|Mermaid at the Sip 'n Dip bar
On the other side of the wall is the Sip 'n Dip bar filled with kitsch trinkets of various kinds, roofed over with bamboo like a Hawaiian beach bar, carpeted with something featuring multi-coloured bubbles and furnished like a Hopper painting. It sells cheap martinis and very good desserts and is obviously popular with tourists and locals alike. To get in, you have to show your identity to a heavily-built doorman even if you are clearly in your 40s like us, and get a paper bracelet just like in a hospital. There are windows in the wall between the bar and the swimming pool, beneath water level, and every Tuesday to Saturday night a girl dressed as a mermaid comes and performs acrobatic swimming in front of the bar windows for an hour. At 9pm a lady arrives to play the piano and sing racy songs. She's been playng here since 196?.
Our second evening in Great Falls was more mundane. I spent an hour in Barnes and Noble, enjoying looking at books and then we had dinner at Pizza Hut. It is sort of impressive to think that no matter where you go in the US, you can have an experience like that. I like hanging around Barnes and Noble and I was quite impressed with the range of viewpoints in the books on offer, even though there is something about this whole region of the country that I can't quite put my finger on. It's like the feeling I get when I'm visiting my parent's village It's perfectly nice and I don't mind spending time there, but... I think monocultural is the term I'm looking for. And I can't live with that.
OK, so we did make a little cultural discovery this evening, while reading the news on Mike's cell phone in Pizza Hut. It's not often a newspaper article makes me reach for the dictionary but apparently when the House of Commons 'tables' a motion in London, it means they'll keep on hurling insults at each other until a solution appears. When the Senate 'tables' a motion in Washington it means they are going to refrain from talking about it and go and have a drink in the hope it will have gone away by Tuesday.