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Clearly …

There is very clearly too much to take in, including …

I always thought that the line “Get a room already!” (as used in the closing credits of an epsiode of ‘Friends’ once), was – well – just a line, until I found myself on the receiving end of those exact same words. Having four guys in a over-sized American car as they leer at you out of the window at a Krispy Kreme parking lot is a somewhat memorable experience.

US Montage 1

It was 21 degrees here though yesterday (He says, fully aware that he hasn’t actually been specific as to which town or city here actually is) but it IS nice – very nice.

That was once I’d actually been let into the country though. I know they’re just doing their job, but the surley arsehole at the immigration desk lived up the expectations that I’ve sadly come to expect.

“Where have you come from?”, “Where were you born?”, “Where are you going to?” “Who are you staying with?” “How do you know that person?” “What’s their address?”, “Have you been to the States before?” “When was that?” “Show me your ticket home!” “What’s your job?” “Who do you work for?” “The person you’re staying with – what do they do?”, “What gifts have you brought?” and so on .. and so on .. for a good ten minutes making you feel guilty – even though you’ve got nothing to feel guilty about. They then take your picture and scan your index fingers on both hands before finally letting you in.

Coke C2There are nice people here though – in the local Starbucks to where I’m staying they were still dishing out red cups (yay!) and they had a strange policy of asking your name when you placed your order and writing it on the side of the cup – A good idea probably when it’s busy, but as we were the only two people ordering at the time it seemed a little weird. A conversation about the spelling of “Geoff” ensued though with the server, as most Geoff’s here are spelt with a “J“.

I did a drive-thru cash machine, something which I did do once almost 10 years ago when I was in Miami, and I remember thinking then “What a great idea – maybe they’ll catch on in the UK soon”, but nope .. ten years on and we still don’t have them. It’s not just cash machines too – there are proper drive through banks where you can actually roll up and speak to a teller! It’s most bizarre.

Coke C2And … I did the grocery story run, (To a branch of Harris Teeter – I would say as posh as an ASDA is back home) and was in heaven running round looking at and comparing all the different types of products, packaging and variants of things which we simply don’t have.

Black Cherry Vanilla Coke, anyone? Yum. Followed by Coke Zero and Coke C2. I have to actually discover what this is yet (I’ll go and follow my own links in a moment!), but I just liked the fact that it was different.

I also ended up doing some driving yesterday in a car – well when I say ‘car’, I do of course mean a vehicle that would pass for something the size of a tank back home, and not only was it weird having no clutch or gearstick, but there was no handbrake either! I did at least manage to remember to stay on (literally) the right side of the road though.

US Montage 2

Anyway, this is just the mundane day-to-day stuff. There is (quite clearly) too much to take in on a much more higher level, and my whole body feels somewhat overloaded and delgued with information and thoughts which it now finds itself having to process. I’m hoping it will relax as the week goes on, otherwise I’m gonna be in big trouble …

48 responses to “Clearly …”

  1. Agent Lancashire says:

    Well at least your alive, we were getting worried, as for drive through cash machines, Fan-tas-tic idea. 🙂 Hope your having fun over the pond as it were:)

  2. Agent Lancashire says:

    Ohhhh, so close to first post, no cigar for me 🙂

  3. geofftech says:

    Honestly, you go to all the trouble of a nice long post, interesting items, montaged photos, alluded references all over the place, and all I get is an ‘F5’ …

  4. Dunce says:

    Harris Teeter certainly narrows down your whereabouts. I’m pretty sure you are in the eastern part of the Confederate States of America. Last time I was in the vicinity of a Harris Teeter (the end of November) I saw a Hummer stuck in a drive-through bank.

  5. So what precisely were you up to in order to provoke such a reaction from bystanders?

    Harris Teeter : Grocery chain with 138 stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida… http://www.harristeeter.com/default.aspx?pageId=158

  6. Geoff's Mum (Tina) says:

    Hi Geoff, At last I’m up and running web-wise that is,
    but no email yet, cable cock-up as per usual.
    Don’t forget to bring your ol’ma some Stateside goodies
    back.

