My first 6 days in the US and other thoughts

Entering the US went smoothly, the border guard looked at my passport and asked "Where the hell are you from?". When I arrived to the US, my bag didn't and was left behind in London. Good thing the airline paid me 50$ for compensation (I got the bag also 2 days later).

When waiting for my connecting flight quite a few people sparked up a conversaton with me which would never happen in Estonia and wouldn't be very likely elsewhere in northern Europe. One of them was a 16-year old dude from Florida who liked to talk about cars. He understood from my accent that I'm from Europe and so he asked "So what's Europe like?". Later he also asked what kind of houses people live in over there and said he prefers to live in the US as its more free here. When I asked how he said as far as he knows people are not allowed to carry guns in Europe.

Americans are generally very friendly, outgoing, outspoken and not at all afraid to express themselves - very nice change to cold northern people. This morning when I went for a walk everybody whom I met on the street (walking their dogs, jogging, going somewhere) said 'Good morning!' to me which I found very nice.

I will not have time or enough space to write about everything I have done, seen and thought about so I will point out only the main observations.

The weather is Texas is interesting. Up until my arrival the weather had been beautiful, then it suddenly turned cold (just above 0) and it was raining. 2 days later it was 25 degrees again. I've never seen this happening before. As I learned dramatic weather changes are very common here, in fact that is the way it is. There are no seasons here like we know it, but fronts - whatever the winds bring. Right now its perfect, temperature in the 20ies, blue blue sky, sunshine. When walking you can smell the blossoms on trees. When driving out of the town you can see beautiful flowers on the side of the road. Its beautiful. I'm so glad I'm not in the Middle East anymore.

Petrol is cheap (compared to Europe), even though there was a hike in the price while I was here. A liter costs about 0.7 dollars. Everybody drives a car here and it is pretty much not possible to be without one as the public transportation system sucks. Appearently there are some cities where public transport is good (NY, Chicago etc), but in most of the cities you have to drive a car. I just happened to read that the best-selling car in the US in 2006 was Ford F-150 and that pretty much sums up what kind of cars people like to drive here - big. I have never seen so many pickup trucks in my life, its crazy.

You see religion a lot. Companies use christianity in their names (you can see this very often when driving around), it turns out it can be an attractive factor to many people as average citizen is quite religious. This morning I even ate bread which was made according to Ezekiel 4:15 (or smth), so recipe taken out of the bible. As I understood the main consumers for this bread are actually hippies who like organic products. I also had the pleasure of seeing a religious crazy person preaching in public (during easter day) and talking about how the world is gonna end if we ignore god's teachings. Me and Sarah seemed to be the only people paying attention to this guy, but sadly for him only for cultural reasons.

I have never seen so many fat people in my life. Its not as much as one might think based on what they write in the newspapers, but you see them quite often. Poverty and obesity go hand in hand, so the poorer the neighbourhood or the city, the more fat people there are - because the cheapest food is junk food. In Austin, where I'm now, the amount of fat people seems to be less than it was in San Antonio. You also see fat kids which is quite sad. Majority of the people are perfecly normal.

Austin is a pretty town (population 1 million), very green, quiet, friendly. Live music capital of the world, they claim - I have to check that out later. It doesn't seem that Austin is that big, the feeling is more like its a small town. It actually reminds me of Tartu a little bit. I like it a lot.

Food is very expensive here. I knew that before coming here, but I didn't imagine it's that expensive. Money just flies when eating out all the time.

Those few random people I have met have not known where Estonia is, but thats okay - even in Europe they don't know. When I'll meet somebody who knows, I'll be surprised.

The best part so far by far has been being reunited with Sarah. I'm as happy as a person can ever be, I have everything I could ever wish for. I'm meeting members of Sarah's family one by one which is great, I'm having so much fun.

My first 6 days have been really nice. Looking very much forward to the days to come.


Jüri Kaljundi said...

Ah, Austin, I just love the bats in night sky there, crawling out from under the Congress Avenue Bridge. Definitely a thing to check out.

Jingwei said...

Hahaha...I have never seen so many fat people in my life! I echo your comment!

Liisi said...

Hea, et teil hea! Sul Lähis-Ida kummitab veel, sest su blog näitab, et oled UAE-st. Muuda kiirelt ära!