(Continued from previous post)
I'd always known that American cops were armed, but when you're not used to an gun-toting police force, it really seems so "in your face." It's almost like something from a comic-book; the "Utility Belt", complete with packed heat - and testosterone to match. But I noticed the officer standing by the drop-off area outside the terminal building at Newark airport, much more than he noticed me. In fact, I was so invisible to him that he turned and spat right on my shoe. "Welcome to America!"
I dragged myself and my backpack (we like to call them Rucksacks in England) along the sidewalk (Brits call this the pavement) a few feet and anxiously awaited my ride (lift) while I munched on some of the candy (sweets) I'd bought at the store (shop). Would she recognize me? It turned out that this disheveled Brit with the rucksack stood out enough from the besuited dudes with their fancy luggage, that she was soon able to find me.
People sometimes wonder why it took me six years (actually, until my daughter was born) before I agreed to get behind the wheel of a car in the US. Here's why: My friend pulled away from the kerb (and yes, she had allowed me to get in first!) and headed for the highway (motorway). Unfortunately, where the airport exited onto the highway, all I could see were cars coming at us from every direction. I thought for sure that someone was going to crash into us. It was lunacy. I did the only sane thing I could have done. I covered my eyes with my hands and screamed like a girl.
By the time we'd arrived in Edison, New Jersey from Newark airport, I'd finally removed my hands from my eyes. I tumbled out of the car with my stuff and entered my friend's cute little house. We went straight for the kitchen, where she asked me whether I'd like a cup of tea. YES, I thought. She knows me well enough to know that all I want after this stressful transatlantic trip is a cup of tea. Nothing more, until I recover. I like this woman.
Would you like Green Tea, Decaf. Green Tea, Rose-hip, Peppermint, Chamomile, Cranberry Apple Zinger, Orange Spice, Red tea, White tea,Lapsang Souchong......
It was then I first learned about the insane amount of choice that Americans have. Over pretty much everything.
Please....do you just have some tea?
The amazing thing was she got it. Very quickly. I was beginning to think she might be a keeper.
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