When I was thinking about what to see in Minneapolis, I kept overlooking Mall of America. I thought it's just a big shop. All the other fellows were going there, everyone was talking about it, our WPI intern said it's super but I couldn't see a shop as an attraction.
This is my first visit to the US. Everything I knew about this country was what I saw on television or what I read in books. But thanks to the World Press Institute fellowship, I have the opportunity to see it first-hand. Before I came here, I stereotyped Americans as people who don’t give a damn about foreigners. After all, many Americans are expatriates. How wrong I was that I actually feel a bit embarrassed.
One of the joys of being in Minneapolis and St Paul is walking next to the Mississippi River. I didn't know before I came here that the river flowed through this part of the world. (In my mind the river only existed in the south somewhere, courtesy of Mark Twain).
But, as it turns out, it's just behind the university where I'm staying and I've tried everyday to find time to stroll beside it. It's special. Sometimes I climb down from the path to sit on a rock ledge and watch it flow.
Gerald Tyler lives up at Ely, northern Minnesota, a town of about 3,500 people just shy of the Canadian border. It’s wilderness country, canoe country, and, most controversially, wolf country.
Tyler is a retired property developer who put himself through law school, but never really practiced as a lawyer. A few years ago, he and a friend, Minnesotan cattle rancher Dale Lueck, began agitating for a wolf hunt. Tyler says he and Lueck were worried about the number of wolf attacks on cattle and domestic dogs and feared there could be an attack on humans.
A few years ago, when I came to America for the first time, I went on a driving holiday with my then girlfriend. We went for a couple of days - New York City to Connecticut. It was short trip to look at the autumn leaves.
Vampires grew to be the majority of the world populace in a movie called "Daybreakers" (2009). They were not hunted down anymore, but instead grew accustomed to living a normal "human" life, with the important difference, that they wouldn’t step outside their houses during daylight (as it still the case that sunlight is dangerous for them). But they have several devices in play for them: if they want to go for whatever reason to the countryside, they would walk into their garage, get into their car with the very deep tinted windows and drive away.
The first fellow I’ve met after disembarking in United States was Neha Dixit, from India. For the very first time I’ve put my eyes on her I knew we would get along.
And it was not because she has tried to be nice or she has made me laugh with some stupid joke – the other way around must be true. It was just that empathy we feel for no reason at all for some people. And I was very lucky because she is my roommate in the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul (MN), our first stop in an adventure that will take us to ten States and 15 American cities in a two-month period.