  7. Hey some of those things are regional U.S. peculiarities, and we don’t have them in Hawaii, either.. (on this faaaar side of the “other” pond…) (such as the black cherry coke or the names written on the Starbucks cups.) I somehow knew a trip to the market would be one of your first stops… but you don’t mention: How do the prices compare to Sainsbury’s?

    Sadly since 9/11 they have to be a lot harsher at immigration. They want to make sure they don’t have an Osama-bin-Marshall entering the country. Cheers!!

  8. Fimb says:

    Oh.. Oh.. Cherry Pepsi.. *drools*

  9. kate says:

    black cherry vanilla coke?! why do they not make that over here! aaaaaaargh!

    are the krispy kreme shops….everywhere? do they all fry the doughnuts in front of you?!

  10. geofftech says:

    Damm u Dunce & Ian! I am so rumbled…

    Ok, a map of all the Harris Teeter stores below. So that does kind of narrow it down a bit, yes!

    Harris Teeter Map

  11. Is there a PRIZE for finding Geoff’s actual location? I think we should be told.

  12. Big Dave says:

    A can of Black Cherry Vinilla Coca Cola for the winner?! Or you can be kind enough to bring us all back one! 🙂

  13. Yorkie says:

    Of course Geoff kindly linked to the Wikipedia article on Black Cherry Coke, that “will be launched in January 2006”. No wonder it’s not so well known anywhere yet. Seemingly Geofftech’s stats have died/fallen over (and the info they gave isn’t specific enough to pin Geoff down anyway.)

    Maybe he’s back on the trail of someone “bornonthesameday” ??

  14. tami says:

    Obviously you are not in the New Orleans area since it would be hard to find some of those items! If you come here can you beleive they are offering a driving tour for $35 to see all the areas hit! What a joke to profit off of us. LOL. Seriously= be safe in the USA and whatever you do don’t flash the BADGE!!

  15. scottb says:

    I always think the one of the most exciting things to do when travelling is to visit the local grocery store.
    The most mundane things seem exotic when it comes in a different package, or has a slight twist. To me Tesco and
    Sainsburys are a delight, and don’t even get me started on Booth’s — I love that store.

    BTW, never seen Black Cherry Vanilla Coke, although they recently discontinued the plain Vanilla coke here in Canada
    much to my chagrin.

  16. Martinh says:

    Re: Drive through cashpoints. Barclays had one at Hatton Cross near Heathrow, but it disappeared a while back. When first installed it was said to be a six month trial- it lasted a lot longer than that but clearly it didn’t work out, for whatever reason.

  17. 11. OK..he’s definitely not in Hawaii. Not this trip.

  18. Anthony says:

    I agree, scottb. I love visiting French supermarkets when in France. Well, I used to more than I do now, but maybe that’s because it was wintry and cold last time I was in France. Never mind!

    Judging by the little tiny pics he posted, it seems to me that Geoff is in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

    That would put him here:

  19. Anthony says:

    OK the image didn’t work. The web link to the map is here: http://www.us-mapsite.com/usa/us_sc_mount_pleasant_us.gif

    The Harris Teeter that he visited is the 4th one up from the bottom on Geoff’s little map (the one in the middle of the coast of South Carolina).

  20. geofftech says:

    Ooooh….

    You’re getting close. But no one has actually named the town/city that I’m in yet!

    Well done Anthony – on the tiny montages above there is indeed a reference to Mount Pleasant, but also in the montages in another much more obvious reference that I can’t believe no one has spotted yet! So keep going ..

    Oh, and people that actually KNOW where I am (e.g. My Mum and Kris) can’t play!

    But yes – a bottle of of Black Cherry Vanilla coke for the winner.. and a few other bits… but you have to get the actual name of the place!

  21. geofftech says:

    Oh, and:

    #6 : Work it out for yourself!

    #10 : KK is just like the few KK’s in the uk… there’s just more of them all over the place!

    #15 : My stats have moved Yorkie, and no I’m not telling you where to! And no, it’s not birthday related either.

    #16 : Helloooo Tami! nice to hear from you.

