Aug 12 2017

The US adventure(part 2): the on-foot scouting

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 3:23

I woke up Saturday at 6:00AM without any alarm. Going to bed at 10:00PM definitely helped with that. The first thing I did was to go to the restaurant area to get breakfast. I was told it was a continental breakfast, but I was not told which continent they were referring to. The restaurant area was a 60 square-meters kitchen, that has one big table on which the following were set: a toaster, a bundle of bagels, really small butter cubes, small Philadelphia cheese cilinders, jam cubes, a big karrafe of orange juice, a coffee maker, a coffee filter, a bowl with coffee creamers and a box of tea bags. Those were the options of the continental breakfast. So yeah, definitely not Europe, because continental breakfast means something else in Europe.

I got my bagel, got my cheese, got my coffee… well so called coffee. My mother would like it probably, because it smelled and tasted just like the communist stuff she was drinking when I was a kid. I was watching the news and realised the impression I got while I was in Europe was not just my impression but the actual truth: every thing in the US news is somehow related to Trump. I mean, wtf? Nothing else happens in this country, except all the stupid things he does??? Apparently nothing else is more important. Some new-Nazi human rebuttals kill a woman and the bigger tragedy is that the president did not properly condemn the mother-fuckers. And curiously so, it is. Maybe I’m not seeing things right, but nazism is a belief or hobby that should be prohibited by law. You can’t allow marches and protests for it, like you do for LGBT. LGBT tries to protect rights and defend people that were born in a certain way. Nazism just tries to take rights away from people, and nobody is born a nazi, you become so by being around nazi assholes. Anyway, it’s terrifying for me to see that US is dealing with this shit that Europe has already dealt with and it did not end well. So, if I were president I would outlaw this shit right now, before they end up believing that they are right in their beliefs. US should learn from Europe’s history instead of making its own mistakes. Anyway, these are just my two cents and I might be wrong in what I’m writing right here, but you know what else is wrong? Nazism.

So, I ate my bagel, I listened to the news, checked how far away Charlottesville was and then went around my business. First item on the list was to check out the Wolf Trap Filene Center, where the Switchfoot&Lifehouse concert was taking place the next evening. And because Google maps said is only 1 hour walk, I just started walking in that direction. And I had the first insights about the US way of life. I was told Virginia is one of the richest areas of US. Well, considering that the neighbourhood that I traversed was made of houses with vales startin at 1.3M$. I find that fact to be quite true. Americans definetly like big things. Big portions, big cars, big lawns, big streets and big houses. No idea how things are in other cities, but in Vienna everything is spacey and big. The houses are similar in style, but they each have their own particularities, you can figure out which neighbour is richer by how their front lawn is designed. If they have space for more than one car to be parked, with more than one garage, definetly richer than average.

Vienna is very green. Even if they build houses they make sure to affect nature as little as possible,thus is is not unexpected to see a relatively new house, with a three in front of it that if you tried to hug its trunk, your hands would not touch. Vienna VA does not have much in common with Vienna from Austria, and honestly I did not expect it to.

I managed to reach the Wolf Trap National Park For The Performing Arts and had a long walk to get aquinted with the area. During my long walk I also learned its history. The Wolf Trap National Park For The Performing Arts was opened in 1966. 100 acres were donated by Catherine Filene Shouse to build a large outdoor amphitheater, what is now the Filene center. She later donated two structures which are now the Wolf Trap barns. These whole organisation is dedicated to art education in any form. The have numerous volunteers and they teach arts, especially music to kids as young as 5 years old.

The Filene Center is a magnificent construction. It allows has quite a few chairs in front of the scene. The sitting area is opened on the sides wich allows for natural airflow and the performances can be viewed from outside the establishment, from the hills surrounding the amphitheater. I can’t add here any pictures because the internet is not that great, but that establishment is great for any kind of events.

There are shuttles going to/from the Wolf Trap park to the city before/after the events and there are two huge parking lots, one for the members and one for non-members. Needless to say, I was quite confident about the logistics of the event.

I returned to the hotel and spent the rest of the day doing some shopping and visiting the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. When I say shopping, I mean I found Best Buy and bought myself an iPad. Although initially I wanted the 12,9″ one, I figured out I actually need one that fits in my bag and settled for the 10.5″. I’m very happy with my purchase, as proven by this entry and the previous one. I could joke about it and say I just bought the iPad so I cloud blog. I could joke about it and say that I bought it because I did not have an adapter for my European charger and thus, no way to charge up my phones. But the truth is, I was planning for a while to get a Kindle or a tablet, so … why not iPad?

As for the Meadowlark Botanical Garden, it was the best part of the day. It was sunny and silent and so much beauty, so many plants and colours. I’ve seen some water lillies that have a flower as big as a human head, I’ve seen some stick insects, yeah, those insects that look like sticks, and noticed that monster benches and a few plants were donated by people that had their names on memory plaques. As I’ve seen so far, a lot of things are done here with volunteers and donations. That neighborhood watch we’ve seen being mentioned in movies actually exists. So if a lot of things are done by community effort, why the hell do these guys pay taxes for!?

I also found a Walmart and bought three types of Twinkies, because I want to bring home to my colleagues the most American thing ever.

As for the car, we get along nicely now that I’ve learned how to drive it. It is amazing to me how fast I’ve adapted to not having a clutch. Also I am amazed at how easy it is to park the monster. I’ve parked it perfectly almost every time. I can’t explain it really. And yes, having really big wheels and 4×4 traction make this baby very stable. So far I love it, and I’m starting to get the love Americans have for trucks.

After a whole day in the sun, I went to the hotel and went to sleep. Another ten hours of blissful rest. Yeeey!

P.S. If you see any funny words, that seem not to fit in this entry, they might be there because of autocorrect. I did not disable it yet. I will disable it when it starts getting annoying, but for writing in English, currently it is quite practical.


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