Singing With The Aliens


Roswell, New Mexico. Land of the Weirds.

H & I got there on a week day when the sun was already down. The Main Street was desert. We parked and started walking in search of we-didn’t-know-what.

The street lamps were shaped as Aliens, with slanting eyes on the bulb. Actually, there’s not much in Roswell which isn’t shaped as an Alien. It is the official local business since 1947.

Everything was closed apart from a cheap-looking souvenir shop selling an impressive collection of crappy derivative Alien products. More little green men than one could ever dream of. We were alone in the shop and started playing like kids with the gadgets. Soon, a very large man from Arkansas got in and chatted us up, all excited to hear that I had an accent. (In the Midwest, I often trigger enthusiasm as soon as I open my mouth to speak, just because people are not that exposed to foreigners. Years ago, I got on a bus in Kansas City and a man fighting cancer started talking to me. He made a general announcement to all the passengers: “We have someone from Paris with us today!” No kidding, people gave me a round of applause, asked me how tall the Eiffel Tower was and some of them even shook my hand when I got off the bus as if I was a Prophet. How can I not LOVE Americans?)

When we paid for our Alien stuff, we engaged in conversation with the woman at the counter. She informed us of all the hot spots in town: flying saucer outside the Super 8 motel, Alien-shaped bushes outside McDonald’s, Alien figurine outside KFC etc. She told us that she had been in town for many years, but that she wasn’t originally from Roswell. H risked a very burning question: “And where are you from?” Believe it or not, she got all elusive.

We walked out and H was overexcited: “Did you realise? She WOULDN’T tell us where she’s from!!!! She’s one of them.” We toured all the curiosities we were recommended. Cardboard and more cardboard. We passed a Mexican restaurant with Alien mariachi painted on it. This one was winning by far.

Tired of sci-fi, we rushed into a karaoke bar to get a drink or two (or ten). But sci-fi was ahead. I went to the bathroom and I don’t know how this elegant old lady soon found out that I was French, and started telling me this delirious story of her biological dad who was French but she never met him while I was washing my hands. The whole thing was becoming a bit creepy.

People were cheerfully drinking and singing. They all seemed to know each other, like one big extraterrestrial family. There was a cool atmosphere beyond the overall weirdness. H & I were sitting in our corner, as the only regular people of the room. Only a drunk man in his 50s tried to make friends with us, in the barely hidden objective to drag us on the dance floor and have a good excuse to wrap his arm around our waist. I resisted as long as I could but finally let myself be led into spinning with him.

We were finally called out to sing. We got up and walked to the stage, sensing a little hostility in the audience. We “These Boots are made for walkin”-ed it with all our heart. God we were good in our badness. We ended the song in a dead silence. NO REACTION. Only one lady timidly clapped. H pointed at her from the stage and said: “This lady liked it!” She was probably banned from the family for treason to the Alien code of Honor. We’ll never know for sure.

Anyway, that was rough to feel hated in a karaoke bar. We went outside for a smoke. I asked H “But why, why are they hating us like that?” I have a fair experience of being hated from the first glance for no reason, especially by girls. But never in a karaoke bar. H said that “These Boots are made for walkin” is some kinda feminist manifesto, like a fuck you song. Oh yeah. So we had to be all love love soapy to be appreciated? I am lol-ing.

A group of people passed us on their way out. “Let’s get away from these smokers”, one mean lady said. OK, ROSWELL! WE GOT IT! You don’t like our presence. We are leaving. The real reason why you hate us people is because we are young, blonde and hot and we lead our life how we want and our car is bigger than yours. Hihi. I know it is cheap thinking, but they deserve it.

We got back in H’s Jeep and hit the road in the middle of the night. As soon as we got out of town, we laughed our head off and yelled on some Lady Gaga hits. We just wanted to put as many miles as we could between us and Roswell.

O Adventure. I worship you.

Pictures are not mine. They were lazily taken from Google Images and I am bored to look up the photographers’ name. Get in touch to sue me if they happen to be yours. 

Nightmare in New Mexico


Two fearless blondes in a Jeep on Route 66: H & I revived Thelma & Louise for a few days (no rape and no gun though.)

After 2 days on the road and a failed karaoke stop in Roswell, we drove east in the middle of the night. We randomly stopped along the way at 4am, woke up the owner of a motel and crashed in the same bed.

In the morning, we learned that we were in Tucumcari, New Mexico, a quaint Route 66 town straight from a movie set, perfectly vintage, outdated and pinupy.

