Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Letters from America

letter-writing1 So, this is actually the third blog I’ve had, with the others run by my immature self. Whilst maintaining the first I went away to America and decided to write a letter to my friends back in the UK when I was there. Here’s the letter, in it’s horrible unedited glory so you can see what I got up to there briefly before a big blog post about it. Notes about it will be written in italics as I’m sure there’s some things I need to explain within this originally handwritten letter.

Heylo Benjoelpaul (smooshed their names together, how clever of me),

How are things over thar? I mentioned in my last email to Ben that I might write/type up a letter along with Christmas presents to be sent. Everything here is going well; still going to the gym pretty much every day (except for the days I don’t wake up in time) so my gut is slowly receding which is all well and good.

Managed to bust my dragon ring whilst I was working, so that’s a job for the guy in the Berber shop. Abbelina (someone at work) was talking to me about how much she misses her home in Mexico, and I agreed and remembered quite a few things that I miss (one of them being you guys of course), so that made me a little depressed until Ina started barking orders at me and then I realised I was at work.

I have quite a good set-up here, I have my own room (Tennyson has to share with Sam now, so I feel a little guilty sometimes) and it’s great to look straight outside when it snows. I have to take another opportunity to mention how great having a British accent is over here.

Well, as I’m writing this letter over the course of a few days, I’ve now come back. Busy day yesterday at work. 267 people in one room and I was working on an open bar…(made $115 in tips though, and cashed my first pay check for two weeks of $345) met Brian’s cousin, Rickie (who is female before you laugh) and she’s quite nice. Also met Robyn whose brother decided to hang himself in the early hours of this morning, which isn’t exactly going to make her Christmas great.

Erm…I’m 131 Pokémon away from completing my Pokédex, which is rather good. On a Poké-related note, I had a strange dream where Diamond & Pearl had come out and all of us were already trading starters around at a house unfamiliar to me, maybe our future flat, oh well only a dream. Need to go into Wal-Mart tomorrow to pick up your presents; you should get them before Christmas. Saw CivIV yesterday whilst we were at Best Buy but decided against getting it, if I do eventually get it somewhere I’ll get it at GAME. I should come back over there with a good amount of money.

I’m on $588 (made a little Excel spreadsheet to keep track) at the moment and December has only just begun. Just to let you know as well, I have decided not to fly back out here, I think three months will be enough and it’s been a great experience but I will need to get a job sorted as soon as I get back.

I think I’ll try the usual thing of apply everywhere I want to work and if no-one new wants to hire me, I suppose I could always re-apply at Somerfield, someone will have been 86ed by the time I return. Oh yeah, if someone is 86ed, it means fired. Restaurant lingo. We (Cliff, Matt, Crystal, Cody, Emily and myself) stayed at the restaurant after it had closed until 5am. We normally close at 11pm. So, I managed to cram quite a few JD & Pepsi’s down my gullet before we went and I left feeling light-headed but not much else. I don’t think I’m in work today, weekdays are very slow, and we only usually get about 80 people in. A good day is at least 180. When I had to work with UB (stands for Ultimate Bitch apparently, she doesn’t like people to know her real name.) at the bar, she entrusted me with keys to the beer/wine/hard liquor storage room. My god is that small room magical. 6 bottles of Jack Daniels, 12 cases of every (important) beer I can think of (except Stella Artois) so yes it was awesome. If you guys are still thinking about coming over, then call me up about it, or I’ll call you guys when I get a chance.

Found some more awesome gaming things to sell on eBay. Cliff has a strange attitude to video games, he doesn’t like people to play them, and doesn’t know much about them (for example he asked me a few days ago after hearing the word on the radio what Tetris was.) but at the same time, he doesn’t mind me playing them as long as I still help him out when he needs help and do the washing/ironing/drying/wood-bringing-in and such. I’ve also been able to read through the whole Harry Potter series so far and all of the Discworld books that Cliff has (about 18). There are so many Mexicans here; it’s astonishing. I know four at work, and the whole kitchen (minus Ronnie & Jerry) is all Latinos. I may have seen like three in my whole life before now.

I discovered something else, which is related to Pokémon Emerald, Juan’s name should be pronounced wan, not Jew-wan, as a Mexican guy I work with is called Juan. We went sledding the other day down a place called Johnson’s Mound. Massive, steep hill. It was so much fun, admittedly my hands are full of cuts and a few of my bones ache because of crashes and the fact I wasn’t wearing any gloves. We were there for about three hours, having occasional races (2 of which I managed to win) and then just having a laugh. Received my presents from my Mum & Den yesterday and impressed the US postman because it was sent via Royal Mail.

I’ve had little time for TV; so don’t expect me to tell you what will happen in Lost or anything like that. I still have plenty of apprentices to send back to you though, as I’m sure you do to me. Matt was discussing with me the other day that he really wants to come to England, so I’ve said that when we have a flat or whatever sorted we’ll be more than happy to let him stay with us for a week or two of drinking and such. Speaking of Latinos, I now know how to start learning Spanish, and Abbey, Juan & Roaul have said they’ll help me too. [Common sienta se en Espanol]?

