Kentucky Stories and Tips

Week 01 - The Real America (USA)

Well I have been over in the US now for a few days, and I already have enough stories to fill a small book! It wasn't the best of starts getting across in the first place, as after a sleepless night at the airport, they decided to cancel my flight, which meant being put on a later flight to a different airport and then having to catch another flight to Louisville where I was meeting Candace—I wasn't happy!!!


Managed to finally get home late Wednesday night, and as Candace had lectures on the Thursday, I decided to explore the local vicinity. What was a small walk, turned into a 3 hour mission to find my way back home as somehow I managed to get completely lost, and as it seems absolutely no-one walks in the US, there was no-one to ask for directions! I'm lucky to still be alive!! I think that's the strangest difference I have noticed so far about living here, is that everyone seems to drive everywhere, even if it's just down the road, and all the shops are built out of the centre of the city and they haven't even built pavements to walk to them if anyone wanted to—I can see why there is an obesity problem!! (At least the Americans seem to have a good excuse, unlike the English!!).


After this little fiasco, I went down to a place called Common Grounds (a coffee house, which is the liveliest place apparently in the whole of the city!!) with Candace in the evening, and was followed into the place by a guy leading his girlfriend (dressed in leather and fishnet stockings) by a proper dog lead. I was informed that this wasn't the norm at all and hasn't been in fashion since the mid-90s—the fact that it was actually in fashion is a little unnerving!! Hopefully this isn't the real America I was so desperate to see!


After my first full day in Lexington, Candace and her housemate were having a house party the following day. This was very entertaining indeed! We made a fruit punch for everyone, which amongst other alcoholic substances contained a bottle of Pure Grain, which is 95% alcohol. It smelt vile and totally put me off drinking this punch, so I stuck to my trusted strange beers, which they sell over here for the equivalent of 40p a bottle—cant really complain! By the end of the night i was actually getting quite scared of all the attention I was getting so I decided to retire to the comfort of talking about moisturisers and the colour pink with this gay guy—honestly I'm not gay!!


By the end of the party I was very drunk and went upstairs to bed and passed out. Unfortunately after not embarrassing myself at the party or being a menace like I normally am, I was about to undo all the good work, as when I got up to go the toilet in the night, I somehow missed the door to the toilet and walked straight into Candace's housemates room, who was in bed with her boyfriend. You would have thought I had realised my mistake, but I was so out of it I walked right up to the wall and started to undo my jeans ready to take a leak, and it was only a shriek from Candace's housemate who could see what I was about to do that finally made me realise I had walked into the wrong room. I'm glad she could laugh about it the following morning!!


Apart from that I have had a relaxing first weekend over here, going to the theatre and park amongst other things, and haven't really felt homesick at all yet, although i definitely couldn't see myself wanting to live over here full time in the area that I am (that doesn't say I can't see an American future somewhere a little larger than here!), as you just cant do anything without driving everywhere, which I don't really like. Even if you want to buy a newspaper or milk, you have a mission to find a place close enough which doesn't involve crossing over an eight lane highway and risking your life!!


I'm getting quite excited about meeting Candace's full family this Thursday for the first time, and then on Friday we fly to Chicago for the marathon. I have somehow managed to get a really good start position for this, starting just behind the professionals in the top 500 out of 40,000, which I have no idea how I managed to get this, other than the fact I knocked an hour off my predicted finishing time! Hopefully it will pay off, and I won't get beaten by a 3 foot dwarf like I did in Berlin—that was embarrassing, and even though I didn't try too hard in that, it's still not good being beaten by a guy half my height (and that's the first time I have ever been able to say that!!).


Anyway that's all for now… until next week!!


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