Long time no blog!
Yesterday I started out at 09:00 CET and got in the hotel in Orlando, Florida (US) around 22:00 EST. I let you, dear reader, figure out how long that actually was. Lots happened in between and I’m not going to make a complete novel of each point. But here is an overview of a few points, not much positive, as there was not much good, but I’ll get to know US better next time, I hope..
* Flight was great. 8 hours in a 747, I just sit there, did nothing, ate, watched 3 movies, listened to my iPod and just did nothing (I peed above New York though, hihihi). I was surprised.. but I’m used to sitting anyway. While minding my own business I thought: how do I know US? Soaps, movies, CNN, history lessons.. Meanwhile, I got sick: ate something bad..
* Washington D.C., Dulles airport: yeah! I needed fresh air. BADLY! And a toilet! OK, no fresh air, the first toilet was crappy.. I thought, lets go to the Red Carpet Lounge of United (had free voucher). Wrong! 2 hours I had to go through identity check, fingerprint scanning and getting myself photographed. I was pulled out to double check what I declared. Tip: do not write you have any dollars with you on the form unless over $10,000! DO NOT be honest, and sure not when you have a connecting flight! Or get screwed like the nice, I think Ukrainian girl traveling in group, probably missed her flight and was in deep problems.. Going in US you are treated as a criminal until you get out. Welcome? Right.. You can’t even object, that’s ‘democrazy’ for you. Anyway, it’s paranoid..
* They put fast food in your hands on the plane. Candy and such. “Here’s your snack sir!” Ships in plastic bag, a Mars candy bar and a sandwich. I ate the sandwich and the rest I gave back..
* Waiting in Washington. No way out of the terminal. No fresh air. 3 hours. But I met my colleague Kristian, so I had company. While walking down the terminal I saw a few things which made me mad. A woman giving orders to two dozen kids: “Red group come here to get your potato chips!”, while she was opening a big box to get the fat-food out. 15 minutes later I passed the same group again: they were eating burgers and drinking soda. I had not my camera with me, but that was one for a WTF???
* US eats with plastic. Some use big plastic bags to put over plastic bags to envelop them in other plastic bags to put a few plastic cups and some trash in there. Experienced the scene in the Red Carpet Lounge of United airlines. I looked for normal cups, non-plastic. Looking around I found none and I was about to give in, until I saw a few high above on a rack. It looked like decoration! I reached out and took one, it was real! A non-plastic cup to get coffee! WOOW!!! I refused to take food, only plastics. I’m not that picky, but it was really getting on my nerves.. Btw, Starbucks apparently gives a discount when you bring your own cup, that’s pretty cool!
* People are friendly in US, sometimes a bit to friendly and you I don’t know what to say. Like, “Hello sir, how you doing?” At first, I explained I am OK but a bit sick and explained and asked how s/he was. Then I understood you just have to ignore the question. Was bit funny there.
* Spend my first $1,75 on a plastic bottle of water, which tasted good!
* Peepholes when you do your big business in toilets. Note that, the toilets I sit on which were a few (I was sick, see above), it’s filled half with water. Why? It easier to keep them clean I guess, but I guess more water is used. Or? Still confused. Same in hotel..
* I saw no graffiti yet in Orlando. It’s to clean too, to much order, to straight forward. They use numbers for bus stops! Weird, but it’s another country of course. I don’t see such differences in Europe though.
* You have to tip in US. Restaurants and pubs or so. Part of their wages apparently..
* Funny situation in hotel. I went my room, unpacked (learned that from my friend Russell), unmacked my bed just to feel at home and went to the bathroom. Oops. They didn’t clean it up. Double Oops, there is a bag in there. Triple Oops! It’s from a woman! The bra I pulled out was confirming that. I ran down and said there was a problem. I literally said: “Well, I have no problem sharing a room with a woman, but I guess she would have a problem with me.” Sometimes I say silly things. Anyway, got new room.
Now a list of things what was the first time for me on this trip:
* First time on another continent.
* First time in US.
* First time a stamp in my passport.
* First time a long distant flight.
* First time I saw Da Vinci code movie, which I didn’t really like (book was great though).
* First time I spend a dollar.
* First time getting a ride in an American car.
* First time US internet connection.
* First time Starbucks (nothing special to me)
* And more..
Anyway, it’s nice… I’m not disappointed..