A dull roar of traffic is faint and distant. Birds chirp and sing in the wonderful spring sky, hiding in the dull tree branches. Flowers have blossomed in the trees, the tiny yellow buds pop open to get as much of the sun as they can.
We have been in Greensboro for a few days, tackling jet lag and talking to family, extended family and American friends. It has been fun. Today different groups went in different directions and I am by myself, walking to the mall.
A mailman with a broad smile carries his satchel back to the small US Mail truck. A man, with his light southern accent says "Well, it's good to see you again." Everyone seems polite in these parts.
Squirrels bounds over the grass. Their light feet catching my attention as they scurry away from me as I walk down the street. They look cute, that is an illusion, small cute animals that appear everywhere usually are pests.
It is 80 degrees out today. If you wanted to paint a picture of spring in Greensboro, this is it. It is beautiful.
Today I am walking the streets to find a store. I started in a small neighbourhood, away from the traffic and busy roads. Google Maps helping me set a path towards my destination, four miles away. The cars get louder as I find my way to the main roads.
I have trouble crossing the roads. There are lines on the street for pedestrians, but not many lights to signal me to cross safely. I can’t remember which way the cars are coming from and end up running to get out of the way of turning vehicles as they make unexpected turns.
After finding the store I try to find a snack at Ben and Jerry’s. I can’t make a decision and feel uncomfortable with standing around, so I ask for a bottle of water. It seems that Australian “water” is pronounced differently, so I repeat myself. The attendant looks at me and questions, “Do you mean Warder?”. I nod.
Language differences are subtle in these parts, but fun to navigate. My accent stands out I catch myself feeling like a stupid Australian when I speak in public. But I like that, I do enjoy being different especially with everyday language. Still, no-one has asked where I am from, I want to tell a story so I want someone to ask.
From the mall I walk Downtown to find a coffee shop. The sun is wonderful, all the talk we had about ice storms and freezing cold has been turned on it’s head. I am walking and it is beautiful.
I walk down the main street of the town of Greensboro, the buildings have grown tall. The streets are busy with cars. I check the map to ensure I am heading in the right direction. Without too much time passing, walking past some chain-food places, I arrive at the coffee shop where I can do some work.