Personal reflections

Consumer protection - how to avoid sandwich anxiety, coffee confusion and a coke overdose

I’ve stared to feel intimidated when I order a coffee or a sandwich in the United States. Let me share a recent example from a well known coffee franchise in Chicago. It went something like this.

Me: “Could I have a coffee please?”

Lady:  “What size would you like? Tall, grande or venti?”

Me: ( Already on the back foot)  “The smallest one please.”

Lady: “OK tall. And what blend would you like, blonde, medium or bold?”

Me: ( Now on the defensive) “I don’t know.”

Lady: “What blend would you like sir, blonde, medium or bold?”

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Seeing your own country as a foreigner

Seeing your own country as a foreigner

One of the goals of the WPI Fellowship is to make America understandable for the ten foreign journalists who each year travel throughout the country to get in touch with the different aspects of its society, its politics, its media, its people, its partisan divisions.

Ely Echo Community Forum, Minnesota

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Squeezing the steel symbol of Texas between her legs

Squeezing the steel symbol of Texas between her legs

 

Thick cloud of mild perfumes, scent of tobacco leaves and sweat covers the tremor of the blues and jazz maestros in the South. The Lone star casts silver shine over a hormonal pandemonium in the humid Texas evening. Tonight is the high point of the mating season.

A single conversation manages to leap across the alcoholic symphony of loud female laughter and deep male roar.

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Love, Peace and Frogs.

  Love, Peace and Frogs - that is the slogan, reproduced countless times on T-Shirts, Mugs, bracelets and bags. All available in the gift store of the Rainforest Cafe. In Chicago there is one gigantic Rainforest Cafe which seems to be basically a theme-parked food chain in front of the hotel.

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Personal Reflections

Personal Reflections

This going to be cheesy, corny, drippy, sugary... No apologies, you have been warned.

Its real name is 'Cloud Gate', but people commonly refer to it as 'The Egg'. It's a beautiful sculpture in the middle of Millenium Park, in Chicago, and on its smooth, silvery, mirror-like surface you can see reflected the sky, the city and... well, you.

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All bark no bite

All bark no bite

There’s a fairy tale with a line that goes “If your mother only knew, her heart would surely break in two.” Well, that’s the line that popped into my mind the first time I ate a Nathan’s hotdog. We were at the Miami airport, tired and hungry, waiting to take the flight to Tampa, Florida. There were only three food outlet options, but one look at the “Nathan’s famous hotdog” stand and it immediately conjured up these tantalizing images – a juicy frankfurter, adorned with fried onions, two or three thin slices of tomato, some fresh green lettuce, and perhaps a bit of mustard and chilli.

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Taxes are a four letter word

There is no middle ground in the US. Or at least it seems like that from an European perspective. In Europe, we have a lot of middle ground. We call it: taxes. Because, even if the government does want to behave people in a certain way, they tend to leave your choices open, but they will try to make your decision easier by adding taxes on undesired products.

Tobacco is not only not healthy but also a cash cow for the government. The country of our Finnish fellow Olavi  taxes for instance the life out of liquor.

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