No snakes on this plane
I’ve had an enjoyable first few days in the US (Boston, MA). My apartment is really nice (considerably nicer than the student places I’ve been in for the last 2 years!), plus Dave (flat mate) and Seemant + Aimee have been really helpful in terms of getting me settled in.
I’ve figured out the public transport system and ventured into the city a few times. As I don’t start working until September, I’m enjoying having the time just to wander around with a slightly alienated feeling (everyone talks funny, drives on the wrong side of the road, etc) and no real commitments as of yet.
A few things have struck me while trying to get on my feet:
- The banking system is weird. The high street banks here seem to lack the efficiency which I’m used to back at home. And what’s this about paying monthly fees just to have a basic account? Savings accounts which offer only 0.40% interest? Having to pay to get a
- Holes in the
mobilecell phone network… Having a tri-band phone on a UK network allows me to connect to any GSM network out here, but reception of any network in my apartment is basically non-existent. Things don’t even get much better in the local town area, although it was OK in the city.
- Lack of any decent pay-as-you-go cellphone plans — I don’t see myself using a cellphone too much if I can’t even get signal at home, but it looks like all “prepaid” phone plans really suck out here
It has also been an educational experience. I now know the value of a dime (why is a 10 cent coin smaller, thinner and lighter than a 5 cent coint!?), and discovered what a corn dog actually is (haven’t tried one yet, but this Americanism had been bugging me for a while).
On Friday (my 20th birthday) I met with Dave & Megan and friends, Seemant & Aimee, Mike Frysinger and Joshua Nichols. We ate at a nice bar in the city, which was fun. I hope we can meet up again soon, once I’ve adjusted to the timezone.