Recently, since I got here, in the US, friends have asked me “How is the US?”, “How are you liking the US?”, “What are the first impression on the US?”,… I haven’t had chance to fully answer friends but I appreciate everyone’s interest. And these are some first stories…
I remember the day I arrived in Houston, it was few degrees over 100oF (which is about 40oC). That’s called “hot” and as most of you guys know, its desert heat here so its very dry (to me, some people here still think that’s… humid). I only stayed in Houston for couple days but that’s long enough to recognize Houston is not a typical place for living. Things are pretty messy, tons of traffic and getting stuck in the jam for hours happens almost daily to people even though there are 4-5 layers overpass roads there. Houston has an area where lots Vietnamese people living and doing business. I heard about the big Viet community in Houston before I came here but still surprised when I was actually visiting it. All the Vietnamese signs, everyone speaks Vietnamese mostly in the South accent makes the feeling like “I was in Saigon”; Vietnamese food, Vietnamese music even running around and yelling to each other in very Vietnamese market style. Then, I realize some people were right when saying about Vietnamese people that “no need to know English when going to live in Houston”.
Life here is pretty indoor life. In the first days, I couldn’t recognize “what is what” from outside. My sensitivity of reading signs and recognizing buildings here from inside the car is still low but at least I could recognize some popular chain brand name now, after 2 weeks traveling around. Buildings in places that I ever been are spread out in big area cause America has so much land. This time of the year, air condition (AC) is everywhere, at home, in any building, in the cars, even in public restrooms; that might be why most of people here don’t really care about the over 100oF heat. They don’t really feel it or if they do, it would be just few seconds moving from buildings to cars and vice versa. I generally say “Global warming? Not in this AC country.” (some of you guys who are Hueans and Danang might find this sounds familiar :). Im so amazed about how American society consumes energy and kinda sorry to see a wasteful America…
Leaving on the 3rd day in the US for Ohio on a trip with beloved friends, I got a chance to pass Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio. Its a looong drive and I was kinda… “are we there yet?”. I visited the Amish country in Ohio that is very interesting and full respect for the Amish philosophy. Some of you guys might already know the Amish life-style, stay as close to the nature as possible, refuse things from the modern life. Their life mostly base on farming, they use no electricity, just candle and oil lamp for light at night, no cell phones, no cars,… their transport are still carriage (horses). There is a small funny story when we were visiting a place calls Amish Heritage Centre; we had conversation about Amish people’s life style with 2 Amish men working there and in the middle of the conversation, one of them said “… but you know, I use GPS. My son bought a GPS for his car and he gave it to me when he left home”… Oh well… (by the way, GPS stands for Global Positioning System), that sounds super cool! cell phones are just losers.
I took lots of photos during the trip and you guys could check them out at my flickr account (there is the link on the right side bar of this page).
Got back Houston and had an awesome supper with great Vietnamese food, I had never been happier with rice and Vietnamese food like I was that day. Imagine one whole week eating sandwiches, burgers, French fried, cheese, fried food,… that’s really the first tough interesting challenge and experience to me in America. Somebody captured my freaking happy moment at the Vietnamese restaurant that night.
Alright, I don’t want to make this very long so you guys are not gonna come back and check my blog again. Im saving the apartment rent and settle in San Antonio stories for the next post.
Throw me your hugs!