“I never make a trip to the United States without visiting a supermarket. To me they are more fascinating than any fashion salon.” – Wallis Simpson.
Well, that is pretty much the conclusion I jumped to. Within the last month, Jess and I have done quite a bit of traveling together. We went to D.C. for a weekend, to Indiana for five days and to Albany for a night. Also, despite Jessi’s argument that you can’t count state you haven’t actually set foot on, I will also list Illinois, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Indiana as states I have been to disregarding the fact that I merely drove through some of them… I need to get my 50 states together somehow 😛 Needless to say that I loved every single trip that I made, despite or maybe because of the big differences between my destinations.
Lets start with D.C….Da Capital! A great city. Historical. Impressive buildings, monuments, and museums. Nice embassies, broad sidewalks, clean streets (especially if you are only used to uptown new york streets), suffocating heat… yes, thats right. 100°F and intense humidity made it hard for Jess and me to stick to our so well planned out schedule. With heavy backpacks and really bad footgear, we almost collapsed at the end of day one. We still managed to enjoy a great bunch of sights, starting at Union Station, walking to the Capitol and from there along The Mall, passing the White House, all the memorials and the Washington Monument on our way to the Lincoln Memorial. From there, we walked right back to the capitol searching for our hotel. Everybody who has been to DC before knows exactly, how long of a walk that is for one day. Well, and if you now smile and think “Pfff, thats nothing!”, please don’t forget about above mentioned backpacks and shoe wear…
The next trip on our list led us to Terra-Haute, Indiana because I was invited to Jessi’s sisters wedding. Not only has that been the first wedding I ever attended but also has this been the first time that I’ve seen more of the US than just one of their big cities. What can I say? Indiana has…space. A lot of space. Thats lovely. Really is. And all the flags outside of people’s doors. Really lovely. And the old toilets now used as flower pots in the backyards. Really lovely! No, but all kidding aside…I liked Indiana. Probably because my state of origin is not that much different. I appreciated the new insights ESPECIALLY the insights into Walmart and Superwalmart. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! That thing was an airport terminal. They have NUTELLA there for almost the same cheap price as in Germany. And they have so many more Oreos than in the supermarket around the corner. And, and….so MUCH of EVERYTHING. You could totally move in and just live in Walmart. If all else fails and, despite my university’s insurance that all of the students are gonna be the “Global Leaders of Tomorrow” , I will stand alone unemployed, I will become a greeter at Walmart. I honestly think I could do an amazing job there because I believe in them. I wouldn’t have trouble coming up with different greetings every day. Stuff like: “Oh my GOD, HIIIIII…did you see the super awesome discount on cookies we have today? Yes, ALL cookies and there are so many!!! That is so awesome, isn’t it? I know, I can’t believe it myself!” or: “Ha, did you know that they have Starbucks Icecream? That is so super awesome!”…
The wedding itself was beautiful…and did something to me I can’t really describe and feel almost too ashamed of to tell you… It made me want to get married. Before this wedding, I didn’t really see a reason for marriage. More and more people get divorced. And divorcements suck. How high are the chances that you’d actually stay together with this person that you meet in your early twenties? “Till death parts us” nowadays can easily last till you’re hundred! When this oath was created, 45 was the average life expectancy…see the catch?! But then I was at this wedding and boy was that romantic. There I was, watching this couple swearing to spend the rest of their lives with each other and being happy about it. It made me realize that, hopefully, at one point in time, I will meet someone who is willing to be that certain someone for me. Someone who laughs about my lame jokes and subtly lets me know when they are too much. Someone who gives me a huge hug whom I can offer support knowing that, if I need it, he’ll be there for me too. Having the significant other half. I am fine being single. I don’t feel like anything is missing. But I also know that not being single makes you feel even stronger, even more secure in life and, of course, less alone. If this is what I can hope for, if this is what life holds for me, I am fine waiting for it. If this is the best possible outcome, I am excited to search for that because I can’t imagine the amazing feeling of having found the one. Look at me. This cheesy romance coming from me is a little awkward, because I used to be one of the people that would answer “Yeah, maybe in movies and books but in reality you fight and get divorced, you get bored with each other or you don’t find each other at all.” But also getting to know Jessi’s grandparents who tell the story of how they first met whenever possible, who are still showing their love and affection for each other is an amazing thing in my opinion. So yeah, that is basically the lesson that Indiana taught me, thanks for that.
Our last travel destination led us to a little town close to Albany, NY. I personally loved that part of the state. Its hilly and green, very very green. We went hiking, drove through areas with nothing but a house every now and then bordering at a Walmart (of course) and I couldn’t help but keep thinking of horror movie scenes. You know, the ones where a bunch of youngsters go camping in the nature and either a) get lost in the woods and killed by weirdos or b)have a car accident and look for help at this random shady house in the middle of nowhere and get killed by weirdos or c)camp in the middle of nowhere and get killed by weirdos. You have forests and then two houses, a meadow and a house, a hill and three houses. Having a vivid imagination and a special relation to horror movies, that freaked me out a little. But fast food culture and nature are absolute amazing in Upstate New York:
Lessons I learned overall during my travels:
1.) Go to Walmart for whatever you need. They’ll have it. Cheaper than anyone else.
2.) Flag production must be a major business in the US. These thing are EVERYWHERE.
3.) “OJ” is the official abbreviation for Orange Juice but “AJ” does not stand for Apple Juice
4.) D.C. is supposed to be the city you couldn’t possibly get lost in…well, within 48 hours there I got lost more often than I ever did within three months in NYC.
5.) Ice-Cream is freaking delicious but they put some unknown ingredient into the cream that makes one scoop have 850 calories
6.) People don’t exaggerate when they say that the Midwest countries grow a lot of corn
7.) Root Beer has to be something that every other country EXCEPT FROM the USA uses as cough sirup. In the US its a popular soft drink.
8.) Soft drink is a local dialect. In other parts of the country you call it “Coke” or “Pop”…or something like that.
9.) There are hundreds of channels but never something on TV.
10.) FOX News is a joke, is it? Please tell me it is!
11.) I love the USA.
I have much more to talk and write about but for now, this post is just to sum up my previous travel experiences. Otherwise this whole thing would become waaaaay too long!