Sunday, 13 September 2009

Days 1 and 2/99: The journey, 911 and the mall

I'm in America, after one or two points of hassle (not sleeping from 6am to 3am UK time, accidentally calling 911, trains not running) and quite enjoying it. It's really warm and sunny - about 28 degrees Celsius, almost 80 Fahrenheit - and I've spent the day out shopping with the other internationals. I met them all, and the Princeton people responsible for us, last night - though the boxes of Dunkin' Donuts they had for us were easily the best part of the evening, especially as they were all I had for dinner.

A few observations about the US:

On my NJ transit ticket, in the picture above, you may just be able to make out the phrase "Seating aboard NJ Transit vehicles is without regard to race, creed, color (sic) or national origin." I mean, obviously it's nice that they're making the effort, but how many other civilised countries need to make that disclaimer in the 21st century?

Speaking of train seating, it's really nice - 1930s and leathery - which is in stark contrast to the very weird unpainted steel outside of the trains.

As I say, today the Princeton international office ran a shopping trip to a local mall, for which they hired this:

Truly, I am in America.
Between my trips to Walmart, Best Buy and Target, I got bedding, another towel, a phone, a mug, and an alarm clock. I also got camera batteries on 2-for-1 at Boots at the airport, so I should be able to keep photographing away as long as I'm here.
At Best Buy, I take a photo to prove that the "it's going to be a New Jersey winter and you'll freeze to death" predictions of my friends and family were a little bit hyperbolic:
Also, a picture of my bed last night, complete with stolen aeroplane (I keep wanting to say 'airplane'!") sleeping materials:
And, more comfortably, today:
That's a fleece-like blanket on the bed, by the way: it was five dollars cheaper than a duvet ('comforter' here) and I don't need to wrestle to fit the cover over it.
That's pretty much everything - expect to hear more interesting things from me as my schedule gets busier over the next couple of days! As a quick taster - there's a 5k race next weekend to celebrate my college's redesign, which is a little bit tempting...


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. You're referring to it as "my college" already? You have a college, Rob. It has no redesign and needs no redesign, as it is from the 13th century. Don't get all American on us. V x

  3. I should note that I'm not using 'college' in the AmE sense - Princeton divides into a handful of residential colleges, where we eat and stuff, and to which the halls of residence are attached. I'm as much a member of Butler College as I am of Merton, although my heart is always in Oxford.

  4. I realised, actually (oh god, I am a stalker, I shouldn't know the name of your Princeton college). Glad you're loyal to Merton, though. :)

  5. My dad not only knows the name, but has researched who the "Wilf" in Wilf Hall was, and the fact that we have grass on the roof. I wouldn't worry ;)

  6. Glad you arrived safe and are settled in. Lovely to see a picture of the bed I WILL BE SLEEPING IN when I come to stay.

    Steve x

    ps - Father is a nerd if he has really researched who 'Wilf' is. Too much time on his hands me thinks.

  7. Floor has no carpet - just wood. I'm not sleeping on that; see if Kylie will put you up with her entourage.

    ("Father has too much time on his hands"? I figured that out in about April of 2005.)

  8. Methinks is one word, methinks.

    Britain seems to be about the only country in the world that actually uses duvets. Everywhere else I've been just has a sheet when it's warm, and a blanket too when it's cold.

    Ooh, wood floors.