He's Back, He's Back In Durham

Okay, so the title is a little out-of-date at this point, but come on, it’s just begging to be used (for those of you who aren’t fans of seminal British indie bands, just shake your head sadly and carry on reading. And for those of you that are, you can most likely do the same).

My first Thanksgiving in America was a bit of a disaster. I’d link back in the blog archive to the posts in 2002 that detail the misery at length, but it seems that I enacted a great deal of self-censorship at that point in time. To sum up, I got thrown out of Carmichael dorm, got assigned a room with six other people in Odum Village, and instead spent the entire weekend in the Computer Science department, sleeping in the Graduate Students’ common room and using their showers every morning. Not fun.

However! My second go-around at Thanksgiving was much better - dinner and a great day with Stacie’s family (plus Thea and Kyle), stopping off to visit some other friends on the way back home (damn, I now really want mac’n’cheese with truffle oil. Stacie, we must do this when I get home!). And all this plus Black Friday.

Black Friday is one of those things that gets America mocked around the world. We’ve all seen the footage; riots in department stores, people getting trampled in order to get to those bargains, having queued all night in freezing temperatures. And tonight, that was going to be us. I was, I think understandably, a little afraid. But it turned out not to be such a horrifying event. Okay, somebody did get pepper-sprayed in Los Angeles. But she was only helping that person have one of her five-a-day, wasn’t she? We, on the other hand, had a leisurely stroll through Wal-Mart, avoiding the insane queues for XBoxes and waltzing out with $5 pillows. We then headed to Target to track down a new phone to replace Stacie’s rapidly dying iPhone 3G. This time we had to queue, but the atmosphere was quite lovely. For once, Americans obeyed the British laws of queuing to the letter (look, I’m at bus stops a lot, and if I may be frank, it seems they just don’t teach that here. So it was quite a surprise!), while Target employees handed out energy bars to everybody in the line. The only odd thing we saw was a girl dressed in a very shiny gold short skirt that seemed to have wandered in from some other climate. Or maybe she was late for Hallowe’en on Franklin Street. We got in, found the phone, and then proceeded to do grocery shopping because that side of the shop was completely deserted. And we found it amusing to do so. Hey, we’d been up a long time at that point!

Anyway, survived Black Friday. Enjoyed being in Durham. Briefly. Back in Los Angeles. Missing the South. Listening to Christmas songs and The Long Blondes. How was your Saturday?