Capital Punishment

Trip Start Jul 15, 2004
Trip End Apr 05, 2005

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Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Thursday, September 2, 2004

Welcome to Washington, home of the Jobsworth security guard.

Washington is in the grip of security fever. You cannot enter any public building without your bag being x-rayed or searched. No matter where you are in this city you are being watched. It is like being in 1984, Big Brother is everywhere. Every important building is surrounded by concrete crash barriers. You cannot even stand near the Pentagon without some Agent appearing and ushering you away, "Nothing to see here".

"This is for your own protection. If you run we will see it, if you shout we will hear it and if you fart we will smell it."

That is the new slogan of the FBI.

Other than that, Washington is what you would expect from a designed city. The pavements are thirty feet wide on both sides of the road, which are normally two lanes in both directions, if not more. It takes ages to walk anywhere, everything is so spread out.

Having said that we managed to cover the Whitehouse(its only white because they painted it after the British army burnt it down in the war), the Washington monument(its just a big grey spike), the Jefferson Monument(a copy of the Pantheon in Rome), the Lincoln Monument(a copy of the Acropolis in Athens), the grave of JFK and and and, I could go on for ever. We had a guide who was provided free by the hostel. He was a Vietnam veteran and very knowledgeable of World as well as American history. He admitted to us during the tour that it was unusual for an American to know anything about the rest of the world. He also liked telling jokes about Prince Philip saying "No matter what your colour, race or creed Prince Philip has said something to offend you." He did not like it being pointed out you could probably say the same thing about George Bush.

Next stop New York to catch a flight to Los Angles.
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