January 30, 2012
I did not notice the changes until I started making regular trips to grocery store. It is hard to make a contribution to the environment in the U.S.
My shopping behavior over the years has gone through dramatic changes. I don’t shop at frozen sections which include dessert, pizza, TV dinners, frozen veggies, ice cream, popsicles, and many more. They contain ingredients with questionable safety. I cannot accept grocery-store-made pastry and bread for the same reason. Campbell soup is out. There are so few items I purchase on regular basis from any grocery store, organic coffee/tea, cheese, milk, and yogurt. I choose produce carefully. Potato, oranges, apples, and bananas are safe bet because you can peel the skin off to remove whatever the stores put on. I eat rice and pasta more now since produce sections offer limited selection and variety at any given time.
Although I am not a tree hugger, I have changed; I have reformed. The ugly truth is that grocery store managers are doing everything they can to stop consumers to go green, to go nature.
January 24, 2012
I have never had cable TV for all the years I lived in the U.S.; I was pretty content with the basic channels of seven. As a matter of fact, I spent a lot of time watching whatever was on TV. I very often videotaped shows on one channel while watching another. I developed the love of hotels as they all have cables. I would stay up late and watch TV. My friends never understood why since the majority of population in the U.S. has cables.
This is the first time I have cable at home. In the beginning, I cannot get enough of it, not after I went on for a year without TV. One thing stays the same. There is still nothing to watch on cable at any given time. Sure, cable TV offers over 1,000 channels with anything from A to Z and beyond, but who has time to watch 1,000 channels every day? Most of us watch a handful of channels on daily basis. I am drawn to old TV sitcoms that I watched when I had basic channels, Cheers, Frasier, Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, Home Improvement, Roseanne, etc. The biggest surprise is the commercials, their length and frequency. I first channel surfed but can never time it right to get back to the channel I was watching. I then got up and did yoga, ballet, Zumba until I clocked accumulated, one hour daily exercise but it was not my bedtime yet. My final resolution is to read a book. Before I know it, I finished Anne Lamott’s Plan B, Further Thoughts on Faith, total of 320 pages, after three movies. Talking about time management!
This way I get to watch the movies and read the books (not the same title, of course) I like at the same time. Oh, did I mention the moves on TV have stretched to three hours because of commercials?
January 23, 2012
I came to realize within a few days of arrival that it is going to be tough to find a non-waitressing, non-sales, non-healthcare job in town.
I can count with my hands and toes for the why’s – slow pace, high homogeneous student body, a touristy town, significant India reservations, one commercial airline serving Pulliam airport to Phoenix only, higher than national average senior population, nearly 10% sales tax, close to six months of temperature less than 50F, one shopping mall and no major-league professional sports teams. These factors are crucial to generate jobs.
On the other hand, it is a great town to live if you have skills to work from home. There are plenty of bike trails, open space, and local coffee shops. If you love outdoor activities, there are lots to do. Locals are kind and are willing to offer help at grocery store or bus stop. But don’t be mistaken, it might take a while (if ever) to make friends with locals. To know locals is imperative on job search. You almost have to know someone locally to get an interview.