Saturday, July 19, 2008

Entry 4 "The Change We Seek" Carpool Across America

Group Shot in front of the Buffalo, NY

Saturday July 19th:
We made it! To Canada, that is. Last night at the very tired hour of 10pm as we were approaching Detroit in hopes of reaching the new Dark Knight film at 10:30pm (Trevor can't contain his urge to Batgasm, nor talk about the latest Batman film every 22 minutes) we actually crossed the damn border to be greeted by a customs official. In his Canadian ayccent (don't you know you're in Canada, ay) he told us we had to cross back into the US, prompting Ben to have a mild panic attach, Cristina to explain why she was driving with such bad American navigators ("I just found them on the road...") and delaying our Detroit arrival a bit. Ah well, the joys of roadtripping with a faulty GPS system.

Earlier in the day, back in Cleveland after interviewing the green collar job folks, we picked up another Zimrider and college buddy, Matt Dietz. With Matt in the Prius, we hit up the Cleveland area Barack Obama headquarters in what seemed to be a financially depressed area. From the looks of it, the Obama campaign was emotionally and financially invigorating the area with young professionals and community volunteers alike, working to register voters and spread the Obama message. In fact, we interviewed a nurse, Veronica, who as a single mother was volunteering her time and efforts to canvass the neighborhood on behalf of Senator Obama and Change. In her free time, which she could be spending with her son, or making money with a side job, she stressed to us on camera and off, how she was volunteering to avoid the regret she'd feel post-election if she wasn't part of the movement.

With her sacrifice in mind, we drove west on I90 and passed signs to Toledo, where Spanish company Gamesa is greenvigorating the local economy with massive wind projects. At a gas station to pee and get drinks, we overheard the most interesting conversations between pissed off drivers and the station's attendants. "It's $3.88 per gallon down the road and here it's $3.98. Why are you guys trying to cheat us?" and "I have a $10 but please fill up only $5 dollars worth so I have $5 left tomorrow. " Poor workers; their minimum wage jobs have nothing to do with the pricing nor decision making, and yet they take all the abuse. In fact, one attendant looked so used to being a verbal punching bag, that he asked to come with us on the trip. He said he couldn't just leave, he had rent to pay, so we left and continued on down the road towards Detroit via Canada (?!)

Zimming down the road...

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