7 years ago I wanted a blog and I created one. I am that kind of person that gets everything by all means. Several years have passed since my last post on this blog and I believe it is the time to write about my little adventure overseas. As you can see, all my other posts are written in Romanian, but this one will be in English. Why? Because everything changed in the past 3 years. 3 years ago I left Romania and moved to Denmark in order to study abroad. During this time, I made lots of friends from different countries all over the world and of course, we communicate among ourselves in English. However, I am aware that not all my Facebook friends are eager to find out how I am doing so I could say that I am using this blog as my memoir where I put little details which could be forgotten after years.
Firstly, I want to mention that all the events are located in a small town called Cape Girardeau (unless it is stated otherwise) and my thoughts/opinions are not reflecting the whole United States of America, which as you all know already it is really huge.
January 12, 2017. That is the date when I left Europe for my adventure. The night before I packed my things and prepared my last details for the big trip. Early in the morning, I took the train heading to Copenhagen Airport. At 13 pm was my first flight to Amsterdam, then Detroit and St. Louis after a total of 16 hours.
January 13, 2017, My first day in Cape Girardeau. I met with my landlord who showed me the city and various places for shopping. Of course, it was in vain as I could not process all the information after more than 48 hours being awake. I was the first one to arrive at the new house so I took advantage of the silence. I slept around 15 hours on my first night, given the fact that normally I require only half of it to function properly.
In the following days, I went out to explore the city and the campus. The city is pretty small, around 50,-60,000 people with few bars and restaurants downtown, while the shopping center is somewhere at 2-3km away from the city center and you can reach it by car. The campus, however, is quite big. There are 3 routes where shuttles/minibusses drive the students to different buildings.
Everything is big here. Everyone has big cars, if you are a fan of muscle cars, that’s the place you want to be. I remember I was turning my head over every Mustang or Chevrolet I could see in Europe; here are plenty of them, I am still amazed. Nobody is walking, everybody drives, no matter the distance.
Fast-foods are everywhere, at every corner. The TV is full of ads for burgers and tacos. Seriously. Fruits and vegetables are rare and only a few shops sell them. No wonder why everyone thinks that Americans are fat and lazy. The taste of food is also different. As much as I love KFC back home, the US KFC is really bad. Same thoughts for Subway. Maybe it is just me.
It is easier to buy a gun than a sim card in the US. Since I had some problems with my roaming and it is not really convenient, I was looking forward buying an American sim card. As I was used to our way in Europe where you can buy a sim card in every corner shop, put it in your phone, top up with 10 euros and make your call, I found it really hard to deal with the problem in US. Here you can find a sim card only in big stores which sell electronics such as BestBuy or Walmart. After purchasing it, here it comes the question: contract or pay-as-you-go? I was lost. I assumed that pay-as-you-go is the variant of our prepaid sim. The next step is registering your sim card and selecting a monthly plan. I find it outrageous that you have to pay a lot for shitty services. For example, AT&T offers unlimited calls and messages for $30. That’s it. If you want also 4GB of data mobile, you have to pay $45. In Denmark, I pay 100DKK ($14) for 10h calls, unlimited texts and 30GB of data mobile, while Romania has similar fees. Quite a difference, isn’t it?
As I live in a small city, there are no clubs, only bars. Everything close at 1-2 AM. If you are unlucky to know someone who throws an after-party or any guy/girl in a fraternity/sorority, you must go to sleep. I am still dealing with this fact since I am used to parties that start at 1, not ending.
Most of the Americans have a huge lack of fashion sense. At school, all the boys are wearing tracksuits while the girls are all in yoga pants, no matter the size. It is like at they have class at 2 and a match at 4, excepting the fact that only a few are actually playing sports. During the evenings, a similar story only that now most of them look like they are ready to feed at animals at the farm. The girls are confident. Does not matter if they are skinny, fit or fat, they all think they are attractive; I have no power nor right to judge it.
I will get soft again. As a Romanian, I was used to be warm and welcoming with everyone. The time in Denmark changed me a bit, turning me into a person with a colder approach and a bit more reserved about the people around me. The USA is different. The people are warm, happy and always willing to help you. The Americans are amazed by us, international students. I can see how their faces change when they ask me where I am from and I answer Romania. I am the only Romanian here so far, which makes me quite special. People look at me with curiosity and ask details about Romania. While I was used to getting different looks full of ignorance or disgust from our fellow Europeans when I reveal my nationality, the Americans look at me as a normal person. It really makes me wanna stay here forever.
I have written the article briefly. There will be detailed articles about how I see the American Dream in the future.