This weekend I went to America - fuck yeah!

Trip Start Mar 19, 2007
Trip End Apr 21, 2008

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Flag of United States  , New York
Saturday, December 1, 2007

New York is big. Bigger then York. They should really call it Big York. Or maybe York, and then call York Old York or West York or York the smaller or something. It's also bigger then Texas, which has size issues and drives a Porsche in a vain attempt to compensate for it's inadequacies. (Ok, so I've got Porsche envy).

a) The population is big. All 20,000,000 of them. Take Australia. Squish it down to the size of Manhattan Island (not so big). Call it Big York. Put 1/10th of the population on the footpath in a place called times square. Now try and move.

b) The buildings are big. They all tower miles into the sky, even the small ones. The former WTC twin towers were twice as big as anything else still standing. No wonder they were taken out by planes. You could almost have touched the moon from the top of them! I don't think Osama was really trying to take them out. He was just trying to launch Arabair or something. Would have been terrifying to be there at the time. Still creepy going there now looking at the hole in the city.

c) The cars are big. It seems everyone drives a Chevy V37 5 tonne yank tank 4WD with a 700 litre fuel tank. Global warming means I won't need to turn the heater on as often, yes? If you haven't got said yank tank, you have a limo. There are more of these floating about then you can throw rocks at. Petrol is also stinkin cheap. AUD$0.80 / litre. Compares nicely to AUD$2.30 / litre in the UK but not quite as sweet as AUD$0.15 in Egypt...

d) The food is big. On occasion I had to leave food behind on the plate. Often it was the poorer cuts, like a chicken, of a hot dog and a few ribs... Mum, I ate all of my salad* though. You'd be proud.

e) The metro (subway) is big. And Crap. And smells of urine. And is hard to figure out the first time you get there. And isn't anywhere near as good as the tube in London. And no, we're not stopping here. Ok, we are stopping here, but your carriage isn't. Moving north / south? No worries. Moving East / West? Get a bus and sit in the car park for of an hour. Still, sh!ts all over the Brisbane train service though!

f) The trains on the Metro are big. You can walk in to 57th STATION on 56th and exit at 58th. That's a 2 block train.**

g) The Statue of liberty is big. It's almost 100m tall, green, and, um, big. I want one to go with the Obelisk in my back yard.

h) The weather is big. Mmmm, 32 degrees.... Fareinheit. D'oh! Despite wearing my beany AND my jacket, I may have been, at times, cold. Allegedly. I blame the fact that I left my ultimate hardcore cold weather gear (my sunnies) at home. Next to my shaver.

i) The snowflakes were big. As were the snowballs Kel threw at me. Bully.

j) My male pattern baldness afro was big. See h.

k) The games of NFL (Gridiron) are big. They go for 3 hours.

l) It's called the big apple. Dunno why though.. What I do know is that everywhere you look, they're either trying to overcharge you for hotdogs on street corners, or have deep fried cow stuffed with pig stuffed with chicken stuffed with fried eggs and bacon stuffed with grease. It was heavenly. I ate my own weight in tender juicy greasy deep fried bovine and swine products (with a side of 3 roast chooks), and now look like a big apple. The dish they call 'pulled pork' should be globalised. I think the best way to now do this (since the apparent downturn Maccas is experiencing) is to call it Irish and use their chain of pubs to distribute the stuff. Also came across one of the best bacon and eggs I've ever had, and I've consumed a fair amount of those staples in my time! Definitely top 10. Possibly top 5. With another half a pig's worth of bacon, it would have been number 1.

m) The Empire state building is not really that big anymore. It's cold on top. Your hands will shatter if you attempt to use your camera on the outside obserfreezertory. Pretty view but.

n) The security guards are big. The Chrysler building is not the Empire state building. They have a no tourist policy.

o) There was also this thing girls call 'shopping'. It's big. It happens at places like Tiffany's (all the prices were hidden, however I did manage to see 1 set of earings for USD$10,000 - and a rather small and plain looking set at that), Victorias secret (Not many secrets hidden with some of the outfits there!), The Rockerfeler Centre (1 X Christmas tree that is bigger then Texas), The Nike shop (Make your own boots!?!) and Macy's (38 floors of ladies fashion, 27 floors of ladies shoes and 42 dumpsters of men {expired} who thought they could). Kel got lots of stuff. I got to carry it. It was fun. :)

p) The M&M shop was big. 3 levels of chocolaty heaven. Undies, ties, aprons, kitchen utensils, cups, mugs, shotglasses, trinkets, whoosywhatsits and dooverknackys. Oh, and more M&M's then you can poke a stick at. Time to remortgage the house. You wouldn't believe the M&M colours they have there. They even had pink for Kel.

q) Central park is big. Bigger then Texas. 600+ acres worth of big. It's pretty. You can ice skate in it.

Big city, but nice people. All really friendly. Really really friendly. No pushing or jostling, despite it being so busy, and us being lost tourists. Smiles, greetings and friendly banter all around. However, there is a dark side to this. The stoopid American. I think every nation has its curse. The rude Parisian, the sheep shaggin Kiwi... Just as well we're all perfect in Oz!!! Now, before I launch into another rant, let me assure you that I love America and Americans. I've got a couple of good American mates, and I want to go see more of the place when I grow up. Much to Kel's disdain, I even know the chorus of the star spangled banner (almost as good as I know the chorus of 'strayans all let us rejoice). Despite this, I was amused at some of the questions I was asked as I was hopping along riding my Kangaroo, my favourite being 'Are there traffic lights in Australia?', closely followed by 'Have you heard of Justin Trousersnake in Australia? He's a big star over here.' Here's your sign. Nearly fell off my bloody 'roo a couple of times. Luckily Kel was there to respond in a coherent and polite manner while I was rolling around on the floor: "No, we don't have traffic lights. Our 'roos all stop automatically at intersections so that we can listen to Rolf Harris without having to interrupt keeping an eye out for snow crocodiles, drop bears and hoop snakes."

* There is rarely any salad served with mains in New York, unless you count deep fried chips as salad :)
** station names may vary. You get the idea. It's big.
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