Amazing Grace (Celebrating 12 years in the US)

~~  Excerpts from the letters written in the US, 12 years ago  ~~

November 27, 2003
Salt Lake City, Utah

(First week in the USA)
"First week in Utah! Salt Lake City is a beautiful place, super beautiful.... Everything to me is a new experience, so new."

"Since I arrived I got “wow-ed” by every single thing. Just like a little kid would be when visiting an amusement park, except that my “ride” was an airplane and a subway, and the “characters” were the Americans."

"The airport (in Atlanta, Georgia) was huge! Listening to people talking in English everywhere was surreal… Seeing fat people everywhere, eating greasy food at the airport was different…"

"When I finally arrived to Salt Lake City I was excited to see and touch snow for the first time… There wasn’t snow in the ground though, so I grabbed the black snow that was stuck underneath a car… and found out that snow was in fact, cold."

Temple Square 
"Temple Square was simply majestic. I was impressed how everything around there was carefully taken care of. There wasn’t a single detail left unattended. Even the snow looked a little ‘fake’ over there… like if it was staged, the same with the trees. Too perfect if you will"

"Trees looked nicer at Temple Square than it does around the neighborhood I am staying at (Rose Park)… Here, trees look sad and creepy."

"Today is "the day of doing something to show gratefulness, (Thanksgiving Day) a very unique American holiday... I, again, was very much amazed at how much people eat here, but what can I say, I fit in perfectly! I love it!"

"Apparently, the most important thing about Thanksgiving was not the turkey or the pie, but what  happens the day after: Black Friday. A day with great deals worth dying for... Literally."

"I don’t want anybody to die tomorrow, but for some reason, I really, really want to see the mess unfold."

"UPDATE: Somebody did die unfortunately. A security guard died when he opened the door and an stampede of eager shoppers run all over him."

"I am shocked about how much people buy stuff here. I see it as an exaggeration compared to what I am used to."

"[They] just get stuff… a lot of stuff. They would consume a lot of anything really. Food, television, advertising, shopping, sports… Anything, you name it."

"I seemed as if people here  buy a lot of things to then donate it to second-hand stores (Stuff sometimes unused!). Then, those things are again bought by others looking for good deals at stores like DI... By the way, I love Deseret Industries (D.I.)!!"

"In general, people I have met are very hard-working people, and they have a good system that works for them... They way they consume things seems to me a little unhealthy."

"I just think is funny that the first thing that shocked me about the American life was THAT. I wonder if I’ll get 'sick' as well."

"UPDATE: I did."

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