observations from the field

As some/most of you know, I’m in California this week. I landed late Friday night, and have observed the following:

-flying United through Chicago is the easiest way to get free plane tickets. I flew in Friday afternoon, around one, and was scheduled to depart at 6. When I got to the gate, it became apparent that the flight was overbooked, and United offered the usual: a free round-trip ticket within the continental 48 states, to be used within a year. I took the offer, and was scheduled for the next flight at 8:29. That ticket will come in very handy this summer. I’m thinking of declaring this an official annual event – this is the second consecutive year this has happened to me. Thanks, United, for your unorganized flight schedule.

-A.J. Jacobs’ The Know-It-All is the best book to get through a nine-hour flight. Jacobs sets out to read the Encyclopaedia Britannica and records his thoughts in his quest to become the smartest guy alive. It’s very funny and astute, and next to teaching you a lot of random facts (the one I remember is that Casanova ended up as a librarian. I guess that’s where the sexy librarian stereotype comes from), it also gets you thinking about the nature of intelligence.

-there really is nothing better than drinking coffee in the sun. My dad and I went to Cafe Barrone for a mid-morning coffee stop, and it was really heavenly. Their tagline is: because Europe is too far to go for lunch, and they do serve delicious lunches. And coffee. And pastries. And smoothies. Everything’s good, actually. And the best part? They’re right next door to Indie bookstore Kepler’s, which is pretty much my favorite bookstore ever. Seeing as I had run out of books, I promptly bought The Code of the Woosters, by PG Wodehouse.

-The U.S. might have separation between church and state, but it’s a relative separation. I went to Christ Episcopal Church for the Choral Eucharist this morning, and there was an American flag just beside the altar. I guess some habits are hard to break. Otherwise, the service was lovely. The familiar phrasing brought back good memories from last year and the church has beautiful stained glass windows.

-organic fruit really is good. After church, my dad picked me up and we went to the Farmer’s Market. I tasted a clementine that was so sweet and tart at the same time, it made me rethink my allegiance to chocolate. Good fruit really is better than sweets.

-also, Americans don’t feel the need to get dressed to go out. I was wearing my usual sweater, skirt and boots (the sweater covered by a North Face fleece vest, so at least I fit in at that point) and felt distinctly overdressed with the rest of the people dressed in sweat pants, hooded sweaters, and Uggs.

-and Californians don’t know the meaning of cold. It’s maybe 12 degrees centigrade out, and people are wearing hats and gloves and scarves. That’s really not necessary, people. A jacket, maybe, because it’s raining. But the hat and gloves are too much.

-last but not least, I’m eating all my favorite foods. Think enchiladas, sliced turkey on French bread, oatmeal raisin cookies, Thai food, cheddar cheese…why do all my favorite moments always involve food?

Stay tuned for more exciting tidbits, live from Mountain View*

*this post was brought to you by free Google WiFi. It pays to live in the same place as Google’s HQ. Thanks, guys.

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One thought on “observations from the field

  1. This is making me so jealous! I want to go the the US again too….but first have to get me some money 😉 Anyway, I love your observations, so keep ’em coming 😀 And mostly: HAVE FUN!

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