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Published: February 26th 2007
So Much Snow and Cars
Detroit is known for having too much snow and too much cars. Welcome to the Motor Capital of the World!
At Greenfield Apartment
Today will be my first day in the office. As soon as I got myself dressed, I ran to the apartment's courtyard and took pictures of me and our apartment here. Snow has piled up for a few inches already and my boots were sinking deep into the ice. Still, it's a good thing the snowstorm happened a day before we arrived. Yes, it was Valentine's Day.
Current Location: Greenfield Road, Oak Park
Current Temperature: 10F
Okay, okay I myself need to convert that to Celsius... that's -12C -- Cold!!! I felt terrible. I know I should not feel this bad, I've had worse in Toronto. Anyhow, I still took snaps of frozen items around me. Thanks to my "new" Canon Ixy.
Time Check: 07:42am EST
We need to walk to the bus stop (Bus Operator: SmartBus.org)
. We need to catch the 415 Greenfield Northbound
bus at 7:48am. Good thing I brought with me coins I collected from my trip to LA. I needed exactly a dollar and 75 cents to take the bus. (These coins have been with me for more than 6 years!)
So we greeted the bus driver Good Morning and dropped our coins into his coin machine. He pressed a button and a printed ticket with magstripe popped out of it. My officemate told me to take it and keep it. He said we'll use it for the next bus i.e. bus transfer.
A few minutes into the ride, taking Greenfield Road, I saw Tim Horton's
! It reminded me of Toronto again. I saw a couple of Tanning Salons, Pizza Parlors, Churches of various sects, etc. We then arrived at our next bus stop.
Current Location: Meijer Drive, Royal Oak
Current Temperature: 10F
We stayed at the bus stop for a couple more minutes then took 420 Southfield Southbound
bus. I slid my ticket into the driver's machine and exchanged pleasantries. In a few more minutes, we finally arrived at our office. It took us a lil more than 30 minutes total.
First Day in the Office
Our office building only has 2 or 3 floors. We're in the suburbs so it didn't really feel like working in "corporate america". Haha!
Current Location: Southfield Road, Southfield
Current Temperature: 10F
was nice to see officemates and be able to associate faces with email addresses. I met our diverse staff that had fellow Filipinos, Indians, and Pakistanis.
Mexican Town @ Downtown Detroit
We were treated to lunch at Downtown Detroit. We drove for 30 minutes going south from the office. We went to a place called the Mexican Town. As the name implies, it's a town filled with all things Mexican.
We had lunch at a restaurant called Xochimilco. It's in an old building and it's pretty dark inside. It somehow made the place feel cozy and comfortable enough. It's tolerably crowded. It's been said to be the best Mexican Restaurant in Detroit. We had Beef Enchilada and Chicken Flautas. Big servings, as expected. But really good. I took my other Enchilada home for dinner. Hehe!
I am still not over the fact that Toronto is just 4 hours away from here! My boss said that if we take the Ambassador Bridge, we will be in Canada in no time.
The Giant Motor Companies
We saw GM Headquarters on the way. I, again, got excited and
took pictures. It's a mighty sight of 2 or 3 buildings clumped together. There are not too many tall buildings here. In fact, we've seen a lot of establishments closed and forgotten. I once read a travelblog that described Detroit as a 'ghost town'. At this point, I may agree.
We parked behind the GM building so I could take a picture of the frozen Detroit River. Just across that river is already Canada!
I cannot take the cold anymore so we ran back to the car and our boss took us to yet another touristy place.
Belle Isle Park
We took Jefferson Avenue and then crossed Douglas MacArthur Bridge to get to the Belle Isle Park. It was all white with sparse, leafless trees. Only birds and ducks seem to enjoy their time in the islet. There is also a fountain, but we'll have to wait till summer for it to be seen in all its glory. It also has a few frozen lakes on it. One is Lake Takoma. They say this islet is filled with people in the summer. People go here for barbeque picnics, skating,
kiting, and other activities. We, again, were looking over the Detroit River which, if I am not mistaken, is Detroit's source or water. They also say that Detroit has the best (cleanest) water in all of the United States.
While at the islet, I got a message at my roaming mobile phone. It said "Welcome to Roger's Wireless. Enjoy your stay in Canada!"
