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Monday 21 Sep
Portland Oregon, USA

Snippets : 1

When based with friends and/or relatives eg as currently in Portland Oregon, instead of providing daily activity notes (as done while touring earlier), will in future, simply make some minor observations on any differences noted (trivial or otherwise) between the UK and US as detected in normal day-to-day activities etc:

1. Food-related

There are several extra-special, large supermarkets in the US with a style & approach which are not yet represented in UK cities::                                                          They have a much more upmarket image, with a vast range of spectacularly laid-out, fresh fruit and fresh meals and healthy goods (as well as other goods), all displayed to maximum effect and all set-out in a beautiful shopping environment with extra-attentive and extra-friendly staff (no doubt with prices to match).   Clues outside such stores include obvious notices such as: 'thank you for not smoking within 100ft of this store' as well as 'please feel free to use these free sanitising wipes before entering this food store' while also offering 'a free 2 hour guaranteed delivery to your home' (using Amazon Prime - Now).

Many, many locals choose to have their breakfasts and lunches in cafes and in shopping locations (like the ones described above) rather than at home, especially at weekends.

Re- 'Take-outs' in the US (= UK Carry-outs) : eg for Indian curries they offer a range of 5 degrees of spice (1-5) which you select (and pay for), when ordering  a 'Take-out' via a smartphone app. No physical cash ever changes hand.

This cashless approach applies to the vast majority of payment transactions eg for buses & parking meters etc. US friends say they NEVER use cash : only cards.

There are a range of US eating establishments which offer fresh meals (assembled in a form reminiscent to some degree of an upmarket 'Subway') but with say 6 servers in turn along which you pass by, in order to select the many different fresh ingredients and elements that go to offering and assembling a freshly-made Mexican or Middle-eastern meal tailored to your specific requirement.

There are some other, more formal US restaurants where the server spends an inordinate time spelling-out the offerings in detail + the food source + method of cooking and sauces involved etc, by which time the customer has lost the will to live (or eat....& has also forgotten most of what has just been said by the server).

Food Carts assembled in-lines around US town squares or markets etc, offer restaurateurs a less expensive entry into enticing customers, at reasonable cost, to taste and to check-out their culinary skills.  If successful, these Carts can then act as the spring-board for subsequently setting-up of an actual successful restaurant.


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Are you ready for 8-9 weeks in the saddle ? This mission takes us across the old Wild West (incl. Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota & Montana) then to Oregon, then meanders around Colorado & finally to NYC. Now to find a sturdy pony....

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