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USA Trip 2006: Journey

Monday 10th April 2006

Travelling West during the daytime is a blast, especially on a sunny day.  Time it right and you can experience daylight for 24 hours, which afforded me time to catch up on some reading.  For Christmas Joce had given a book entitled Freakonomics – A Rogue Economist Explores The Hidden Side Of Eveything, and now I finally had time to read through it.  I surprised myself by finishing it by the time we reached Chicago – this may be a chunky hardback book on economics, but it’s also really interesting and easy-going.

The book answers a mixed bag of questions – Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? – by using standard economic tools.  The results are fascinating – go check out some chapter excerpts on the website if you don’t believe me.

Anyway, that book, combined with Barney, my trusty iPod made the flights, well, fly by.  It was the first time I’ve travelled whilst carrying almost my entire music collection in my pocket, and having that level of choice really pleased me.  Previously, no matter how many tapes or CDs I carried, there would always be something left at home that I had a desperate urge to listen to, and I never seemed to have the music to match my mood – which is essential for an INTP.

At O’Hare airport, we discovered a small advantage of our transatlantic marriage – we can choose to go through passport control together through either the "citizens" or "foreigners" queue (natually, we picked the shorter one), in order to provide a complete picture to the immigration officer.  The time savings we gained here were, however, subsequently lost when we inadvertantly picked up the wrong suitcase at baggage reclaim – I ask you, what are the chances of somebody else having the exact same model of case, and tying a blue ribbon around the handle to make it more easily identifiable?  Less minimal than we expected, evidently…

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