Since I am now living on the other side of the world to my family and most of my friends this blog is about things I enjoy, things I notice, people I meet, people I miss, history, planning for the future, love and life in general! I guess it's about whatever pops into my head which I want to share with my friends and family... and who knows? I might make some more friends along the way!

28 August, 2007

I'm in the USA!!!

I am here in Georgia with my friends Jimi and Ken and Ilse, at Ken's unit in Atlanta (well he keeps telling me it's Kennesaw, but as far as I am concerned it's part of Atlanta!) I had a pretty good time of the travelling (on the longest Friday ever), with one experience that made it less enjoyable - it took almost 3 hours to clear customs and immigration in Los Angeles, so I missed my connecting flight to Chicago, but despite a few minutes of panic I was booked, by United Airlines, on to a Delta Airlines flight directly to Atlanta... thus alleviating an excruciating flight to Chicago worrying that I might miss my connecting flight at that airport on account of a 35 minute period between my Los Angeles flight scheduled landing and my Atlanta flight departing! This way I actually arrived in Atlanta about an hour and 20 minutes earlier than I had expected and of course this meant I arrived an hour and 20 minutes earlier than my friends expected too! I hadn't had time to contact Jimi in Los Angeles (as I had to run to check in for the aforementioned flight), so after I had collected my luggage I found a phone card kiosk and bought a $10 card which allowed me to phone him and let him know I was already in Atlanta! I settled in to wait, but in no time Jimi, Ken and Ilse (who arrived from South Africa the night before me) were there with Bill who is also a native of Atlanta and who recently joined the 76th battalion! (the Firefly/Serenity tribute battalion of which I am a founding memeber and I am marching with them at their inaugural appearance at Dragon Con on Saturday 1st September!)

We squeezed into Jimi's car (Jimi is 6' 6" & Ken is 6' 1", Ilse, Bill and I were in the back) and drove back to Ken's place... Ken lives in a hotel style block of rooms each with a mini kitchen and bathroom and he arranged for Ilse (who's also known as Canter in case I refer to her as that) and I to have a room just upstairs from him. Jimi stayed with Ken and we got settled in and caught up! My Tim Tam's (chocolate filled 'cookies' with chocolate coating) appear to have travelled unscathed which I consider a minor miracle... so far we haven't found a broken one at all!!! And they love them here!! For a country where there is an amazing variety of foods available it is such fun to find something I can bring which is unique and a new experience for my friends here!

Bill headed home and at about 2am we decided to head to bed, but of course Ilse and I had showers and talked and talked - we're both in different time zones to what we're used to so we were wide awake and suddenly we found it was 5 am!! I lost count of the number of times I said "I'm in America!" and it became a bit of a catch cry between us today!!

On Saturday we woke up around 9.30 and by 12 midday we were at a place called 'Cracker Barrel' where we had breakfast! The food was amazing! I had 'biscuits' (lighter than scones but more like scones than anything I can think of) With gravy - which was thick and chicken based... it was delicious! It's a bit Southern thing to have biscuits and gravy for breakfast!! Ilse and I are learning that a lot of American culture revolves around food! Most of it fried or covered in gravy or served with so many sauces you can't decide which one is most delicious!! You are offered Coke or 'sweet tea' most of the time - Atlanta is the home of Coca-Cola and sweet tea is actually iced tea - they look at you funny if you don't know this - but in this heat it's actually very refreshing and I already getting a taste for it! (especially as it isn't fizzy...) The shops are already filling with Halloween and 'fall' themed items - and the things here seem so inexpensive - you have to remember that the exchange rate isn't awesome though... better than it was a couple of years ago - but not awesome!
We went to Wal-Mart this afternoon - I bought a few essential items I either forgot or hadn't anticipated! (My toothpaste was confiscated as hand luggage on account of it being a 'liquid/gel' in a container that held more than 100ml!!!) The food items I recognised were mostly in a variety of flavours hitherto unimagined - like s'more's flavoured breakfast cereal or peanut butter and chocolate flavoured 'buds' to be added to 'cookies' or desserts...) or available in such enormous quantities we couldn't use them up in 5 years... let alone have enough space to store them!! The other thing about the USA is that everything is BIG!! I mean HUGE!! or... tiny miniature!! I have the tiniest shampoo and toothpaste you could imagine but milk usually comes in 4 litre bottles - a two litre bottle is small... nothing smaller unless you really look for it!! Weird... huh?

After heading 'home' to unpack and refridgerate things, we headed to another supermarket, Public, this time to meet another 76th member, Stevie (PVT Dae) - there is a photograph of this occasion which I will add here if I ever manage to work out how to upload/post them!!

We went to this amazing place for dinner that night, Williamsons Brothers BBQ, and met up with Tom and Laura... it was much better than I was worried it might be... I felt a little weird but fine with all my wonderful friends around keeping an eye on me! I talked with Laura a lot, mostly about stuff not to do with the 76th or anything... and Tom became an uncle yesterday when Kriste and Doug had a baby boy named Richard Grayson! My wombat, kangaroo and koala soft toys were passed on with many thanks from 'Uncle' Tom and it was fine. Weird... but fine.
I have now met 8 members of the 76th in all! Cindy/PFC Vex (who visited me in Australia recently), Jimi/SFC Alexander, Ken/LT Zephyr, Ilse/CPL Canter, Bill/PVT Birddog, Stevie/PVT Dae, Tom/COL Tristan O'Tearney and Laura/SGT Wendt. (In case you're wondering I am SFC Magda Martin. )

On Saturday night we also watched the newly released US special edition of 'Serenity' with the commentary on... it's Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, Ron Glass and Summer Glau talking about their recollections of making the movie! It was so much fun to see and hear it with these friends, I will always remember that my first experience of watching it was with these precious friends from all over the world!

I reliased something about my journey, one of those things that catches my imagination... on Friday, whilst travelling around the world, I set foot in 4 Olympic cities in 24 hours... I don't suppose there's a lot of folk who can say that!! I shall also visit another one before I return home to Australia too!

Oh, and I will update my blog along the way as I can!

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Blogger whimsicalnbrainpan said...


You're in America!

See you on Friday!!!

9:12 PM


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