Con

So, today we had another day in Chester. I spent the morning doing some washing before heading into town. As I noted yesterday, I'd done most of what Chester had to offer on my lap town the previous afternoon. As such, the only things I had really wanted to do were, oddly enough, food related. I'd spotted a traditional cornish pasty place the day before, and so after bringing my fresh clothes back to the room, I headed into the city centre.

The cornish pasty place had only a few things left when I got in, but they said there were more on the way in half an hour. I decided to wait because of one menu item: hoisin duck pasty. I'll let that sink in for a minute. Hoisin duck pasty. Half an hour later, I was back. It was worth it. I've never even heard of duck in a pasty, let alone with an Asian twist. It was fantastic. I almost had a second one, but didn't want to ruin the memory by overstuffing myself. I'll miss you, HDP.

Nearby was a drink place that was basically the Cold Rock of milkshakes. You took any of a hundred different candy bars and toppings, and they blended it together with milk and ice cream for you. Banana and Nutella milkshake. M&Ms and Choc Chip Cookie milkshake. Skittles. Crunchie. Oreo and marshmallow. It was crazy. I had a plain M&Ms one and even that was a little sickening, so I shudder to think what a truly deluxe one would have been like. Instant obesity, probably.

I then wandered out into the suburbs towards a cinema complex. I had little else to do, so decided to go see The Bourne Legacy. I actually thought it was pretty great. I hadn't seen much about how it was received, but I think people were a little hot and cold on it. I thought it had some really powerfully acted character scenes and I didn't mind that it was light on action. There's a chilling sequence in the middle act that is masterfully executed and terrifying.

Sadly, the story gets a bit muddled and there's no clear motivation for the main characters' actions in the last third, nor any obvious reason why it ends where it does. It contextualises a lot of what was going on in the previous films, but mostly relegates the franchise faces to cameos. Still, I enjoyed it, and would come back for another one, especially if they were able to convince Matt Damon to return.

As I was leaving the cinema, a man approached me in the carpark: "Excuse me, excuse me!" He asked for money for a bus ticket. I know. You're already thinking it. Probably not going to be catching a bus. I was thinking it too. But hey, it's a dollar. I was feeling kind. Good karma, all that jazz. Opened up the wallet and handed him a few coins. Maybe he really was just a guy in need. My wallet had a 10 pound note in it when I opened it, and he asked if he could give me all his coins, about 8 pounds worth, and he takes the cash?

I know. It doesn't make sense. Yes. I was suspect too. He counted out seven pound in coins. Three quid, I thought. Maybe it's dodgy, but I'm in a good mood. I thought to myself, well, it's only a couple of bucks. So I swapped the note. I know. I know. He thanked me. It was at that point I remembered that buses take coins and it doesn't make a difference. Hmm. Still, he seemed genuinely relieved. As I walked away I started to count the coins he handed me. Five bucks, if that. I turned back to him. He was running up to another couple exiting the theatre: "Excuse me, excuse me!"

Fuck. What a fucking idiot.

Alarm bells had been ringing the whole time and I just muted them in the name of kindness. Well fuck that shit. I'm never being kind again. I berated myself for the idiocy all the way back home. I'd got all the way through Europe, with its wristband-tying Frenchmen and Ukrainean pickpocketers. I've flown through twenty airports and countless subways. But the thing that gets me is a druggie in a cinema carpark?

For fuck's sake, Nick, you fucking fuck.

A nice lamb shank massaman curry at the great Thai/Teppanyaki restaurant opposite the hotel lifted my self-worth somewhat, particularly once I'd got rid of the piles of shitty coins he'd given me. The meat just fell off the bone, and the festive bank holiday atmosphere meant the restaurant was lively even at 9:30pm. It meant the night didn't have to be written off completely. Tomorrow, we're back on the road, with a drive down to Aberystwyth on the south-western coast.