First Observations on Returning to the United States
May 14, 1988
- People on the airplane were speaking "American" (using words like gonna, wanna, gotta).
- The grass was green. Spring already!
- Lots of American flags were flying. Large flags.
- "Welcome to Chicago"—signs were correctly spelled!
- Toilets were well-marked and easy to find.
- Toilets were sparkling clean and supplied with toilet paper.
- Rest rooms were free!
- The lines through customs were orderly and moved quickly.
- The forms asked for month/day/year, not day/month/year.
- The customs official knew someone in Anchorage.
- No customs checks or baggage searches.
- The luggage arrived immediately.
- The woman at the Information Desk had the information we needed and more. An Information Desk with information! What a concept!
- When we asked for directions, people were specific and didn't just wave their hand.
- Signs were everywhere. It was nearly impossible to get lost. The escalator even had a sign that said "Up" (as if we couldn't figure that out without assistance).
- People smiled and looked me in the eye.
- A package of gum cost $.65.
- The ticket agents were fast, courteous and efficient.
- Shelves of new books filled the bookstore, the latest books.
- I could browse in peace, without anyone pressuring me to buy something.
- Someone handing out religious literature thought we looked European.
It was great to be back!
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