Got to Ithaca late on Wednesday evening safe and sound. The flights were pretty uneventful, save a couple of nice chats and some bumps while approaching Ithaca. The Newark-Ithaca plane was the smallest I’ve ever been in, the size of a small bus. I sat on the backrow reminiscing the old days of travelling to school by bus. The guy sitting next to me had the center seat and said he felt uncomfortably exposed.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the taxi from the airport was almost like public transportation, since the driver took four people in and dropped everyone off to their destinations. Saves time, money and environment. I was the last one to get off, so I got a nice tour of the dark and rainy city at the same time. Rain and green grass almost made me feel like I had gone backwards to Finnish autumn.
I live now on the East Hill’s Maplewood Park, university housing for graduate and professional students. My flatmates are three nice Chinese girls (or so they say – I have yet to meet the third one, apparently a super-busy PhD student). One of them calls me Cherry because my name was impossible to pronounce for her. Surprisingly, she’s the only one who’s had real trouble with it.
After settling in, unpacking and finishing off the last pieces of rye bread I had brought with me, I went to register to the university (that’s where the above picture is from). Luckily, the office people were on lunch break, so I had a chance to wander while waiting, and to discover the first waterfall. The only thing dampening the experience was the tall fence between onlookers and water. Judging by the sticker in the picture below, I guess someone else has been a bit irked by the fences which, as I later noticed, are abundant on bridges and cliffs.
Then, had to take care of bodily needs. I felt I could find my way anywhere, since I was armed with the excellent information package I received when checking in to Maplewood. I strolled downtown, found by accident a small Greenstar Coop that sells organic foods and products, chatted with a salesperson there, and headed to a bigger Greenstar based on his advice. I’ll analyze the food options in more detail in a separate post, but suffice to say that I found something decent to eat.
Jet lag woke me up on 5 am on Friday morning (an hour later than on Thursday, slowly getting there!). Although it was raining when I came, it seems that the snow followed me from Finland. Many people cursed me because of that during the day. But anyway, now it looks like a proper winter.