USA! USA! USA!
In the early dusk hours of Wednesday the 16th of April, as the sunlight began shimmering on E-4 I made a daring and unsuspected escape from Sweden to the US. I was assisted in my flight by BGC who arranged for a morning flight and DCP who assisted in my drive to Arlanda. (The trains don’t leave early enough, so she got up and rode with me so she could drive the car back. She does good work. That's why I like her.)
The flight went without incident, and following my trip to Spain that’s damn impressive. I watched three movies on the flight, finished one book, one magazine, put a good chunk into another book and another magazine and probably said three words to the girl I sat next to. She had breath so bad I could smell it even when she was turned towards the window. I know it’s mean but that’s just not something I want to deal with for 10 hours on a plane trip so I chose to embrace my Swedishness and not speak to her.
At around 16.00 I made a triumphant return to US soil. By 18.00 I had made my way back to the family. And the surprised screaming and crying of my ever aging mother. She’s turning 50 tomorrow. And had no idea I was coming. I’m very sneaky like that. As is CBCC, who made a triumphant return to Colorado soil last night, again to the surprise of my aging mother. Did I mention she is almost 50? That’s halfway to 100.
Anyway, here I am back home. And what did I do in my first full day in the US of A? Went to the big box stores of course. What better way to embrace Americana then to visit Borders, PetsMart (PetSmart?), Home Depot, and the biggest box of all – Wal-Mart. Which was full of fat people (of course I was there because I needed peanut butter and oatmeal cream pies so I probably don’t have much room to talk). I believe that Wal-Mart is someone’s sociological PhD dissertation waiting to happen. It is amazing in every sense of the word. And for so many different reasons. And whatever your views of Wal-Mart, because globally and hippy-ly Wal-Mart tends to be frowned upon, it is so very different from anything that can be found in Sweden that it needs to be experienced.
Walking in to Wal-Mart, NBC and I were met by a somewhat large woman yelling at her 5 year old “Damn it, don’t play on that” then waddling over to presumably mete out some sort of corporal punishment. And I laughed. Then went in and was reminded that it was all worth it. Because I found peanut butter for 5 dollars. And 2 bottles of contact solution for 6 (you’ll remember that I paid nearly 100 SEK for one bottle of the stuff just a while ago). And that’s hard to beat, which is exactly why I shop there. I have no morals when it comes to inexpensive consumer goods.
Aside from diving head first back into the American shopping culture in search of cheap goods the trip has been spent doing not a damn thing. And it’s been glorious.