02 November 2004

my stay in the usa

its only three weeks till i go back to manila. I'm currently in Atlanta, Georgia, and have only started going to its tourist attractions this past weekend. Mostly because I get home to my apartment too tired from work. Not that work is physically demanding, but there is some effect on the body when the mind works overtime. So, this is what I have been doing for the past weeks of my stay in the USA.

When I first stepped on US ground in Detroit, I found that Americans love to talk to strangers. I was in the Detroit airport, and I had just presented my papers to the immigration officer, and after he got through asking me the routine questions, he started telling me places that I should visit. In effect, my supposedly 2 minute check in time turned into 10 minutes, with about seven of those the officer talked.

It was also the first time I was able to talk to an african-american face to face. In the movies, I know how they talk, what with Will Smith, Denzel W. a mainstay of Hollywood films in Manila. But it is quite an experience talking to them. They have a different kind of accent that sometimes may not be easy to understand. But in time, you will get used to it. If you stay long enough, you may even learn how to talk the way they do.

My first out of state trip was to North Carolina with a bit of a stop in South Carolina. These two states are quite provincial and seems relatively peaceful. However, these states, my friends said, had a lot of "redneck Americans". These are people who do not like african-americans or asians. North Carolina has beautiful mountains and natural preserved forests. The Appalachian trail is here. Too bad, I didnt have too much time to explore this place.

I then went on a weekend trip to my sister's place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. More urban than NC. By this time, fall season had already begun. The colors of the trees are vibrant. Yellows, oranges and reds leaves on the trees are beautiful. My sister took me on a walk around the Wisconsin area. It is bordered by Lake Michigan, which is the reason why it gets real chilly up there. It was freezing! And my sister says its not even winter yet.



milwaukee museum

park3


We also went to Chicago via train. The "Windy City" lives up to its name! This is a metropolitan area with the Sears building as one of its highlights. It used to be the tallest building in the world, second only to the Petronas in Malaysia. We walked Michigan avenue, which is a mile of shops and parks. Beautiful place, I must say. Although, I would have wanted to go to United Center, with Michael Jordan's statue, and the harpo studio, where Oprah does her show. O well, probably next time. 


silver pea1

sears tower2

The next state I went to was California. When I got there, it was rainy and a bit cold. But we did go to the Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39 is a big attraction there. We visited the Aquarium, which is quite nice, because you get to walk in a big fish tank. I saw, from afar, the Alcatraz. I would have liked to go there, but the weather was not good for touring that place. Of course, I visited San Francisco's main attraction, the Golden Gate. And I even got to walk at a part of it too. Breathtaking, is the word for that place.

at ggate

This weekend, foreseeing that I wont be able to utilize next weekend for recreation, I decided to finally go around Atlanta. My first stop, with my officemate, was Stone Mountain Park. We walked for an hour to get to the top of the mountain. It was tiring, but when you get to the top, the view is awesome. You are literally on top of Atlanta. We took the skylift down to experience the theme park. Its halloween season, and the park has a halloween theme everywhere. I also visited the Plantation house inside the park. It gives you a good idea of how the Americans lived in the 18th century. At night, the laser show is the best!

stone mtn4

carving at stone mtn


For a bit of history, I went to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial site. There, I visited his gravesite, and got to know about his life via an exhibit. I think everyone who visits Atlanta should go here, because I think MLK is one of the best public speakers and figures of the 19th century. Its funny, because this site is only a few blocks from our office downtown, and I have never gone here before.


auburn street


The world of Coca-Cola is also an interesting place. Coke Headquarters are here in Atlanta, and they have built a good exhibit place in the downtown area. They tell you how Coke started, and how it has grown into a global brand over the years. There is even a replica of a Philippine jeep, which made me proud! Here, you can also sample the different sodas that Coke makes around the world. Can I just say, that the stuff from Italy is nasty! Its so bitter, that I dont know why anyone would want to drink that.


coke bear


Before I go back to Manila, I am going to the Big Apple-New York! Finally, I will see my mother whom I havent seen in six years. And we'll go to New Jersey, and Washington DC. Im so excited to see the sights in that place, I can't wait.

1 comment

  1. Anonymous4:15 AM

    do you have a friend in south carolina? am looking for a filipino contact there because south carolina is paradise to golfers. please email me at busy@thegolfcourse.zzn.com . salamat

    ReplyDelete

Hey, thanks for visiting my blog and taking time to drop me a note. I hope to see you here again!

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