Friendly, immensely responsive and very kind people are always there to help you even if they don’t know you and see you for the first time. Americans who I worked with always asked whether we had the bus coming to take us back home or not. If not, they kindly gave us a lift to our premise, in spite of the fact that it was 3 o’clock at night. I remember having a walk around the city at night when a police car with blinking beacon lights slowly came up to me. I know if it happens, you must stop. So I stopped and the car stopped as well. A police officer approached me and started talking. Though his right hand was resting on a holster, he was very friendly and polite while asking me different questions. I remembered Russian police...
One more thing to be mentioned here is the place that is situated in Smoky Mountains and where one more of my dreams, roller coaster ride, came true. That is Pigeon Forge! It’s an amazing place with lots of different tourist attractions and the most exciting is Dollywood with its thrilling roller coasters, various water rides, artificial mines where you can be scared to death,etc.
This is really a place to be! The sign at the entrance says: "Be ready to get wet”. And I really did. Luckily it was sunny and warm so my clothes dried very fast. One thing that spoils this feast is that this amusement park gets incredibly crowded by midday and queues are just huge at that time of a day. I spend the whole day there and it was one of the most unforgettable days in my life.
When I finished working for Uncle Sam and got paid for that I realised that it’s time to rest at last,so I went to the airport in Atlanta, Georgia so that I could go to my friend, David, who lived in Seattle. And this is one more example of American hospitality. While waiting for the day of departure I stayed with some family, The Peacoks, who had never heard or known of me before I came to their house. They put me up for a couple of nights, shared their food with me, gave me a ride to some interesting places and even took me to their work once. I was very grateful to them for such care of me.
Seattle is a big city with terrific buildings, nice and wide roads, luxury shops and restaurants,huge pedestrian areas where you could walk, play and listen to music or just chat in the shadow of some lonely tree or a house which towers above you.
I wanted to get on top of The Needle - one of the Seattle’s landmarks but to my surprise it cost an arm and a leg so I just took a picture of it.
If you ask me to describe the USA in one word, I’d say "convenience”. Everything is for people! David took me to The Pacific Ocean and again my dream came true: I saw and swim in an ocean.
We got to the place by car and had a caravan to live in. No people or houses around just several small but very clean areas with asphalt roads leading to them with a special room for your car and caravan. We stopped near a short post that was sticking out of the ground, my friend got some hoses out of this post, connected them to the caravan and voilà … we had light and water in our two-wheeled home.
Very convenient! I was astonished that there was only one building there and I was surprised to find out that it was for showers and toilets. Hot water in the middle of nowhere! Isn’t it amazing? Everything is for people!!!
Well, we swam,sunbathed, tried to learn ABC of surfing and stuff. There I tried doughnuts, first time in my life, 12 pieces at once - I was really hungry.
Four days later we moved from the State of Washington to the state of Oregon and stayed at Peach Beach camp on the river Columbia which separated those two states.
Interesting fact: peach trees with ripe peaches on them were everywhere but no one tried to pluck them, they just went to a stall nearby and paid for fruit. Well, we easily found special equipment for windsurfing and Dave started to teach me to windsurf. At least, I can cay that I gave it a go and I managed to surf for some distance without falling into Columbia. We also went to an observatory, listened to a lecture about stars and watched them through a huge telescope. Their sky is a bit different from ours I’d say.
P.S. While going from one state to another I paid attention to roads. Those roads are a good example of convenience as well. Special stripes or cuts in the surface of a road are made all way long along the edges of the road just to the right of the traffic lane. I asked David about them and he showed it to me. "Imagine,he said,I am sleepy and my eyes are closing, I’m losing control over the steering wheel and our car is beginning to move to the right bit by bit”. David turned the wheel to the right a little, we crossed the lane and all of a sudden our car started to shake... That’s enough for a driver who fell asleep to feel the shake and wake up. Safety first!
I liked the country and the people I met there but by the end of my trip I felt homesick. I picked up some small stones and soil to bring home just as a keepsake to remind me of that continent, but having second thoughts decided that it would be much better to come there again.