Monday, July 30, 2007


Now that I'm in Minnesota for a few days, the most sedentary portion of the trip, I have time to answer a few questions that have been clogging my e-mail inbox. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.

1. Where are you now?
St. Paul, Minnesota, staying with my sister and her boyfriend.

2. What kind of car do you drive?
'99 black Ford Explorer Sport (two doors). I bought it in 2003.

3. How many miles does it have on it?
Too many. It's been nothing but good to me so far, but let's just say I can see myself coasting into Jersey in a few weeks on a wing and a prayer.

4. Why is it called Black Betty?
It's named after the coversong by Spiderbait. I listened to it a lot a few summers ago and began referring to my car as Black Betty when hitting the dashboard trying to coax it up hills. The name stuck.

5. How's the marathon training going?
Bleh... I don't want to talk about it.

6. When do you get back to Jersey?
I'm trying to make it to New York State for a friend's party on the 18th, so a few days after that. Around August 20th. I'll be sure to post a long and emotional epilogue that will be far too long and emotional for the average reader.

7. Are you having a welcome home party?
Stop by my place in Haddonfield and I'll see what I can come up with.

8. What are your plans after the trip is over?
I hope to get an article published in the Philadelphia Inquirer about some aspect of the trip. I'll use the $50 they pay for a nice dinner out somewhere with Amy. Probably Applebees.

9. Which aspect of the trip will you choose to write about?
Tough call. Do I try to describe the trip as a whole while glossing over a few highlights, or do I focus in exhausting detail on one aspect?

10. And after that?
Resume work at the private school that is kind enough to give me a paycheck, start up a new semester at Rowan, plan out the next big trip.

11. So what's the next big trip?
I have two in mind, actually. Lord knows if either of these will pan out, but I'm thinking Greenland over Christmas break and the Mongol Rally in the summer of '08.

12. Will you be hosting couchsurfers when you get back, after all the couchsurfing you've done?
I hope to. I hosted one last May and that turned out to be great. The problem is that most couchsurfers who make it to my area will just stay in Philly. Who wants to come all the way out to the suburbs?

13. Have you had any bad experiences with couchsurfing?
Meeting the guy in Memphis was a little awkward. I walked up to him while he was tinkering with his lawnmower (is that what they're calling it these days?) and I stood there for about ten seconds before he thought to invite me inside. But he was still a perfectly nice guy. He never left me a reference on my couchsurfing page, though. But really, everyone has been spectacular.

14. You and the Frugal Traveler in King of the Ring, who wins?
I'm pretty spry and nimble. I'd throw down, whatever that means.

15. Who was the last person you called?
What is this, a MySpace survey?

16. Where do you sleep when you're not with couchsurfers, friends or relatives?
I sleep in my car. I've stayed in a lot of Walmart parking lots because they're well lit and the Walmart is open 24 hours so I have constant access to bathrooms and water fountains. But I've also slept in several empty recreation areas as well as parked on Main Street in a few places. So far I have yet to spend a dime on accomodations anywhere in the U.S.

17. What about showering?
Ah, one of the drawbacks to sleeping in the car. I found a laundromat in Oregon with coin operated showers ($2 = 8 minutes) but other than that I've just been dirty a lot.

18. Do you psychically punish those readers who read and never leave comments?

19. I don't like Bill Bryson, are there any other travel books you can recommend?
Hang yourself right now.

I am reading Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon, though, which is good. He called his truck Ghost Dancing.

20. Why are you doing this trip?
Read the prologue for that answer. I'm sure I'll sum some things up in the epilogue as well.

21. What kind of camera do you have?
Pentax Optio 750Z with 7 megapixels and a swivel display screen.

22. What's the capital of Senegal?

23. What's the difference between a quasar and a pulsar?
This interview is over.


LukisWeb said...

Kudos on the cam, Pentax is one of my favorite photography companies out there. I used to have the mini one when it first came out, the one that fit in an Altoids box. This was back when digital cameras were kinda clunky.

Cool FAQ, really answered a lot of question! :)

P.S. We'll get to meet face to face on the 18th at said party.

Paul E. Shively said...

It's odd that I missed you in Minnesota by a week. I was out there up until last Wednesday. Had a fantastic time! What do you think of St. Paul?

Anyway, glad to hear that you might be making it in for the party on August 18th! Just one correction. It's in PA. Close to Williamsport.

Thank you once again for the solace away from the desk at work. Enjoy the rest of the trip!

Scotticus said...

Ha! Good thing you told me, I assumed it was in Corning, NY! But yeah, chances are looking pretty good that I'll be there.

Amy said...

Wow Scott. Applebees? Are we kickin it up a notch from the Bread Board??? We may even be able to get a drink instead of just a sandwich! :)