01 November 2007

Dare to enter the bermuda wang...

: What you need is a good, long rest. I suggest Florida.
Homer: Florida? But that's America's wang!
Doctor: They prefer, "The Sunshine State."

So I'm in Orlando for a work meeting. I don't really care for Orlando much. Happiest place on earth my ass. The main thing I hate is my sudden and complete inability to navigate when I arrive. I have a good sense of direction. I'm generally able to get where I'm going without incident and with minimal effort. Not in Orlando. It's like everything in the place is protected by some sort of cloaking technology that prevents you from locating it. I think whatever it is that causes all the confusion in the Bermuda Triangle can also been found in abundance in the greater Orlando metropolitan area.

One of the main problems is a complete disregard for the highway naming conventions observed by the rest of the U.S. To wit, odd numbered highways go north and south, even numbers run east and west. I-4...not so much.

As you can see here, the road does go nominally east/west:

It's the red line going from the Atlantic coast to the Gulf coast (or vice versa)

But notice that it is also moving decidedly north/south.

Let's observe I-4 more closely as it meanders through O-town:

I-4 is that big red line running vertically through the map...does that say "east/west" to you?

Or how about this one. Note how I-4 runs perpendicular to the East-West Expressway.

Anyway, this complete disregard for the accepted norms is but one of Orlando's problems. It is full of tons of annoying stuff like:
  • Toll roads. Everything is a toll road. Drive 50 yards, pay a toll
  • The tourists. The mouse draws so many tourists
  • The Conventioneers. I think Orlando hosts more conferences than anywhere in the world. The Conference Center is enormous
In general, Orlando is a frightening place. It's a mysterious spawning ground that gives rise to boy bands and mousketeers. It's the home of Celebration. It has a Christian theme park. It's a weird place.

Also, I love staying in hotels, but we are in this complete shithole which features doors that open onto the parking lot (which I think technically makes it a motel), rooms that reek of mildew, and sheets that don't fit properly on the bed so if you toss and turn a bit (like I do) you will awaken (as I did) to find the fitted sheet pulled loose from the mattress corners, said sheet and mattress pad bunched up underneath you, and your face dangerously close the the bare mattress. Also: unsatisfying pillows (although in fairness, I am fussy about pillows), an air-conditioner with settings that are limited to "freezing" or "off", bad lighting, poorly located outlets, and a decidedly sketchy clientele. I'm so ready to check out and head northward on the Turnpike.

Of course, I have to come back down here again on Wednesday for a conference. Maybe there really is no escape.

1 comment:

dj evol eno said...

Totally agree, i've only had to do that (drive in O-town) a few times in my life and I hated every minute of every visit, while on the roads. The tolls made me want to kill people.

Side note: Island Adventures...awesome.

What work were you doing down there, I don't think I know what you're doing "professionally" these days. Will you be down there much...able to visit the recent lost child who's headed that way...THIS WEEKEND!?!?!