I’ve been in Cincinnati all week, getting to grips with the new job. I arrived Sunday, after a fairly eventful flight from Newcastle to Gatwick, a flat-out run across the airport to catch my Delta connection and a rather luxurious onward flight to Cincinnati.

Cincinnati is interesting. It’s certainly the coldest place I’ve ever been — not that hard for a South African though, admittedly 😉 I wished for snow and I got it, to the chagrin of some of my colleagues who ended up stuck on the highway coming into town in the week. I’m glad to have seen some proper cold weather though — all the Xmas imagery is a lot more at home in this weather than in the 30-40 degrees Celsius that I was used to as a child.

I’m in awe, as usual, at the sheer SCALE of the US. Buildings are huge, roads are wide, cars are tanks, meal portions are gigantic, etc. Apart from the weather, I’m finding Cinci to be quite similar to the other parts of the US I’ve visited in the past (i.e. Texas and California). The strangest thing for me though is how FAMILIAR some of it feels. I suppose South Africa and America have a lot in common at the end of the day — European settlement happened at a similar time, both are still relatively young countries, there’s an abundance of space and history is relatively scarce (compared to the UK at least — I’ve been in numerous churches older than my home country there!).

Also, did I mention I love being in a country where they know what to do with a decent bit of meat? I’ve had some AMAZING steak since I arrived (most notably at McCormack & Schmick’s which lived up to its reputation for seafood with the calamari starter, but totally reminded me how wonderful strip steak can be) and last night had the best ribs I have eaten in a long, long time at the original Montgomery Inn. This was after my very first visit to an Apple Store. Suffice it to say, it was very very cool.

Tonight I’m flying down to Austin to spend time with some of my favourite people, chill out and hopefully partake of some Texas BBQ, continuing my Magical Mystery Meat Tour of America(TM).