Which means, “What is this in Spanish?” and then I should be able to learn a few things. Also, I learnt the Spanish word for thingamajig/ doodad/ whatchamacallit, it’s “Chingilairas” so I’ll be incorporating that word into our conversations. Okay, I’m going now, got to take Cappuccino and Frangelico for a walk. Well, that was certainly cold, my hands are slowly warming up, Nan is getting some work things sorted, she’s now a Deli manager at a supermarket so she has a lot to do and she got a little stressed out the other day. So we all pitched in to tidy the house, cook a nice beef tail stew and rented War Of The Worlds.

Matt and then later Cliff said that during January they’d take me into the city so I can see everything so that’ll be quite good. I’d have to say I’ve adjusted quite well to a completely different place, but I have taken a lot of home with me, such as my laptop, my DS, my clothes from home and my laptop bag. So it’s sort of like it’s just a different town. A few things I want/need/require when I return though: a Chinese takeaway/all you can eat, Pokémon XD, Lasagne, white bread toast with some lame butter substitute and the love of a good young Asian girl…there’s none here. I get 0% chance to be, well me, in the presence of Asian girls. It sucks. Oh and fish and chips, the chip shop still there? So not an extensive list, I’ll probably crave more things when I return.

Have I missed out on much on EWB? I haven’t been able to read CAD, Nuklear Power or anything recently. I suppose I’ll catch up when I get back. I had a quick look at Serebii the other day to see if any new Diamond/Pearl information had cropped up, but alas nay. When I come back I will spend the day back (January 25/26th) with family and then we can go cinema or whatever on Thursday and Friday and I’ll apply for jobs in Leicester & Loughborough. That’s something I am missing for sure, is going to the cinema or even just around town with you guys, I hope the cinema staff have asked where your other friend is.

Tell Jim at GAME (I miss GAME too) that I say “Merry Christmas” and that I’ll spend plenty to make up for their three months of no money due to me being gone. I also expect a Mario Party session when I return too (ooh and I’m going to have to buy some Jacob’s crackers as well). Well, I know I’m giving one of you guys this letter after Christmas and after the new year, I’m thoroughly looking forward to coming home as I type this up though.

Learnt a few more Spanish words and some of the language rules, it’s similar to French because you say the word first, such as ‘bason’ which is glass and then describe it afterwards, but both languages are derived from Latin, so it’s not that surprising, also plural words are similar to ours, usually it’s just adding an s on the end. So I’m slowly getting to grips with Spanish, just like people at work are getting used to all the English type things that I say, like cheers for thanks and pinch for steal, which apparently don’t get used over here. Had a mini-disaster the other day when I thought the touch screen on my DS was broken. It wouldn’t function at all and I assumed that someone had pressed down too hard on it and I would need to get a new one, but it seemed to be as right as rain in the morning so I thought no more of it.

Grabbed a Dilbert calendar for mine self a while ago, I never seem to have a calendar when I need one. Started to read books by a banned author (over here anyway) named Tom Sharpe, good book so far, different to what I would normally read but it is still good. Got into some trouble at work, because Cher mentioned to Cliff that I’m a bad busser, so I don’t know how much longer I will be able to stay at the restaurant, I need to talk to Cher and get things between us sorted so I can find out what I am doing wrong and correct it.

Well, hopefully I can still maintain my job at the restaurant, if not I’ll have to find things to do around the house and hope that Nan & Cliff pay me a little money that way. I’m up to about $900, which is quite good, managed to bust my wallet though because of all the notes. If I do keep working, I might leave with about $1,800 that would be good. Anyways, enough about me working or not working, it’s depressing me a little.

Mountain Dew is awesome as one of you said; it’s almost like Dr. Pepper. I keep getting little bouts of homesickness, nothing to break down and cry about even when I think an eight-hour flight separates me from my country, and all the people I know. Well, 16 days left and I have some more news, I am going out with a 20 year old very hot girl on Wednesday to see the Blue Man Group and see Navy Pier and go out for dinner and such and damn, by the time we get finished it’ll be too late to get home so we’ll just have to stay overnight at a hotel. We went to a Chinese restaurant the other day to eat, my god I love all that Asians do, and we even had a nice looking Asian girl come into work, to eat and I was bussing the table, so that was great. Hey, about me mentioning Jack Daniels earlier, I might try and come back with a full bottle for each of you. As Cliff says he’s got too much of it anyway. There is a whole box that he got for free but I won’t be able to fit that into my suitcase, so never mind. Well, hopefully I’ll be up at about 6am tomorrow, being able to sort everything out with Ashley for Wednesday (It’s Sunday now). She rang a few hours ago, but we were out, I guess she wanted to ring before she fell asleep so I’ll try her again in the morning anyways. Then I should also try and get something sorted out with Erin & Jackie too.

