Thursday 17 October 2019

Detroit here I come

The 397 bus still isn’t taking its usual route. Meaning I have to start my journey with a 62, rather than a 15, bus. The 62 isn’t as frequent so I check when one is due.

I only have to wait a couple of minutes before it turns up. Just 2 stops I’m taking it for. To Olympic Stadium where I’m changing. The 397 arrives just about immediately. This is going well.

It’s less than a week since I was last in Schiphol. My routine remains much the same as usual. I grab a sandwich from the Albert Heijn landside. Much cheaper than anything airside.

I breeze through bag drop-off, as I should with my pushing-in boarding.

Once through security and passport control, I head to the nearest duty-free shop. Where I pick up a bottle of Speybourn whisky, remembering to use the 5 euro voucher Dolores found for me. The discount means it’s under 30 euros. Not an Islay whisky, which is my preference, but good enough. And way cheaper.

Despite having to walk right past it, I don’t drop by the Irish pub. I’m trying to economise this time. Dolores has made her opinion very clear about my expenses when travelling. I promised her this would be a cheap trip.

Instead I sit dutifully at my gate reading Private Eye while I wait for boarding time to roll around. I’m such a good boy.

Sitting on the plane, I’m playing Slade songs in my head. Such an underrated band.

We’re about to leave the gate. The woman sitting next to me gets up and moves to sit next to her friend. Now I have two seats to myself. Win.

We’re all loaded up, but can’t leave the gate for another 25 minutes. Wonderful.

A 16-year-old girl over the aisle is doing her homework. I’m trying hard not to tell her to put the light on. “You’re going to ruin your eyes like that.” I’m starting to think and talk like my mum.

I pass the flight with a few light films. As usual. Time doesn’t drag too much.

Matt Becker, of Brewery Becker, is waiting for me at the airport. He’s the one who has invited me over. During the 40 minutes it takes him to drive us to Brighton, we chat away about various historical topics. Like me Matt is a big history geek. It gives us lots to talk about.

After dropping off my junk at my hotel, we head to his brewery. For a few beers, obviously. I kick off with the 1857 Barclay Perkins Mild he brewed to a recipe of mine. It’s lovely stuff, with a deep fruitiness. And deceptively drinkable considering itself. Dangerously drinkable, even.

Matt’s taproom is as beautiful as ever. I’m amazed at the amount of time and work he put into getting it to look like this. There’s a pub sort of vibe, as well. An intangible thing. The combination of the two is why it works so well.

“What would you like to eat?” Matt asks.

“I’m easy. What are the options?”

Matt lists off several types of ethnic foods which are available locally.

“Japanese. That’ll do.”

It’s not far. Just a few hundred metres along Main Street. Pretty sure we ate here last time I was over around 18 months ago.

I get a combination dish, which includes both sushi and gyoza. Yummy stuff, but I can't manage it all. I have the leftovers packaged up to take away. I can finish it off for breakfast tomorrow.

After eating, I’m starting to fade. Which is good. Means I’ll get a good kip and hopefully switch my body clock to this time zone.

A nightcap of whisky helps bring on the cavalry charge of sleep.

Brewery Becker
500 W Main St,
MI 48116.

Sushi Zen
114 W Grand River Ave,
MI 48116.

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