Monday, October 17, 2011

Ohio, Canton, Akron USA Days 1 to 5

So I'm typing this in my hotel room and I've been in Ohio for 5 days now.  This week's been well, reflective in many ways and plain-crazy-wtf-am-I-doing-here, feel like I've jumped-back-in-a-time-machine in others.  To say a lot has been spinning around in my head is an understatement.  I'll try to summarise what's been happening.  I haven't been taking a lot of photos so this post will most likely be mostly words.

Day 1 (Oct 12)
Arrived in Cleveland at 5:45pm after flying for 12 hours from Oslo to Newark then Newark to Ohio.  Amazing how I could just tell it wasn't Norway that I was going to just the air stewardess was so much friendlier than what I would encounter normally.  The customer service is so much better.  Maybe I've been living in Norway for too long and am becoming to accustomed to just silent people.  My experience at customs was interesting.. while I was queueing up in the customs line the police officer asked me a bunch of questions about my shirt (Liberty or Death that's what my shirt says) and she had no idea who Alex Jones is, so I told her.  She asked why I was in the US and when I told her she told me she was freaking out for me haha!  Anyway it was fine.  The customs officer who attended to me wanted to look at my crazy blue hair (I have received lots of comments with regards to my hair, people love it including little kids) and said she thought I was a teenager and asked if this was the first time I was in the US (because I had a new passport, my 3rd to be precise).  Which is so far from what I am.

Arriving in Cleveland, K picked me up and on time so that was nice.  I was expecting an arrival hall but there wasn't any, so it was a nice surprise when I felt someone's hand against mine and it was her.  It was really good to see a real person behind a camera.  I don't know how to describe it but there you go.  Seeing someone in the flesh is far better than just videoing.  Our first stop was China town where we had some Chinese food for dinner.  I had a smash burger earlier at the Newark airport but I can always have more food. :)  The food was really cheap but that's because every single thing is cheap compared to Norway!  After that we went to Walmart, because it's my biggest dream in life to visit Walmart (no not really) and I had to get some food and bathroom supplies.  Also stopped off at Giant Eagle which is another big chain that sold food.  I bought non fluoridated water there, some bananas and pistachios.  Then it was hotel check in time, I also picked up other things at the hotel that I had bought online and had them shipped to.  If I had them shipped to Norway it would've cost me a lot more and I would've had to pay a lot more in taxes as well.  They had self serve check outs here in the shops, which is like in Australia, probably built by the same company too.  But those do not exist in Norway.

My hotel room is rather big, I was put on the 3rd floor where you need a keypass to access.  It's nice actually.  I wasn't expecting something this big, but there you go.  It's probably as big if not bigger than my apartment in Norway.  That summed up Day 1 in general.  I have no idea what time I fell asleep, but I had no jet lag whatsoever.  The first day felt so unreal.

Another Made In China mart located somewhere in Canton

Day 2 (Oct 13)
We had lunch at an indian place near us, and that was good.  Buffett. :)  Nom nom.  I miss eating out.  It's cheaper for me to eat out here than cooking meals at home in Norway, so win win.  However what irks me is the tipping which I feel should just be included in the final bill.  Where else on Earth in the world does tipping exist?  Also it's great to find toilets where you do not have to pay.  Unlike in Europe!

After lunch we visited the Akron Zoo.  That was good, would've been better if more exhibits were open!  There was an entire tiger section but that wasn't open.

High on Starbucks?

This bear kept pawing the glass like a windshield wiper.  I think he/she has OCD.

Jellyfish with enoki like tentacles and cauliflower attachments.

After the zoo we went to the university, parked the car and K had to attend to some university things (I am so glad I left university years ago), we printed some restaurant coupons as well and then we walked to the Art Museum.  That was interesting.  It showcased work done by people who lived in that area.  It rained for a short time after that and we tried to wait it out but eventually just bit the bullet, used some plastic bags as makeshift umbrellas and caught the university roo bus (Why is a kangaroo?  Roos aren't native here!  But anyway...) back to campus and then drove back to the hotel.

Polymer science building at the University of Akron.

Dinner was at Loby's Bar and Grille.  We had a late dinner.  Two pizzas and a greek salad for a price of $3.  Can't even get a 250ml bottle of coke for that price in Norway!

Day 3 (Oct 14)
I spent the day at University of Akron, it was China week.  K sang a Chinese song, which she loves to do, sing that is.  We also played pool at the Student Union.

Day 4 (Oct 15)
Had sushi lunch and that was good.  Still not as good as the sushi in Norway but it's cheaper at least.  We went to a gluten free thing after that followed by shopping at a nearby mall.  I went to Macy's and bought some things there.  There's so much variety here.  Things I never knew existed and yet wanted!!  At 5:45pm we left and drove to a diner where K's parents and family were waiting.  That was funny.  Haha!  It was just an interesting time.  One of her relatives works in Cisco Ohio, actually.  Small world.  After dinner we went to Target to shop, or rather her mum's sister wanted to so we kinda tagged along.  I went to their house afterwards and saw the shoes that I bought a month ago.  And went through heaps of K's old high school photos.  And watched two episodes of Dharma and Greg.

Day 5 (Oct 16)
This was a short day.  Lunch at Red Robin, then shopping at Best Buy.  Dinner was at a Chinese takeaway where K worked over summer.

I'll write more later as I'm going to go off soon.  It's a warm, sunny day in Akron!

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