My Funny List Of Misadventures
Here I shall maintain a list of my adventures, misadventures, mishaps and bloopers while here in Detroit Metropolitan Area. These simply prove that this city has the worst commuting system in the whole US
😊 The five of us went to Oakland Mall, Troy, MI. We were supposed to take the bus home at 4:12pm. It was 4:05pm when we headed to Bath and Body Works to quickly grab one last tiny item. We assumed the bus would leave late so we did not run back to the bus stop, only to see our bus leave the moment we saw it! Arghhh! We had to wait for another hour to take the next bus home...
😊 My officemate
Had Lunch Here at the Mexican Town
They say it's the best of Mexican Town
had to buy her prescription medicines. We took off at Rite Aid
at 10 Mile Road
. The pharmacist did not have what we exactly needed so we walked just a few feet to K-Mart
. Again, they didn't have what we need. The pharmacist told us to go to Walgreens
which is the biggest drug store chain in the US (very much like Mercury Drug
in the Philippines). She gave us directions. She sounded like it was not too far. We knew it was a long walk but we never expected it was that far -- 2 miles!! Next thing we know, we were at 12 Mile Road
! And..... the pharmacy is closed! Waaa!
😊 My friend and I called for a cab and waited for 40 minutes. Yes, this is a continuation of item #2. And yes, we waited for the cab while inside Walgreens. You can just imagine how relieved we were to see the cab. I cannot imagine walking back 2 miles. It was past 9pm and it felt like 25F! Gosh! Now here's the funny part... cab driver asked us, "So do you work in a Chinese or a Korean restaurant?" My jaw
dropped. Okay. Hmmm. I smiled and said, "No, we work for an IT company." He said, "Oh, I see". Gosh!
😊 We moved to a new apartment in Nakota and Crooks Road in Royal Oak
early this week. My housemate and I have not gone to Church since we got here so we decided to go that day to Guardian Angel
. We were aware there is no bus schedule along 14 Mile on a Sunday so we decided to walk. We braved the cold wind and did not expect it will take us an hour
to get to church!!! It was extremely cold and windy. Extremely!!! And we were the only two people walking. My housemate almost wanted to break into tears. I did everything to make her laugh. We had to stop and go inside the stores along 14 Mile to recuperate from the lost body heat. Yeah... not very funny...
On our way home (yes, that's another hour of walking back), we had late lunch at Wendy's. That afternoon, we were the only young people inside. There were about 6 or 7 people dining inside. Each dining alone. Could this city (Clawson,
To Ambassador Bridge
... will lead to Canada! I used to go to our Toronto Office which is just 4 hours away (by car) from here
MI) be a preferred retirement city? I've been seeing apartments with signs such as "Apartments for Senior Citizens". Hmmm... must be.
😊 We took the 760 bus to Oakland Mall. We took off one bus stop earlier so we landed on the Oakland Plaza, just to explore new stores. (We've been going here all month! Bleek!) I got inside UPS to ask about their faxing services. It was not a surprise to talk to a fellow Filipino manning the store -- but it was a surprise having known that he OWNS the UPS Franchise! He's been running it for 10 years. Wow! A Filipino entrepreneur in the US! I don't know about you but to me he was amazing. He thought we were nurses. When he learned we're programmers, it was his turn to be amazed! To his amazement, he treated us to lunch. Haha! It felt good to meet someone "familiar" in a not-so-familiar place. Kabayan, salamat!
😊 It occurred to me that we've been taking the same bus (with the same bus driver) the whole day today. We went to the mall, went to church, went to a grocery
store called Meijer, and then went home -- all with the same ride! The funniest thing is yet to come: The bus driver handed me a ticket which he scribbled in "Call Me" with his name and number on it. It is just the most hilarious thing!!!
😊 We went to the Somerset Collection! YEY... It is not a mishap but I am writing it down here anyway. It is a huge and extravagant mall. I googled it and found it on Wikipedia. I did not quite expect that. As we drove around this city of Troy, with its the buildings and aparments along Big Beaver I gained a bit more appreciation of the suburbs of Detroit -- which is good -- because a part of me has been wanting to leave the state somehow. Thanks to our new friend Luisa who has been working here for 3 years. She took time off for us and because of her, we finally saw some pretty parts of this place.
- (I hope my list ends here)
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