Arriving in the US of A! Philly Airport

Philadelphia Travel Blog

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"Welcome to the United States... to Pennsylvania... and to Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love!" a woman's voice announced as the plane was landing. Even though I had been on the plain for 8 hours, I was only half way towards my destination (San Francisco) but just the thought of having crossed the ocean and being in America for the first time was excitement enough for me.
First I had to pass security checks and declare any food I had with me. I told the security guy "just beer and chocolates" and from only that info he guessed that I was Belgian, I was quite impressed.

The thing I noticed immediately, is how much friendlier Americans seemed to be compared to your average European. It really was a big difference, and it didn't cease to amaze me during my entire trip. People in the stores greet you and ask how you're doing, people in the subway (in SF) start chatting with strangers, etc, but more on that in a later blog post. A guy driving one of those little airport cars even offered to drive me to the gate where I needed to be. I declined however, because it felt good to stretch my legs after the flight. As it turned out, walking to the gate proved to be quite the leg-stretcher indeed! I walked past every single last gate in the whole airport before arriving where I needed to be. Philly airport doesn't really have the most pedestrian friendly lay-out. Another thing that immediatly struck me is how much cheaper labour costs are in the US, there were so many people emloyed at that airport, such as all those airport-car driving guys, or the guys putting your food in bags at supermarkets etc. If you were to use that strategy in Belgium you would go bankrupt in 5 seconds because of the insane taxes on labour. In short, I loved the US costumer service.

After a while I heard another woman's voice anounce that the flight "from philly to san fran" was boarding. They used the nick names for the cities in the official announcements! I thought that was very cute. So that were my first couple of hours in the US, I was sad that I didn't have the time to go visit Philadelphia itself since I'm sure it's a great city, but maybe another time...
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