So I have arrived and spent a bit more than 24 hours in the States. The first hour involved a stupidly long queue to get through passport and immigration control. In between leaving my seat on the flight and meeting Lydia at the Arrivals gate, I think 6 different people needed to see my passport. Not entirely sure why we had to show our passports upon entering AND exiting the air craft, I’m pretty sure few people change identities while on the plane. But one doesn’t quarrel with customs officials.
We took the train and a taxi back to Lydia’s flat, where I was able to change into something less warm (the knee high support socks to avoid blod clots on the plane were especially unnecessary in the heat). We went out for dinner, even though I was rather tired (obviously couldn’t sleep on the flight, there were movies to watch – I saw 21 Jump Street, We Bought A Zoo and John Carter). We went to a gourmet pub and had mussles and chips, Belgian style. Very tasty.
I slept like a log on Lydia’s sofa and tried to avoid going outside into the sweltering heat for the longest time, while Lydia was at work. I had a shower, I had breakfast while Skyping with Mark (multi-tasking), I caught up on e-mail and Facebook, read AND watched an episode of The Good Wife (it’s set in Chicago, it’s suitable). Finally, I had to brave the heat. It was, according to the news, 114 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s 45 degrees Celcius, and just crazy warm. They apparently had to close off some of the roads downtown midday because the surface was bubbling. So I went into a lot of shops, simply to cool off.
I ended up in the local shoe shop, lured by the sight of purple Ecco sandals (on sale!) in the window. A very nice shop clerk fetched pretty much all the Ecco shoes they had in my size, which is how I ended up with not one, but two pairs of new sandals, less than 24 hours after landing in America. Pretty much why credit cards were invented. Pictures of the purchases will follow in a later post.
When Lydia finally got back from work, we went to her friend’s knitting shop, where they have a sci-fi crafts circle every Friday. It was really nice. We had pizza, and watched Time after Time, a movie where Malcolm McDowell plays H.G. Wells, who has to chase Jack the Ripper to San Fransisco in 1979, after the serial killer steals the time machine Wells just invented. There was a lot of quality heckling, but the film was fun. I’m sorry I’m going to miss the next two Fridays, when they’ll be doing Serenity and Terminator. I bought two balls of yarn, intending to crochet a new thin shawl, but was unable to watch a film and crochet at the same time. I’m also going to have to go back tomorrow, because I’m so rubbish at reading pattern instructions that I need Lisa to tell me what to do, or I just wasted nearly 50 dollars on something I can’t use.
Tomorrow Lydia and I are going to a nicely air-conditioned art gallery (I’ve been promised Van Gogh) and to do some shopping. Hopefully it won’t be too insanely hot out.