sábado, 16 de agosto de 2014

I AM HERE IN THE USA: first impressions and some adventures.

After leaving my hometown with some tears dropping, I arrived in São Paulo where I was very cold! Haha I went to check in five hours before my flight and there were many people already! I passed by interviewers who asked a bunch of questions about who packed my stuff and etc... 
Then I spent some hours waiting for the time with a family I met in the airport that was saying good bye to a girl who was going for a high school program in New Jersey. Then, when the time came I passed by Federal Police and waited for awhile and then I had to enter the airplane where everything was in English already! It was super cool! I made a friend called Karla Freitas who was going by Science without borders. We had fun! 
I had some cool food in the plane and slept for around six hours and it was really cold!! The temperature outside was -54 degrees Celsius!! After arriving in Chicago we went by immigration and I was expecting a summer but it was as cold as in São Paulo... Plus... I had forgotten my coat in the checked baggage! Lol Thank God I had a another one in my school bag (thanks, prof Lusania).

Passing by immigration the officer asked me how much I had to spend in the country and what I was going to study. He even called me "a smart kid" after knowing I was going to study Internaitonal Business and Modern Languages! Well, I am a smart kid! LOL 

Then it was a nice breaking dawn when I followed some people until the terminal 1 by metro where I had a nice view of the airport. I waited for 3 hours and experienced being immersed in an English environment. It was cool!!! I was surprised for not being scared about the language. :)

I got into the plane for Moline and the flight attendant was speaking quickly and she seemed mad (maybe she was hungry!)... I couldn't understand anything, but I didn't mind! The view was nice and made me think a lot! I thought I would be like screaming and have a huge excitement, but I was in silence observing everything... I felt weird... I don't know why since my dream came true and my goal was achieved! Maybe it would take some time to set in.

After arriving I got more excited! :) I saw my friend Jacqueline and her daughter with a cute sign saying WELCOME TO QC, SHALON! That was nice! I was happy to see them there! 
After that a guy came. It was Austin, an International Ambassador who went to pick me up! He's  really nice! He showed me the city a bit, the campus and we arrived at my dorm!

After entering my room, I met the happiest American I've seen... My roommate JJ! He was welcoming me with another nice friend Ramsey! They sang a famous Brazilian song by Michel Teló " Ai, se eu te pego". It was funny! We talked a little bit and we went to get to know the campus which is BEE-AUTIFUL and later JJ took me to get my ID which I can not lose, otherwise I'm not getting into any building! Haha it's good for security though. 
We talked a lot, then I unpacked all my stuff and met my another roommate Joe! Later that day, I finally met my roommate Jordan! :)
That day I went to a picnic when had to opportunity to see a school (which looks like a mansion) and we had some food and saw the cutest thing: kids speaking in English.

The another day I met some of the guys' friends which was great and I went to the International Orientation. A lot of nations represented by students were there! I really felt as an International Negotiations Student! There was also a German guy and some people were just mocking me because of the World Cup 2014! Hahaha 
Another cool International Ambassador called Leah took me for a tour (she's super nice!) and we all went for lunch when I found my academic adviser, Dr. D who was also talking about the World Cup haha, and during lunch I made another friend from France called Melanie who I practice French with! :) (by the way, I already have homework, assignments, to do before classes! That was crazy for me because is different from my reality, but it's cool though.)
During our break when I was going to check the books I had to buy for classes, I found an Ambrosian friend I met in Brazil. It was awesome to see Alysia again!
On buying books at Ambrose they are really expensive!! Only my Spanish book was over 200 dollars so I gave up and my awesome roommate JJ helped to get them on Amazon... All of my four books costed only 115 and something dollars!! 
After the orientation we went to Target where I went shopping for the first time! It was interesting but I was worried because I could not withdraw my money (I'll talk about it in another post), blessedly I had some cash with me! 
We went to some places around the university also to get to know some departments such as Computer Lab, Tutoring, if we have difficulties, etc... We recieved some representatives of institutions (bank, cell phone company, etc.) to get things done! 
And also there was a pizza party where I met some people from Middle East and some cool guys who KNEW SOME PORTUGUESE! My roommates came too and we chatted for a but with my adviser Cathy!

