Hallo from Memphis, Tennessee. The Mid-South. And of course Elvis, Johnny Cash, Howlin’ Wolf, Sun Records, Graceland and the title of one of the most dangerous cities in the US.

You wouldn’t think so. Staying as we are on the Ground (1st) Floor of this hotel. With its tall, elegant turn of the century Downtown buildings, pretty and gaily decorated street trams thundering by less than 20 feet from our ‘patio window’ to the outside world.

And the park. Just across to the right of us – 150 feet away. With the large group of homeless folks. Dissin’ and cussin’ one another.

So before it all kicks off, just a quick update. For now. No pictures today as again Pookaverse is let down by another pitiful broadband connection.

The hotel is right in the middle of Downtown and less than 1/4 mile away from the Mississippi river which you can see quite clearly from Confederate Park. The last time we saw the Mississippi river was as it greyly sauntered its way through St Paul’s Minnesotta.

We were there less than 2 hours ago. Heads still a little blurry after the hop-skip-jump mileage from Little Rock, Arkansas – 138. And a very late night out listening and requesting songs at the Duelling Piano’s bar Willie D’s.

Two piano’s, four ribald musicians and a few dollars to make a request. Rohan requested a rendition of the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ for $3. The wizened, charismatic and extremely talented Southern Gentleman gave Pookaverse his all. You have never heard better.

The piano does not have to be in tune. It wasn’t. The tune just happened to be belted out with all the emotion he could muster. Simply Magical. The whole bar cheered that one at the end. Including Pookaverse.

He also composed a playful and decidedly dirty ditty on the fly in honour of a young woman’s birthday and had her seated on the piano next to him. His version of this copyrighted classic made several requests for information on the day of her birthday.

“Why are your jeans so tight?” And. “Do you have Camel Toe?” As well as asking “Where she was hiding her Fish Taco?” In good humour.

When he learnt that Pookaverse hooms were both British, he knocked out a perfect rendition of Monty Python’s “The Lumberjack Song” just for us. We talked to him after his set. A great person to be around. Thanks Sheldon, we needed that.

There seems to be plenty of good humour in these parts. And manners. Given the plethora of films, media reports and images portraying the Southern states of the US as backward, ignorant or just plain ‘rednecks’ the level of courtesy exchanged here is warm, polite and friendly.  With that wonderful drawl – just how you imagine it.

True. Pookaverse is travelling through predominately Metropolitan areas. There are some scary looking folks toddling around. Some scary sounding folks burbling around. And it is possible in the deepest, darkest knooks and trailer parks of this vast continent that these caricatures exist. Just as those caricatures exist in the UK.

The chav, the council house and that strange family from Rhyl all with a deeply furrowed ‘uni-brow’. Busy coating their arms with saliva and looking like they have all been ‘at one another’. More than once.

Travel for the next few days is as follows:

Travel Info 01/11/2012: Oklahoma City, OK – Little Rock, AR (Yesterday)
Travel Info 02/11/2012: Little Rock, AR – Memphis, TN
Travel Info 03/11/2012: Memphis, TN – Birmingham, AL
Travel Info 04/11/2012: Birmingham, AL – Atlanta, GA (3 nights)

In the meantime, take care from Pookaverse…

Oh look, its just kicked off across the street…. Ha-ha…. Let’s hope none of them is ‘packing’….Ha-ha…..look at ’em go….now where are those binoculars?


One Response to “Memphis”

  1. jose Says:

    The piano bar sounds a great night out or was it an all day one?

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