    Now I’m off to have breakfast – a plateful of Grits, I do believe…

  22. Gilligan’s island? Surely not?
    http://www.gilligansisle.com/

    So can you do the Charleston yet, Geoff?

  23. #20 Anthony – Why would you want to visit “French supermarkets when in France”, why not go to a Spanish supermarket in France next time?

    Geoff – if you aren’t birthday hunting *scratches head* is it women then?

  24. Teg says:

    Living the American Dream! 🙂 Fantastic!

  25. Geoff's Mum says:

    Hurrah! I’ve got my email back, welcome back Tami by the way,
    glad you OK. What a shame I’m not allowed to enter the competition.

    Have fun Geoff with those ‘Grits’

  26. amy says:

    Welcome to America Geoff! Weird and wonderful place. Although I hail from Canada things are somewhat similar up here. (except we do not have a complete idiot President of course. We have a Prime Minister, like yourself 😉

  27. Anthony says:

    #26 I had a dream last night in which I ended up travelling to Exeter on the Tube (Victoria line), where there was a French supermarket in the style of E. Leclerc, but it had a different name. While on that train, I managed to stop someone from mugging me (he was threatening me with a fork! Of the cutlery variety!).

    Also in that dream, I participated in an “archaeological dig” upstairs in a shop, seeking to extract an old tractor from what seemed to be solid chalk.

    Anyway. French supermarkets in France, not in Exeter.

  28. Rich says:

    Ian’s got me in a flap(!) as he may have beat me to it, but is it Charleston, SC?

  29. Big Dave says:

    Looking at the 5 little piccys above, the ones with Coke Zero in, I can deduce that you are either in Sullivan’s Island or Mount Pleasant, both in South Carolina (The “Troop 59” and Police Dept pictures). Also, that post box probably has something to do with where you are?

    Or, doing a quick google search for “Troop 59”, it seems to be a boy scout group located in Lawrence, Kansas?

    Either way I know nothing about America, have no idea where South Carolina is, and probably don’t want to know, I just want that coke 😛

  30. Kirk says:

    There’s a Drive-Thru Natwest just outside Colchester, of all places.

  31. Mikey says:

    Coolio, im in colchester at the mo…all i need is to learn to drive and to purchase a car!!

  32. 29. I second that about our idiot president. Try ignore him while you’re there, OK? It works for us.

  33. Scott B says:

    29. We can’t be too smug, we have an idiot prime minister. Don’t forget to vote Jan 23!

  34. Mark Garth says:

    29 & 36. Don’t feel bad, we in the UK have an idiot for a Prime Minister too!

  35. Alan Perks says:

    Geoff, do you want to talk about football, and more specifically, the FA Cup?

  36. I emailed Geoff about the FA Cup. Apparently he was only able to find the results on something called an Internet, so I imagine he’d be very interested in a collection of highlights.

    On the subject of the weather, can I just say it was de Vriesing here last night.

  37. I cannot believe it. Absolute shock. Thanks to Geoff’s links I have seen that Vanilla coke is soon to be discontinued in the UK too. It’s my life-force. At least I have prior knowledge to stock up. Still in shock…

  38. Chris says:

    But diet cherry coke will soon be in the UK too – Easter ish I believe. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4405262.stm

  39. Anthony says:

    I said Sullivan’s Island first!

  40. Pylthwing Sludgetonstokeford-leigh says:

    Say hello from me and the missus!

  41. Tim says:

    To #41: Diet cherry coke is already available if you know where to look ;o)

    http://www.cybercandy.co.uk is the place to buy those sorts of only-in-the-US drinks and sweets etc

    The shop is just off Covent Garden and has tons of stuff!

    Too bad it’s a 5 minute walk from my workplace – it’s just too tempting sometimes!

  42. Moley says:

    #42 & #43 – The Gallery would suggest that Charleston is the answer.

  43. Smelly Cat says:

    looks like there’s another Apple event in TVC today.

  44. Just got back from Vietnam – as you do – where the Pepsi comes with coffee. as in Pepsi coffee – or Pepsi Cafe as they say over here. Pics shortly, but tastes strangely sweet, vile and tasty at the same time.

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