Saturday, July 05, 2008

Dancing on the Moon

It was July 4th yesterday, which also happens to be Independence Day in the United States. Things can get pretty crazy here with all the fireworks and stuff, so I decided I'd take a long week-end and spend a few days on the moon.

But with gas prices so high these days, I didn't think I could afford it if I went by myself and none of my friends wanted to go, so I decided to try and thumb a ride. I haven't hitch-hiked anywhere since I was in college, and it wasn't always easy to get a ride back then, but it's a lot harder now, especially if you're going someplace far away, like the moon.

But I figured I'm also a lot more patient than I was back then so if I had to wait a little longer, I wouldn't mind so much. And as they say, the journey is just as important as the destination, so I thought I would just focus on the hitch-hiking aspect of my trip rather than the fact that I was actually trying to get somewhere.

So I didn't really mind that it took so long to get a ride. It was hot outside and I had to wait a few hours before anyone picked me up, but the wait wasn't that terrible. My first ride wasn't going all the way to the moon, though. As a matter of fact, they weren't even going half that far. But they took me as far as they went, and then they let me off at some diner.

It was an okay place, but I didn't have to wait there very long, since people were coming and going all the time and it wasn't too hard to get another ride. This family with two little kids picked me up, and I thought the kids might be a problem, since they were young and the moon was far away and I thought they might get bored and whiny after a while. But they were cool. They had games and movies to keep them busy, so they never got impatient or anything. The parents were pretty cool too. They traveled a lot, and they were both good conversationalists, so they had plenty of stories to tell and it never got boring. I offered to chip in some money for gas, but they said it wasn't necessary.

So I got to the moon and thanked them for the ride, but after that, I realized there wasn't much to do up there. So I wandered around aimlessly for a while until I found a small encampment. There were a lot of people there -- most of them were inside the cabins, but a lot of people were just hanging around outside. Some of them were doing a kind of group dance thing, or it looked like they could have been exercising, even though no two people seemed to be doing the same thing at the same time. Another group of people was preparing some food over a huge open fire, so I helped out with that, even though I wasn't really hungry.

After a while, it started to get dark, which also made it get a lot colder. There wasn't any room in any of the cabins for me to sleep in, since I was one of the last people to show up there, so I set up some blankets at the side of one of the buildings, and that wasn't too bad, since I got some of the heat radiated from inside. I wouldn't say it was the best night of sleep I ever had, but when I awoke, I felt invigorated and refreshed, so I decided to run a few laps around the encampment before breakfast. Normally, I don't like to run, but gravity isn't much of an issue on the moon, so you feel a lot lighter and you can run a lot longer before you get tired.

I kind of liked it up there. I was actually thinking of not coming back until tomorrow, but a lot of people were packing up this morning and I figured it would be a lot easier getting a ride if I didn't wait until everyone already left.

I got a ride easily enough, but the people who picked me up weren't from Earth -- they were just stopping there on their way home. I forget where they said they were from, or maybe they didn't even tell me. Their English wasn't that good so I'm not exactly sure what they said the whole time. They didn't talk that much in the first place, so the trip back seemed longer than it otherwise would have. Plus, wherever you go, it usually seems like the trip back home takes a lot longer for some reason.