I arrived into Miami. I love Miami, especially having given birth four times here, but it changes quickly. Everything changes quickly.
The car rental guy waved his arm across the entire garage ‘We no longer allocate the car, choose any one you want.’ After living 25 years on an island where the Piggly Wiggly only offers one type of toothpaste, choosing any kind of rental car made my head spin. Speaking of which, I did the next morning – desperate to keep my training going I found an early morning spin class. Did you know you can now charge your phone inside a gym locker? That’s weird but not quite as weird as the dude next to me on the cycle tapping my arm every so often, in a compassionate ‘we-can-do-it’ sort of way. I did not want to be tapped compassionately at my sweatiest moment. I’m English for heaven’s sake, we hardly hug our mothers.
Later I went to a mall, to see what was going on in the world of commerce. It was a little quiet, just a flock of sales assistants trying to sell me something. Anything. I didn’t want anything. When I valet parked, the young jockey asked for my number. This seemed a step up from the sweaty morning moment. I was rather pleased, until I realized this is how the ticket was now issued. No paper, just an electronic receipt. This turned out to be really annoying because when I came out, I spent several good minutes searching in my hand bag for the bloody ticket, till I remembered it was electronic.
I drove the rental car up to Fort Lauderdale, where I had been asked to speak to several hundred women. It was a beautiful space on the water and a delicious lunch. All the proceeds from the ticket sales were being donated to the Broward Public Library. I was seated at a table with several of the committee ladies, one of whom leaned across to her neighbor and whispered loudly, ‘Who is this India Hicks and what are we doing here?’ I turned to my own neighbor ‘Oh dear, I hope she’s not too disappointed.’ ‘Well, we were expecting an Agatha Christie author this year,’ she told me, just as the blinds came down and the podium lit up.