Don't get my wrong. I love Iowa.  I am currently in Iowa CIty, and despite the bleak (and cold!) weather today, it is a funky university town...good walking and people-watching.

But this trip (day 4 of a book tour) began with several unusual conversations:

1. on the plane from Chicago:

Seatmate: Do you know that George Beverly Shea is over 100?

Me: Who?

Seatmate: He is the singer who accompanies Billy Graham. Do you not listen to Billy Graham?

Me: Ah, no, sorry.

Seatmate: I'll now recite the lyrics of one of the songs.


2. On arrival at the airport in Cedar Rapids:

Me: Good morning. Nice to have such a cheerful cab driver.

Cab driver: This isn't a cab.

Me: It isn't? But it says on the side...

Can driver: This is a church and a school, housed within a vehicle designed for spiritual enlightenment.

Me: Oh. Ah...

Cab driver: And I am your teacher and guide.


3. In a restaurant in Iowa City

Me: I'd like a cup of hot tea.

Waiter: We don't have that. Sorry.

Me: Oh. Could you bring me a cup of hot water?

Waiter: Sure.

Me: And a slice of lemon? And maybe a tea bag?

Waiter: Sure.