After breakfast, we went seeking for morning adventures. Is it the vintage flair that gave H the idea to improvise a photo shoot in a disaffected petrol station, with me and my glittery bikini?

I don’t clearly remember how this occured. She suggested that I strip on the side of the road and handed me cow boy boots: “You can wear this!” I hypnotically said yes to everything. H is a movie director and therefore has the power of making people adopt her ideas with no discussion as if they came from God.

(I am crazy and kinda good material for that type of stuff, too.)

There we were, soon finding ourselves taking/shooting glamour-butt poses with curious glances from car drivers passing by.

All of a sudden, a biker spurted out of nowhere and stopped a few steps away from us. After the first wave of shock, I was praying super hard that he didn’t really park there because of our impromptu photo shoot. When he shouted “This is what you need!”, all my hopes vanished and I started freaking out, smelling a potential Thelma & Louise not funny moment. My panic only got worse when biker man said: “My name is Scouter, but they call me Nightmare!”

He got off his bike and helped me up on the darling. I opposed no resistance. Nightmare then started showing me the moves to play it like a Playmate. “See, you can pose like this, put your arms there, your feet up.” Cheap truck driver calendar type. “Bien sûr, Monsieur” I thought, and I let him manipulate me like a doll. I couldn’t possibly be serious so I did it full out, laid on my back, spread my legs open, arched my waist, whilst H was documenting this surreal outdoors modelling lecture.

After a moment, he got his old flip phone out and asked us: “Can I please take one for myself, so that people believe me? Give me that, please!”

Nightmare happened to be on the board of the Route 66 magazine, and he promised us to get the pictures published. This is how my belated Playmate career got launched.

I finally put some clothes back on and we hugged Nightmare good bye.

I don’t know how long we laughed at what had just happened.

No photo shoot will ever possibly equal this one.

Picture by HB – A series of our Route 66 adventures is available on her official website

The Female Explorers Game


After a couple of days along Route 66, somewhere between New Mexico and Texas, I asked H if her Jeep had a name. (It is a family thing to name the cars and I naturally expect everyone to do so). The answer was no and I thought the Jeep deserved a brave groundbreaking female name. As we had already played the States capital game across the whole of Arizona, I threw a new proposal in the air: the Female Explorers game. Which female explorer was cool enough to deserve a Jeep being named after her?

We both realised that we didn’t know any female explorers, apart from Alexandra David-Néel on my side. But Alexandra is my sister-in-law so we had to find something else.

Thank God for Wikipedia: they really think of everything. They have a list of female explorers and travellers. I read the whole list out loud while H was driving.

Occasionally, those hot chicks are designated as the “first person” to have ever broken a record. But in most cases they are only the “first woman” or even the “first black woman” to have done something.

Some records were also kinda stupid, like the woman who survived being thrown down the Niagara Falls in a barrel to make fast cash and avoid going to a home. Some stories were thrilling at first and then disappointing in the sense that the women did amazing things all their life but ended up dying falling off their bike or bitten by a dog.

After a couple of hours, we narrowed down our choice to 5 names, based on the name itself, the relevance of the record and the extraordinariness of the life history:

  • Jean as Jean Batten: New Zealand aviator. First PERSON to fly between England and New Zealand solo, sleeping with rich men to get airplanes. Died alone bitten by a dog in Majorca.
  • Sophia as Sophia Danenberg: American mountain climber. First black woman to reach summit of Mount Everest.
  • Lady Hay as Lady Hay Drummond-Hay: British journalist. First woman to travel around in a Zeppelin. She wasn’t an aviator, she was just hanging out with aviators and writing about it.
  • Mae as Mae Jemison: American astronaut. First black woman in space.
  • Annemarie as Annemarie Schwarzenbach: Swiss writer, photographer and journalist. Beautiful and boyish, she was a womanizer and even screwed the daughter of the Turkish Ambassador in Teheran. After many travels and burning adventures, she prematurely died falling off her bike. (Bummer).

Annemarie’s story was by far the most epic and inspiring despite the unexpected ending, but the name Annemarie is too connoted. It was the imaginary friend of H’s mum as well as my aunt.

So we went for Lady Hay because it’s cool to say and has this Queen of Rap twist to it.

After that exercise, we got uplifted and were looking for records to break.

What exploration niche can we find?



First picture above by HB : My ass on a Cadillac in Tucumcari, New Mexico – A series of our Route 66 adventures is available on her official website

Second picture above: Annemarie Schwarzenbach and ? – Picture by Marianne Breslauer (?)