed for Oklahoma City. When I had listened to the news in New York, occasionally there would be a news item about Oklahoma City. I just wanted to drive through Oklahoma City so that someday I could say I had been through Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
I drove on to a town in Oklahoma called Elk City. I thought I might be able to see some Elks, but the town didn’t have any in spite of being named after the elk. We had elks in Germany, and I just wanted to know if the animal into different parts of the world looked the same. That was a disappointment, not a big one, but I didn’t care that all that much because I was headed for San Diego, California. I drove on to Amarillo and decided I would spend the night there. The motel that I stayed in that night had a colorful brochure on Amarillo. I learned that Amarillo was Spanish with the word, yellow. I didn’t see all that much yellow in Amarillo, but I did read that Huevos Rancheros was supposed to be a very tasty breakfast. That description meant ranch-style eggs. I thought, “Aha, real Western Americana. I knew right then that I had to try that meal. There was a nice little café near the motel, and I determined to try out there Huevos Rancheros the next morning.
I was up early the next morning, and I marched myself right over to the café. I was excited to see Americans dressed in jeans, boots, and Western hats. I heard them order huevos rancheros in several different styles, and I was excited to be ordering the same thing that the cowboys ordered. I heard one of them say he wanted his eggs over easy. When we had a breakfast at a hotel in Germany, we usually had hard-boiled eggs. I decided to try huevos rancheros over easy. I ordered my huevos rancheros in setback with my coffee. The huevos rancheros arrived with an unusual looking red sauce on top of them. Two slices of toast were served with the meal, and I suspected that they would be used to sop up red sauce. I had seen a couple of the cowboys cut up their eggs and stir them around on their plates. They didn’t sop up the red sauce with their toast, so, I decided I wouldn’t either. I imitated the cowboys by cutting up my eggs with the red sauce. I forked a large portion of the mixture into my mouth and was gleefully chewing away when the real nature of the combination began to hit my mouth. I couldn’t spit it out in public, and I couldn’t cry out in pain, because that would’ve been embarrassing. I was afraid to swallow it because I didn’t know what it would do to my throat. I grabbed my cup of coffee and started to drink from it and I realized it was hot coffee. I asked myself what would the hot coffee do to the spicy hot mixture in my mouth?
With a small teardrop losing out of the corners of both eyes I grabbed a piece of toast and added it to the mixture in my mouth to lessen the burning sensation. If I had stood up and had run to the bathroom to expel the spicy hot mixture, I probably would have turned over my table and several others. I tried not to call attention to myself, and I stuck the other piece of toast in my mouth with the mixture. The toast helped somewhat, but I had a sudden longing to just have a plate of flapjacks. I made a mental note new to be wary of huevos rancheros in the future.
I awoke the next morning with uneasy bowels. I had wanted to tour Amarillo, will but it was just a flat city that the local newspaper reported that they received D&D of snow every year. It wasn’t wintertime, but there still wasn’t all that much for me to see. The city of Lubbock was about 117 miles south of Amarillo, but I wasn’t ready to go there yet. I lift Amarillo on my epic tour of America about midmorning I drove until they reached the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico. I visited a church in Albuquerque that the historic data claimed it was a couple of hundred years old. That made me feel comfortable in Albuquerque because we had churches in Germany that were hundreds of years old too. I took a...