…has been the question we have been asked many times after our 11 days in N.Y.C. and Annapolis. And the answer is… the amazing friendliness of people.  "Those Americans are so shallow" some one might say. So what, but they are amazingly nice to each other. Starting with the Mrs Lee in immigrations, all but one (the white one) bus drivers in N.Y.C to amazing Lisa in WashingtonD.C. just to be  mentioned. And many other passers by.

Travelling in a bus

It seems to me that everywhere else but in Finland people wait until the bus has stopped until they start getting up and approaching the door. Back door to be exact. But no, not in N.Y.C. You wait until the bus has stopped and then you walk out. Most likely from the front door.  And people wait until everybody gets out. Tough luck if some stupid tourist from Finland is trying to get in and swipe her metro card at same time point. But she will learn. And she will stop thinking how much more efficient it would be if people would go out in the back and get in in the front.

Even from the past experience (15 years ago) I remember how nice the drivers were. Trashy looking black man in wheelchair was helped in with a lift as nicely as everybody else to the bus. Many times you would have made it more quickly by foot than sitting in a cross town bus, but all that walking was killing your feet, it was warm inside, and you were able to "observe".

What else?

As what I wrote there above was OUR best thing, I personally think the best thing for me was to meet my "sister" after 15 years. I've been an exchange student in San Diego, California 1987-88. Lived with this overly religious family The Clarks. Mom and Dad and Julie and Cindy. That is an another story with many twist and turns. I went back to California twice to visit them 1990-91 as I was working as an Au Pair in Maryland with the Junttila Family.

So it has been 15 years since we met w/ Julie. Some, not that many, (and many times drunk-calls in my part) phone calls or lousy e-mails in between, now we met again. It was a pleasure. A great pleasure.

With some people you just continue where you left it the last time. It was like that with Julie. Now she had a lovely family of her own, husband Clayton and her 2+ year old Meredith Reagan. They live in Annapolis in this fancy big house that had plenty of room for us to stay couple of nights as well.

They continued on their life as we were there. I liked that. Julie went to her MOPS- bible study meetings and we got to meet their carpenters and previous neighbours as well as Clayton was working hard every night for his M.B.A. Julie cooked all these wonderful meals and we went out to eat couple of times.  Meredith was amazing with her chopsticks in this sushi place as she ate the seaweed salad. And miso soup was as well extremely delicious, ask her dress about it. But Julie had declared laundry war to spots, so no worry.

We are looking forward too see them here in Finland. As our flat is pretty much empty and waiting for visitors the whole summer, it would be shame not to have them visiting us. SOON. You hear that J!