Joe showed me the Game Room where we played ping pong and pool table. We talked about Brazilian issues, the World Cup, we played for a couple minutes with a guy called Safe! Yea, Safe! 
Cathy gave us some Pizza to take home and after leaving Joe took me to a tour around the campus.
We stopped but Rogalski Center where he played amazingly the piano. We even sang "Seasons of Love" by Rent together. HE IS SUPER TALENTED! 
Today is Saturday and I went Davenport downtown with my lovely friend Jacque where I could see a lot of American things. 

We went to a museum called FIGGE, suggested by Jacque's daughter, Dasha, where Ambrosians can enter for free. It was beautiful but there were some creepy sculptures! Haha ... we went for lunch at an Indian restaurant and had some cool food and we talked about business and work experience! :)

Then we saw that River Roots Live Show and a Fair was going on... There was a rock band playing super well, places for the kids to play, and FOOD!

What caught my attetion, besides the junk food and the strong smell of it, was that everything was SUPER BIG, FAMILY SIZE! They were having huge meals, I don't know how they could handle it! American loves big things when we talk about food. Today morning, for example, after the tour I went to a Cookout and I got an hamburger, some salad and fries and I sad I was hungry. Some Americans said: "Really? That may be a Brazilian type of hungry". It was funny but interesting how the meals are so fatty and huge. If you don't want to gain some pounds, control yourself!

We went to the "Bridge to nowhere" and we came back after having much fun.

I arrived in my dorm when I met some of my roommates friends and the German guy. One thing I realized is that American college students curse a loooooot! Every single sentence may have a "f*uck" or "sh*t". I thought it was a stereotype, but it's true! It bothers me a little since I have a Christian and a Conservative family background, but I need to learn how to deal with this situations that take me from my comfort zone (I guess!) NAND we have this a lot in Brasil too, so...

Well, anyways, after that my buddy JJ went through a very complicated situation. We went to have lunch at the cafeteria and when we were coming back we met this Polish guy, I think. He was smoking tabaco and JJ, Ramsey, Frank and I was trying to be friendly and nice to welcome him. When the Director of our Housing Department saw us and she said out loud: "Hey, sir. You're not allowed to have tabaco on campus"! I was kinda feeling that something was about to happen! The worse part was that she recognized JJ and said something that apparently she thought he was smoking too and incentiving us to smoke too. HE WAS NOT, actually, WE WERE NOT SMOKING... Damn it! The guy made things worse and he said that that was not tabaco... come on!! Of course we all knew it was tabaco! He could just say: Sorry I didn't know I was not allowed, anything... So, we left I felt bad for my buddy. I could see he was worried and pissed off too! The guy was stupid!! JJ called her and explained the situation and apparently he was fine. I do hope so! He doesn't deserve any punishment, he was/ we were trying to be nice!

Well, after this awful part of the day, I showered and went to QC Family Entertaiment for bowling with the International Group!
I was nervous for being my first time bowling but I had a strike after my first attempt. You can call me Mr. Strike Spare! :)
It was fun. I spoke Portuguese to this guy from Venezuela, called Damil. He knows bad words a lot, but he can speak Portuguese decently! Hahaha. He keeps saying to me: "Hey, Filho! Beleza!?" It was soooo good to practice Portuguese with him.

We finished bowling and all the pizza and we went to a LASER TAG. That was freaking awesome! We got into a dark room got some jackets and guns and entered a scenario where I had to shoot the other time. It was awesomeeeeeeee! I went there twice. By the end of the game I was trying to kill people from my own team though! Hahahahaha
I had so much fun that can not put into words! I just had the one of the best days of life!

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