I’d planned to have a fairly relaxing day and that’s pretty much what happened. During the afternoon I got the bus out to the mall to have a look into potentially purchasing some sort of electric shaver/beard trimming device. Since I’ve been travelling with hand luggage only, constantly buying razors and then having to leave them behind has been a bit annoying. On the way back from the mall I saw an ingenious attempt to travel on the bus without paying. An old dear had a load of supermarket shopping bags lined up at the bus stop. When the bus pulled up a man, who was also at the bus stop said, “I’ll get them, ma’am,” before taking the shopping onto the bus and placing them next to a seat. He then took a seat near the back of the bus and pretended to tie his shoelace. The driver, aware of the bag helper not having paid, shouted down the bus, “I can see you.” He replied, “Aw come on, it’s absolutely freezing out there.” He was clearly homeless and was looking to stay on the warm bus for a bit. This feel good story ended happily as the driver allowed him to stay on the bus.
The temperature had definitely dropped a fair bit today. Just after dark I braved the icy wind coming off the Tennessee River for photo of the lit up Walnut Street Bridge. After that I fancied a Friday night beer. The World of Beer, complete with its mind-boggling selection of ales, seemed to have closed down. However just across the road I found a bar with a decent beer options. The person behind the bar handed me a four-page beer menu and began to tell me about the guest ales. I felt bad to interrupt them to ask for a $2.50 pint of PBR. To be fair she agreed that this was the best of the bunch if you’re drinking “crappy, generic domestic lagers.” PBR should use that in their marketing!
It seemed extremely quiet in the bar for a Friday that. That was apparently due to the weather. Sitting in the next seat along was Johnny, who seemed like an affable sort of bloke to talk to. Another fellow called Eric came in. Judging by his appearance, Eric was most probably homeless. Fair play to the bar for letting him in. At many places the bouncers wouldn’t let him past on grounds of appearance. Eric seemed friendly enough and told me some good stories about his navy days in Africa. His memory didn’t seem great though as he repeated himself a fair bit. I felt sorry for him when people in the bar were getting excited about the snow outside. This poor bugger had to go out and sleep under a bridge tonight. It may not be the greatest idea buying alcohol for homeless people but I got Eric a PBR. At least it would keep him out of the cold for another hour. He seemed genuinely grateful for this modest gesture. Just as I was leaving my accent was clocked my someone who had lived in Norfolk (East Anglia rather than Virginia) while in the United States Air Force. Again like everyone else in the bar he was friendly and keen to talk to the tourist. I suspect he may have been slightly worse for wear as he felt the need to give me a few friendly slaps on the back. It was clearly a sign of endearment but he had a knack of doing it really hard!
Chattanooga is clearly one of those place where it doesn’t snow much. Inside the bar people were panicking about getting home and they ended up closing at 10.30pm instead of 2am. The thing was, there was barely any snow. Ten minutes worth of light snowflakes was enough to get everyone looking out of the window. It then stopped and barely stuck to parked cars, never mind the ground!