Well, I must admit that I worked terribly the other day because I spent a large majority of my time thinking about Ashley, and Robin (her mother) said she trusted me with her timid daughter. She knows not of my plans, you should ask Mark about it as I do have the time, but can’t be bothered so. My past week has been going well, with the next week bringing only greater things. I think it was all inspired by my fortune cookie at East China Inn, which said I’d be successful through innovation and determination.

I also seem to have built up more confidence, so much so that I was plotting how to take over Neville’s (my old boss) job. I figure I could do it in a year, maybe two, as a 19-year-old running a shop might make the company apprehensive to give me the position. If I don’t get that, then I am going to aim for some kind of management, just so that when we open the store, we have at least some experience. A relief moment for me today was advising my apprentice with the phrase:


He was a guitarist and it just made me laugh after I thought of it. A disconcerting apprentice phrase for a Gentleman that I did was:


Which was also a great phrase I thought, but with getting everything sorted out with Ashley & Erin, I’ve had little time for everything else. I went on MSN the other day and Ben, you were on, but didn’t respond, but Mark was on and I had possibly the best talk to him I’ve ever had. So that was grand, oh yeah, I’ve been providing a few people with my e-mail, to keep in contact when I leave. We have to come back here when we’re 21, and can drink.

I was thinking that if Matt comes over we should take two weeks off and go up to London and everything, which is actually what I might want to do for my 19th birthday, either Monopoly pub walk, or just trying our luck in bars and getting hotel rooms. Although, we don’t want them for $7/£7, Cliff was telling me a little story about cockroaches being on his face when he stayed in a hotel at that price. So I shall decide closer to the time what I actually want to do, but with

As you may have noticed, I’ve finally decided to properly take my jackass of a father’s name from my name, if he doesn’t want anything to do with me, then same here and that includes my name. I do want four names still, but I may make Robert my third, and have something else for my second, I don’t know, but I think I need to go and officially get it done. Then I shall write a final letter of contact to my dad, expressing everything and telling him that I am henceforth ceasing all contact with him. I’m tired of having him there in the back of my head thinking that I should send him a Christmas/birthday card, but fuck it.

That’s part of my three-year plan, and my reward at the end is a two-week vacation to America. Of course, I may, depending on my progress grant myself the privilege of a short trip to Japan too. My three-year plan may extend into a five-year plan, or it may fuck up utterly. If it fucks up, then I’ll make a new plan, but for now it is fine. I should probably get to sleep, but I’m in such a writing mood, and I only need to be up in 5 hours which is plenty of sleep, especially as I didn’t work today and yet I find myself yawning. Hopefully I haven’t missed anything interesting or intriguing, I haven’t heard much about what you’ve been up to Paul, but I’ve had e-mails from Ben & Joel saying how much they all miss me and Den was telling me that not much had changed.

You know what, I never got before when people would call their stepfather or someone similar by their first name and not call them Dad, but now I understand, Den is Den. He’s not my father. Now it may be awkward for the others if they still have contact with Dad, when it gets to things like Father’s Day, but as far as I’m concerned the only thing I have to be appreciative to my Dad about is for helping to get me into this world, but otherwise Den has done a lot more parenting, and a lot more effective parenting than my Dad ever did.

Sorry if this letter gets boring at some points, it just helps if I get everything written down that I’m feeling and you guys just happen to be my remorseful audience. Another advantage to me cutting out my Dad’s name is that it will be a later date thing to mention, as if I won’t have enough from America to discuss for a while. Weight and gym business now I think, I have still been going to the gym as much as I can, Cliff & I skipped a day last week because we both overslept due to a busy day at work. Now, however I’m 220lbs which is about 15 and ½ stone, but more of it is muscle because I’ve gone from a size 36 waist to a size 30 which is awesome really. I might be able to get it down to size 26/28 by the time I get back, which shall be tremendous. My belt on my 36 size jeans has to almost eat me to fit. Well, I actually think that’s all for now. I will come back and edit  after my date with Ashley.

Well, my date with Ashley was great. It’s 1am and we met up at 4pm so I’d say it was good. We went to see Blue Man Group, which was excellent. Ashley and me talked an awful lot about everything, weird English/American things and we stopped off for something to eat, I paid for everything gentlemanly and it was a great night, definitely going to ring her tomorrow and get something else sorted out.

Great for my first blind date. She was saying that she doesn’t date much and isn’t usually very social, which is great news for me.

Well, as I’m sure Benji hath mentioned to ye, I just called him up and spoke to him, which was good, good to hear that everyone is still alive, and in good health. What are the plans for my return then? Well, I’m going to wrap this up and send it off when next we go to the post office, see you guys in a few days I guess.

This letter was written back in the winter of 2006 over the course of a week when I first went to America, and though I haven’t been back since I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ll fill in all the little details in longer blog posts as I think on them.

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