The usual impressiveness of the highway leading to the place apart Tampa road offered unique spectacles and experiences .It ran across many a waterbody of extreme sprawling nature.One of the bridges over it was famed for its sheer length and was reported a record holder on that count (National I persume). True to its geographical nomenclature the bay had eaten into the peninsular landmass in a big way. The waters were placid and bereft of waves .Some speedboat like vessels were found accelerating and tearing through it in their lonely and uncrowded voyages. In the backwaters of Cochin boats of all description and so too ships moved in the water space as if they would run into one another anytime.It was a different woeful cup of marine transportation .A visible water space crunch when put in to perspective the number and size of vessel fleets using it. Banattee river on the way had a large unriverine spread and it could be courtesy it hitting its estuarial point immediately ahead .But towards the western side of the lake the water periphery sported a large number of squatting wooden living quarters and it put me in the mind of the estuarial chandragiri river in Kannoore district with similar presence of water front human habitations barely visible in the thick garden of coconut trees and the fishing country vessels operating even in the scorching high noon .But similarity would end at this point ,for American water bodies held crystal clear,unpolluted,and unstinking water in them whereas back home they all invariably stank,decoloured ,effluent filled ,stool floating and so the alien water bodies and their Blighty versions looked alike from afar only .At closer proximity every thing would unravel.
We had crossed the territory in our first journey from Tampa airport to sarasota .In the moon lit night the waterbodies had an ethereal sparkle about them,holding in its bosom the inexhaustible mystique of America nurtured in my mind over half a century if not slightly more .The urban spaces in America were quite dissimilar with those in India. The commercial establishments never stood cheek by jowl .The dustiness and the cacophonous pandemonium of the labyrinthian narrow roads and gullies and their ever milling populace ,the inevitable slum district ,the oppressive heat etc were conspicuous by their absolute absence in the American idea of planning their cities and town scapes.Instead the place appeared quite laid back ,vastly roomy ,buildings (ground storied mostly) were interspersed with liberally spaced vegetated territories .Parking spaces stood in neat harmony with the surrounding nature which flaunted its unmarred green beauty in carefree glee .Gas stations stood in their unmanned ,unassuming minimal presence .We shopped in an Indian store ran by Patel Brothers .Our lunch was in a Hyderabadi Biriyani Grill(hotel)nearby .It had a squatting exterior and smallish restaurant space .A tall ,wiry young chap enquired whether we hailed from Hyderabad to which we answered that we were from the far southern Kerala .On a counter quiz his place of origin was divulged as Gujarat in stead of the near sure (for us) Hyderabad .On the way back we dropped by a Swedish furniture store of IKEA.It was a very large furniture vending facility and every item of furniture and other household article there was highly collapsible in nature. They were delivered not in their properly fitted out shape calling for elaborate goods carriages to shift them home .Dismantled down to the tiny part even a large furniture item could be consigned to a box of appropriate size and they could be placed either in the dicky of a car or in the back seat it to be driven home .The consignment contained a sparsely equipped tools kit and a miniature manual which would enable any layperson to fit it back into its utility shape and size.