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Miami

Wow, it’s been the better part of a fortnight since we alighted Flight Winkler to Miami —and we’ve since shifted north some 960 miles— but I still haven’t written a damn thing about the place. This is something I must obviously remedy. Starting… now.

Three words: Grand Theft Auto.

Those of you who, like myself, fell into the timesink that was GTA: Vice City, you already know this town. For those of you who have watched Scarface or maybe Bad Boys, you already know this town (although not as intimately, perhaps, as GTA players). Every corner we turned in South Beach was a jaw–dropping experience: “Holy crap, this is the alleyway where the deal with the Haitians turns bad and you take them all out and chase the guy on the motorbike! Holy crap, that's the staircase that leads you to the roof! Look! The Colony Hotel! The beach! The bridges! The island film studio where you shoot your porno film! The tiny peninsula with the lighthouse! Oh wait, there’s no lighthouse, just a barren peninsula… that’s weird”.

Vice City is Miami, Miami is Vice City, let’s move on because I sound like an asshole.

Our time in Florida was made unique to our other North American experiences by one factor: the weather. Finally, a city in which I could spend winter if only we weren’t leaving in two nights. Warm and sunny, just the way I like ‘em. I shudder to think what summer is like in the sunshine state (the word humidity comes to mind) but winter was enough to shake out the chills that Canada had put in our bones.

It was also Orange Bowl week, which was cause for much revelry and the distribution of footballs and anal beads with Oklahoma logos on them, and a reminder of just how much Floridians love their oranges. Its blossom is their state flower, its juice their state beverage, and oranges adorn their license plates and software companies like they’re goin’ out of style. Kind of like kangaroos in Australia… and black swans in Western Australia. Everybody loves a mascot.

The availability of wi–fi at our hostel was a mixed blessing: sure, it was there, but its speed and reliability was a major problem whilst their policy of blocking port 25 made email more fun that I had remembered. A nice place, to be sure, but all too soon we boarded the train outta there. Stay tuned.