Friday, 7 June 2013

Living the American Dream

I like to live by the philosophy that things will always fall into place. Whether this is a genuine belief, or simply my way of justifying my organisation deficiency, I am unsure. Whatever the case, my first few days in Kutztown, USA have reinforced it.

We arrived in our new hometown after a somewhat flurried few days of travel; it's never easy when you have your weight in luggage to drag along with you wherever you go. This included an overnight stay in Sydney, where, thanks to uninformative Wotif listings, we ended up in a shoebox room with a shower in the cupboard, at a hotel sandwiched between MacDonalds and KFC. Just as well, though, as we were four minutes late for the 9.30am hotel breakfast cut off, and had to weigh up between an empty stomach or a McCafe toasted sandwich to fill the gap. Upon later reflection, the former would have been more satisfying. Alysha and I followed this with what was intended to be a morning walk around the block. But after three left turns, we somehow ended up walking in the opposite direction to our motel, and found ourselves in the Sydney Ghetto.

Real Estate Advertisement in Sydney. Seems legit.
A three hour stop-over in Dallas sounded sufficient - even mundane - before taking into account the two hours it would take to creep our way through the customs line, let alone rechecking our exorbitance of luggage, catching a train to the domestic terminal, and tracking down our gate. As it so happened (and we should have guessed based on prior experience with US airlines) our flight was delayed, and we were left twiddling our thumbs for an hour or two. But nuisances aside, we got here.

As you would imagine, in our jet-lagged, weary state, we were more than ready to collapse into bed and sleep our exhaustion away. So it was hardly satisfying to open the door of our new home for the next ten weeks and be met by vinyl mattresses with no bedding or pillows.

Me sleeping. (reconstructed footage)
The following day was pretty crazy, but long story short we ended up moving out of the University and into an apartment on the main street, primarily because of it's affordability, but also because it feels much more homely than the Uni hostel, which resembled more of a hospital ward that a place to live. When you are spending ten weeks in one place, feeling at home is vital in keeping the morale at a healthy level. We are now settled in and beginning our new lives as Pennsylvanians. Having already spent three weeks here last Summer has made it much easier to adapt, along with the incredible hospitality that the locals offer. It seems every citizen of Kutztown is not only willing, but visibly eager, to lend a hand where they can. It is one side of the US that I was oblivious to last year, being part of an organised team, and one that has certainly warmed me to the town and it's people.

Our first night of racing was cancelled due to rain - it has barely stopped since we arrived, which has not made recurrent bicycle trips to the supermarket all that pleasant - but Alysha and I are eager to hit the track once again and give it a bit of dig.

I have recently been given the honour of partnering up with Steve Brandon, Barbara and Dev Barron of the upcoming Wanganui Pita Pit, as a sponsored rider and employee. I am regretful that I will not be home for the opening of my favourite food store, but I know I have plenty of pitas to come home to once I have finished my job over here. I am so appreciative of the support I am receiving from them, and cannot think of a better store to be backed by.

Because I need both of my arms and legs, I have decided not to fall victim to the notorious roaming charges, and therefore do not have my phone working over here, but feel free to hit me up on Facebook or Viber.

With some luck I will wake up to a sky full of sunshine, as opposed to pouring rain and Alysha's 'WAKE UP, I'M HUNGRY' and get a good day of riding into my legs.

There will be plenty of updates to come.



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