Welcome to the US of A

September 3, 2010 - Washington, District of Columbia, United States

America the land of the free. The land of opportunity, equality and  freedom. Or so they say.

My European journey ended in London after an incredible four months. 
To think in four months I have been to:

Brussels
Netherlands
Germany
Spain
Italy
France
Greece
Turkey
Bulgaria
Serbia
Czech republic
Poland
Russia
Latvia
Lithuania
Estonia
Finland
Denmark
Sweden
Norway
Austria
Switzerland
Lichtenstein
Monaco
United Kingdom
Hungary

As well as

Hong Kong
Jordan
Egypt

So it was now time to say goodbye to old towns and European quirkiness  and hello to modernity and America. I was actually looking forward to  America and being somewhere that spoke English. It gets exhausting  trying to navigate foriegn languages 24/7.

My first stop in America was Washington DC (don't ever forget the DC  as everyone gets confused). The flight from London takes 7hrs, enough  time to watch three movies and have two meals. British Airways have  awesome food!

I had managed to score a window seat so my first image of America was  birds eye from the plane window. And I have to admit I was horrified.  I have never seen such uniformity and conformity in housing. Each  house is the same. Exactly the same. Same shape, colour, size. It's  just a collection on same houses. Which raises the question, how do  you find your house after a night out if they all look the same...

We landed thirty minutes early. Which is lucky considering the next  part of the process took several hours. Welcome to America the land of  the most inefficient customs system. Join a massive line which never  moves but grows rapidly by the second. I guess by always having a  massive line it portays a clear idea that everyone, not just you is  trying to get to America becuase it is so awesome.

Finally I made it too the front. After freaking out halfway through  the line that I hadn't filled in all the forms. To make the process  quicker you now complete the visa waiver online. I would hate to think  how long it took before.

If ever you wish to have a smooth transition through border security  be a solo young female traveller. Not only will you get a plethra of  smiles. You will also get chatted up and have every available excuse  used to make you stand at the counter longer. I was the only passenger  that got both hands fingerprinted. Not becuase they need both hands, 
just becuase I was a girl.

It must be noted that this process takes so long that by the time you  resch your bags they have been removed from the conveyor belt. Awesome!

Next step: buy some water before you die of thirst. Resist the push of  upselling by the cashier. I just want water!!

Welcome to the land of the gun. It is always good to be told by a lady  who barely speaks English that someone with a backpack was shot in the  head. This was all relayed via sign language whilst sitting on the bus  from the airport.

America the land of humidity, long walks to the hostel and the  supersized. At least they speak English.


2 Comments

Ruth Marshall:
October 20, 2010
Awesome!!!! Everything is sooo supersized it is obscene, I found it amazing how much food they waste when there were so many homeless, hungry people. We started getting the leftovers put in a take out box and we handed them straight to the homeless people, rather than them getting them out of the bin!
Have a great time, can't wait to hear more!
Cheers
Ruth
Aunty Di:
October 22, 2010
Hi Renae Uncle Lou & I enjoy reading about your adventures.We look forward to your next stop.
Our list of interesting travels lately ..Dwellingup,Delwallinu & next month we are going to Manjimup (all with Caravan Club) how's that for excitement! Have fun & take care.. Luv Aunty Di & Uncle Lou xxxx
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