As part of my journey to the Gordon Research Conference on granular materials, in Easton, Massachusetts, I’m spending today and tonight (it’s currently 8pm Boston time, which means it’s too-late-and-I’m-about-to-collapse-from-exhaustion-time in London) in Boston. This being my first trip to the US (indeed, to anywhere west of Wales), I’ve made a number of observations in the last eight hours.
- I usually take an aisle seat on planes, and can usually put my elbow on the arm rest without blocking the aisle for anybody. There must have been a lot of really fat people on this flight.
- The first piece of American English that I heard upon arriving was a video that they showed at Immigration and Customs (where we waited on and on…), featuring a woman saying the word ‘Really?’ with a rising intonation. So, so far, all my prejudices and stereotypes of Americans are being confirmed.
- It’s just as oppressively hot here as it was in England a few days ago (in the low 30s, Celcius). However, there are beaches, yachts, large gardens and such, and everyone seems just a little bit happier than they are in Cambridge.
- Chinese food here is very affordable, but actually quite nice. (There seems to be a healthy community of Cantonese people here, and their Chinatown makes London’s look quite pitiful.)
- Things are big. Fire engines here go faster and are louder.
- Hershey’s chocolate tastes like vomit.
- Hershey’s is still better than other confectionery here, which have that horrible corn syrup stuff.