I just arrived from a cross county car trip in the USA after spending years in Europe and the Middle East. Here are some thoughts about my country I garnered from this journey:
1) The government seems to be on top of the illegal problem south of the border. I wase stopped at a checkpoint in Texas where they were hunting for illegals. I was also stopped in Tennessee, and Iknow that because of my tag the officer wanted to look in my trunk.
2) It is going to take some time to get used to customer service again. In a Waffle House each customer was greeted with shouts of “Hello!” from all the employees as they walked in the door. People asked me how I was doing today in there and in another restaurant. Workers apologized for delays. A highly placed bank officer dropped what she was doing and notarized my car title on the spot. I am in wonder land.
3) Southern ladies have not lost their cordial, genteel nature.
4) Texas is huge. It took all day and night to get through. Unfortunately, west Texas is ugly. (Apologies to anyone from there.)
5) I went through the home of three presidents: George W, Bill Clinton and Andrew Jackson. I ate lunch in Midland, W’s place. I asked the guy making my coffee at a Starbucks what it was like living in the home of George W. Bush. He didn’t answer. Must have been a Democrat.
6) In addition to customer service, I am also going to have to get used to cross selling again. In the same Starbucks, a nice young woman persevered in trying to get me to buy a package of their new instant coffee. I told her I didn’t like instant, and wanted my latte. That didn’t stop her. Still, they do have some tasty instant. I tried a sample.
7) Virginia Tech football fans are nuts for their team. They booked every reasonably priced room along the interstate near Blacksburg for 30 to 40 miles. They packed the restaurant I was in, and the game had ended 30 miles away and 2 hours before.
8) There is nothing like the night shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains.