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diary for March 2

已有 1396 次阅读 2015-3-6 03:10 |系统分类:海外观察

March2

 

Now,after more than 10 hours of flying, looking out of the window, I could seesomething different. I was not sure and I asked the man close to me. He saidthat we were above the Pacific Oceanin San Francisco. Oh, San Francisco! A city I have long heard about in a song:

 

 

If you're going to San Francisco

Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair

If you're going to San Francisco

You're gonna meet some gentle people there

For those who come to San Francisco

Summertime will be a love-in there

In the streets of San Francisco

Gentle people with flowers in their hair...

 

  Within 10 minutes or so, I could see thewater and land and very soon I could feel the touchdown of the airplane, whichmeans that I was indeed safe and sound at the end of this journey! So relievedwas I at that moment!

   After getting off the plane, I followed theother passengers into the inspection lobby, where I saw the following wordsposted on the wall: Welcome to San Francisco. I just felt I was in a dream! ButI knew I had to realize that this time I was in this American city--the citythat most Americans even like to visit.

 

   Now after being inspected by the Customsofficer and responding to him in fluent English, I headed to the area forluggage claim. There were all those bags placed on a rotating surface for thepassengers to pick up. I tried to search for mine man times, but ended up invain. Now almost ten minutes had passed and I was still there looking for thebig black bag of mine. I just regretted not having put some attracting marks onmy bag before I started the journey...Fortunately, though I finally managed tolocate it among dozens of other bags put on the ground and I started headingfor the area to board the next plane to Sacramento, the capital city ofCalifornia.

 

   Well, it is just 12:30 now and I need towaited for more than 2 hours before boarding the next plane. I wanted to callmy parents using my cellphone, but the China Mobile network was not available,which was irritating and even angering because, before the journey, I did to goto a Chine Mobile service site and asked the staff member to make sure that thenetwork would be usable for my stay in the US. So I went upstairs and tried tolook for a place where I could called my parents to let them know I was fine.There were some public phones out there, but I was informed that I would becharged 13 dollars for a 3-min conversation! Thirteen dollars. Almost 80 RMB,which was without doubt an astronomical number for making such a call. Anotherproblem was that I needed coins, which I did not have, or a credit card, whichI borrowed from Liu jingpeng, one of my friends. It was indeed veryinconvenient for me wither to get some coins or to use the credit card. Iwalked around in the hall, anxious and helpless...Fortunately, this problem wassolved, thanks to a elegant, friendly old lady at the information desk who hadretired but who volunteered there and to a man in charge of the Supershuttleservice who agreed to let me use his cellphone! I am so thankful for them fromthe bottom of my heart. By the way, I almost talked for an hour with thelady--surely in English and she said my English was good!

 

   Anyway, I finally took the Supershuttle towardsDaysinn. As the shuttle was moving through the streets in downtown Davis, I wastruly amazed by the clean, quiet and organized streets! One thing thatfascinated me is that there were very few people on the street! I did not knowwhy but I indeed like this kind of serenity...

 

   Finally I arrived at Daysinn at about 7 inthe evening. It cost me 77 dollars to live there for a night. By the way, thegirl at the front desk was very nice and we talked for at least half an hour.Also I had a nice talk with a man who frequented the inn. He was an Americanfor sure. We chatted a lot of things including the issue concerning thebenefits of being an American.

  I woke up very early in the next morning andheaded for a supermarket called Nugget nearby. On the street I was amazed whenan elderly man said "Hi" to me. I do not think in China someone wouldtake the first step to do this to a stranger. I talked with him for severalminutes and came to know that he was a retired pilot and he had a daughter inUC Davis. He was heading for a coffee bar. What a life.

 

  Now in the Nugget supermarket I saw so manythings I never saw before. I was amazed by the variety of the products there.Particularly, I was so excited to see those fresh fruits and vegetables!Different from the situation in the markets I had been to in China, here eachitem was placed an information tag. I talked with the man in charge of thisarea and asked him to recommend some tasty apples for me. He was nice--so nicethat he cut some parts of several apples to let me have a taste.

 

   Finally I bought about 30 dollars of fruitsand prepared to check out. I must say that I felt so good about the servicequality of the cashier, who smiled to customers and asked how they were!Furthermore, she would say "have a nice day or something when customersleft the store. In China I had never met any cashier being so nice andconsiderate to customers. I did not know why, but I do think that there was along way to go for most Chinese cashiers. Of all the cashiers I met in China,none had really smiled. Is this too challenging to them? Or is it because theysimply see no use in doing so?

 

...ThenI called the landlord to inquire about his room for rent. I told him that I wasin a hotel and had a lot of stuff to carry. He agreed to come over to pick meup and then drive to his house. So around 11:30 he arrived and helped me to putthe heavy baggage onto his car. About half an hour later we were in his house,build on a 10-acre land, with trees around and a huge area of lawn that I hadnever anticipated! He led me to look around in and outside his house and tellme something about the rent agreement. He told me that it was not a fancy placebut for people who enjoy quiet country life it can be nice. Anyway finally I tookup a 2-month lease and gave him about 2300 dollars including securitydeposit and cleaning fees. I knew the place was not ideal given the distance of5 miles off the campus but I just wanted to be settled for the moment.

In the afternoon Fred (thelandlord) offered to drive me to some supermarkets, where I bought acell-phone service (at around 30 dollars), some vegetables, some fruits, abottle of Italian vinegar (more than 10 dollars), a bottle of American sauce,an electrical pan for frying vegetables, a case of ramen and some other stuffas daily necessities. Unfortunately, after inquiry in several markets, Istill did not find a suitable socket adapter I needed for my computer. Thereseemed to be one in Walmart, but it, though simply structured, sold for morethan 20 dollars! Finally I checked in and he drove me back home. One thing thatI want to particularly mention is that I really feel it was wise for me to havebrought some stuff for sleeping all the way from China, because products hereare indeed expensive if you transform the prices into RMB.

   Arriving at the room, I took a break andstarted to cook my first meal in the United States of America: noodles withspinach, egg, and tomatoes. When the noodles were done, I added some vinegar Ijust bought in a supermarket, hoping for a tastier effect. Unfortunately, thisexpensive vinegar (almost more that 60 RMB per bottle) did not taste as good aseven a 3-yuan Shanxi vinegar that I once bought and tasted! Well, maybe it justtook time to adapt myself to this new western flavor.




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