As some of you would know by now, I am in the United States, we’ve been here for two weeks and already it feels like it’s been months since we left. First off we got off to an eventful start, our plane had some engine troubles and we our flight was delayed, heck we even made the news.
Qantas, our national carrier did the best they could under the circumstances and I was happy knowing we were in good hands. Thankfully we flew straight to Los Angeles, there weren’t any stops in the middle of nowhere to waste time with, and since some of the passengers managed to get on an earlier flight, and we had some free seats on the plane to stretch out on.
Some gripes, a whinge as us Aussies say, due to past actions of Atta, Reid, ACLU, leftists et al, we were subjected to many searches before boarding. Old ladies in wheelchairs were searched over and over, we and overweight elderly Caucasian gentlemen were body searched, scare-crow style. We all had our shoes stripped off, weren’t allowed to loiter outside the lavatories, our life-sustaining water confiscated and eye drops scrutinized, thanks a lot to the above-mentioned bastards.
Next up, first impressions of the USA, damn this is a big country with a lot of people, the cars are big, the roads are big and the burgers are big. I am told, Texas isn’t as cold as some other parts of the country, but we’re still talking teeth-chattering cold for us Sydney-siders, fortunately we had the good sense not to turn up in shorts and beach-thongs.
The city of Dallas was our first and main stop, it’s not too cold, the wind is a bit vicious, but I can survive out there. There are a lot of Mexicans here, I’m told most are illegal, if that is the case you guys in the US have big problems, since arriving in Los Angeles and since then it seems español is the de-facto second language in the United States. You guys need to learn from us down here in Australia.
We also visited New York State and stayed a few days in the North, near the Canadian border, up in cold country and I’m talking wind snatching your breath away. We had two days in New York City, battling icy winds and criss-crossing subways. We visited the world trade centre site and I have to say it looks much like a construction site. If you didn’t know about 9/11, you wouldn’t know what happened there, there are a couple of posters mounted up on the one side, a couple of flags flying, police cars parked about mainly directing tourists but that’s about it really.
The view from the Empire State building is both breath-taking and dizzying; I’m not a fan of heights you see. It was only from that height did I realize what a big city New York really is, city all round as far as the eye can see. At all the major sites we visited, security was tight, bags were searched, we were scanned and scrutinized; everyone is used to the delays and the inconvenience. New York was pretty much what we expected, I guess we have seen it quite a lot of it on TV, I was surprised at how friendly some of the people are, when my wife unknowingly dropped her handbag a friendly New Yorker handed it back to us.
While we were there we heard about John Howard tossing the proverbial grenade into the Democrats lair, boy were they spitting chips over it, if he had called Bush a tosser or something, they’d be all for it, free speech, feelings and all that.
It made news for days over here, I wondered what the fuss was all about, it’s common knowledge that America’s enemies prefer the Democrats to the Republicans, were the Democrats upset that someone was speaking the truth; I guess it’s easier to kick the messenger than change the perception.
After a few days driving around Dallas, I have to say these folks know what they are doing when it comes to infrastructure, roads aplenty, going everywhere, this is a big city with big folks with big cars with big plans. In the past I have been told that Americans are loud, the inference being ‘arrogance’. Well they do talk loudly, but I think it’s a lot easier to start a conversation with an American because of this. Texans are a friendly lot, they are so polite and courteous, its “ma’am” (thankfully not to me), “yo’all have a good day now” and “your welcome” all the time.
Well we’re off for a short visit to Florida, I hope you folks are all ok and keeping up the good fight, I’ll probably be back in Sydney by the time I get to an internet access point again.