And the lights all went down in Massachusetts

I used listen to the Bee Gees’ “Massachusetts” on a tiny regional train in the Swiss prealps, on dark snowy winter evenings and wonder when I’d get to see it too, i sounded so peaceful. Well here I am, in Massachusetts. Boston, to be precise. From the window I can see out above the city, which looks like the mish mash of styles we’re more familiar with in Europe, brown stone, 70s.  I can’t wait to see it all!

Boston’s Logan Airport has a Transformer as a control tower, how cool is that! Now the first miracle in this whole thing is that I know what a Transformer is, but to cut a long story short, I do. I even know what (who?) Optimus Prime is. So there. That control tower is pretty impressive… just like the landing over the water. That is possibly one of the most beautiful approaches I’ve ever experienced, the plane just slowly coming down over Boston bay, full if little Islands and boat channels, lighthouses and rows of the kind of houses I imagine belong in the Great Gatsby. And water, water, water, water until a worried Mr C. pointed out that if we didn’t see land soon we’d be reaching for the life jackets… and then the runway appeared and bam we were down.

One interesting cab ride later (involving a broken meter, a polite inquiry into the fare, a string of abuse, our suitcases being dumped outside the hotel and our cab driver disappearing like a bat out of hell without his fare), we got off to a better start with Boston when we had a delicious and ginormous burger at a local pub and ran around the local CVS filling our basket with all sorts of goodies.  My travel companion is one of those people who goes in for a loaf of bread and ends up coming out with an array of shiny things that look interesting as well as bread and I’m guilty of that too. On slight jet-lag, that shop was Ali Baba’s cave for us!

Cough medicine, toiletries, food (I’m doing Boston a-la-cheap so food is a good way to start) – it all looked so different. Take the cough bottles, I chose the less toxic looking one and it still looks like a Super Mario potion that could kill me if I don’t take it right… its fluorescent pink glare is still shining on me from the cabinet shelf, I’ve not dared try it yet, I’ll be waiting till my lung pops out of my chest to sample it.

Food is another thing that always excites me so much when I travel. In the States it just looks so different and I’m a sucker for anything that looks different no matter how weird it looks. So I’m setting myself a challenge. Every day I will taste something new, that I have never before seen in Europe, and report on it. I think today will be Beef Jerky. And getting my bearings around town too. Bring it on!


About monicaheck
Monica Heck is a bilingual freelance writer and journalist based in Dublin, Ireland.

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