Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Aint that America...

I will not deny that unlike some people, I love America. After a 3 year hiatus it is actually good to be back in the land of the free. It is great to watch weird, voyeuristic reality tv and my new favorite is the absolutely tacky but interesting Real Housewives of Orange County (see picture above). Alas, due to the credit crunch, there are fewer ads on TV for free credit cards and car loans. Some things still remain the same on American TV, Fox News is still skewering all liberals (poor President Obama) while CNN and MSNBC are still flying the left of center media beacon. One other thing I love about America is that customer service is amazing and strangers will strike up a conversation with you on the bus and share their life-story. Usually in Ghana when a stranger strikes up a conversation with me it is a barrage of one-sided questions to satisfy their curiosity about the oddity that is me. In Europe I find most people keep to themselves. America on the other hand is bursting with smiles and friendliness. I must admit, my beloved New York is not quite Friendliness Central especially on first encounter but it still has an undeniable vibe to it.

As I type, I'm in a surreal Norwegian-style ski resort called Granlibakken on Lake Tahoe. Apparently Lake Tahoe is on the border between California and Nevada. The altitude is high, my knuckles are frozen and I'm suffering from jetlag even after 4 days or so away from Ghana. Maybe it is because this is my first visit to the West Coast and so the time difference is killing me. It is 9:30am here but in Ghana it is time to get off work for most people already.

Despite being severely over-fed with delicious culinary delights, the hardest part about this trip is that I'm not here on holiday. I'm attending a high-brow conference all about worm infections. It is a privilege to mingle with people you have only read about but it is excruciatingly difficult to stay awake for some of the evening sessions. Last night, the words used by the speaker in the last presentation were all in English but strung together in sentences, they sounded like Greek to me. Fortunately, I was not the only one who heard the Greek. My fellow jet-lag crew felt the same way!

8 comments:

Maya said...

Sorry about the jetlag, I haven't been to the West Coast so I can't give any tips on getting over it. But do enjoy or try to appreciate the cold whilst you're there, it'll make it so much easier to deal with the excruciating heat that you'll meet in March in Ghana!

Abena said...

Thanks Maya, it is strange... when the weather is boiling hot;I miss the cold and when the weather is freezing cold I miss the heat!!! Anyway; Im trying to enjoy the cold for now!!

Ki said...

Abena,
West Coast Baby!! I'm 4rm Long Beach, California. Some people there ten to become suspicious when you speak to them. lol! Guess that's life in the fast lane! But, dont let me "bad mouth" my home! Its a lovely place (lots of variety, cultures,people, good foods, plenty of things to do-sounds like NY?)
I'm currently living in Charlotte, NC! and honestly, the southern hospitality is unbelievable. The winters are cold but the people are not. The people are more "open & honest". I guess that's a benefit of smaller cities. But look out for Charlotte it's on the edge of becoming a major city!

patrick said...

How long have yu been in lake tahoe.Funny i am drivin back to los angeles from neveda ie..vegas after week doing some little work here..Damm i know it cold there...hope you have some fun..By the way houses wifes of oc is crazy show..makes you wonder ..

Emmanuel.K.Bensah II said...

I do so envy the Brits who are going through snow right now. Nothing like a walk through snow! All that said, missed your gorgeous self, Abena!

Nice to hear you're okay. I do so envy you; I'd go through an excruciating conference ANYDAY if it got me to travel small:-D Enjoy it. And let's get some more blogging from you about the US!

Keep safe!!

Abena said...

Hey Ki, Perhaps I overstated the brimming US hospitality but definately better than many places I have been. Will have to check out Charlotte: So you are from Long Beach? Cool! I'm ashamed to say that most of my knowledge of CA cities comes from Tupac/Dr. Dre's "California Love".. Cant wait to discover Frisco!!

Abena said...

Thanks Patrick leaving the Tahoe area tomorrow...Reno was definately *interesting*... wives of OC definately got me wondering!!!

Abena said...

Thanks Emmanuel! Isn't snow in London just a freaky phenomenon?? Trying to enjoy walkin thru the snow but right now, the thought of heading back to my room thru the snow is daunting!!!