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!