Monday, July 17, 2017

A Week in Arizona

This was a very busy week.  It started off with a seven hour road trip from California to Arizona.  Thank goodness for air conditioning because the desert drive was 43,3 ℃ (110 ℉).  Way hot, but that's Arizona in July.

On one of the days we went on a historic walking tour of the centre.  It was interesting to see the "historic" sights.  Of course here, historic means anything over 100 years.  In Europe, that's nothing.

Shopping was something that left me gobsmacked at times.  There are so many choices when it comes to shopping.  I couldn't believe how many choices there were for something as simple as sandwich bread.

On one of the shopping trips to Costco I noticed that they had Moravian cookies.  It's funny that I actually live in Moravia and have never seen biscuits like these.

"No chip yet"
I noticed that my debit card worked but not quite the same way it works in Europe.  Over here, debit and credit cards are chip-and-PIN cards.  You enter your card and PIN.  My bank card is contactless so in Europe I just waive my card over the terminal.  I only need to use my PIN if the amount is over 500 Kč (~$22).

In the USA, chips have been added to cards only over the last couple of years.  Cards here tend to be chip-and-signature cards.  Even with the chip, the card is processed via the magnetic strip and then you provide a signature instead of using a PIN.

One day we went to the movies.  I was shocked to see a sign on the front door that said "No Firearms Allowed".  Incredible.  In Arizona, unless a person has been convicted of a felony, anyone over 21 can legally carry a concealed gun.  

It was great hanging out with my parents all week.  One of my favourite days was our trip to the Grand Canyon.

This was also my most stressful day.  On the way I got a message from my boss letting me know that I needed to be in Connecticut for a Monday morning workshop.  Fortunately, British Airways made it easy to change to my ticket to fly home a day early.

I ended up flying from Phoenix to London Heathrow to Vienna.  I made it home at 11 PM Saturday.  I had enough time for a long, hot shower, pack my suitcase, and grab my work laptop before catching 2:30 AM my bus back to Vienna Airport.  Then an Air Berlin flight to Düsseldorf and on to JFK.  I haven't been to the USA in five years, now twice in a month, but I could have done without a 15 timezone trip to get to Connecticut.

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