Surfing. With J and A.

Surfing. With J and A.

My roommate and I decided upon two surfers from a small town in Wisconsin.
A is 25, and from Buenos Aires, Argentina. J is 21, and from Dijon, France.
“You know the mustard?” She asked. I do.
They taught at the local college, and had both never been to Milwaukee.
A was working on her second year as a Spanish teacher, but is also a student at the same college.

J has only been in the states for a month.
She teaches English at the school, and also studies herself.
She told me that she had heard all of her life about the US.
The American dream, everything is larger than life, that there are riches basically dripping off of trees.
It might be the same way, I thought, I picture Dubai. (that is the way dubai is.)
“And then I arrived in *insert small town here*.”
Where they live in Wisconsin there is no public transportation, and they are essentially stuck eating the food in the cafeteria.
They tell me that the city goes quiet around 8pm, and the parties they’ve been to end before 11.
I told them that this was not the case across the country.

Unfortunately, most of the weekend they were here, it rained.
When I drove them into the city, the fog was so thick you couldn’t see the skyline.

I was at work most of the weekend, so they had to travel around on foot.
When I met them at Cubanitas on Saturday after work, they had a garbage bag wrapped around their backpacks.
Poor things.

Another snafu?
I had given them what I thought was my Art Museum membership card, when in reality, it was my library card.
They gave it to the desk, and were declined.
“What is your family name?” They asked.
J was speechless.
They both thought it was an hilarious anecdote, and I felt terrible for making them pay for something they thought would be free.

We talked about cultural differences, and cultural foods.
A was in love with mayonnaise, too, and she said back home, they put it on everything.
She told me about their “Tower Of Pancakes”.
Thin, savory pancakes like crepes, layered with cheese, mayo, lettuce, and meats.
She’s sending the recipe.
Good thing we’re still stuck on Argentina for the Plate Tectonics. Because that shit is HAPPENING.

In France, they have a similar dish made with Nutella.

It was interesting to note the cultural differences between these two women as well.
J was raised by a gardener father with a hobby farm.
She has horses back home, and used to help her father gut and pluck the chickens he had just beheaded.
She is opinionated, and sarcastic, and a little bit rough-and-tumble.
A seemed a bit more reserved. Polite.
She is a vegetarian, and is against all unethical treatments of animals.

At one point, near the end of their stay, J asked, “Have you ever blown up a bullfrog by making him smoke cigarettes?”
I lost it. Laughing uncontrollably, I shrieked, “NO!!!!”
“I only did it a couple of times when I was a kid.”
Behind her, I watched A’s face recoil in horror. She was judging J on a very fundamental level.

J was amazed by the amount of “Drive Up” things we have here.. Pharmacies, and food alike.
A pointed out that those from the United States refer to themselves as Americans a lot..
While she, too, is American. It was a fact that had never occurred to me.

On Sunday, I had off of work, and took them to a few places.
First, The Domes.
A little disappointing, because the Tropical Dome was closed for renovations. IT’S THE BEST ONE.
We also went to The Milwaukee Public Museum.

Their specific request for the weekend was to go to The Cheesecake Factory.
What a perfect place to see the reflection of The United States’ “everything in excess” rule.

We ordered 7 slices of cheesecake for the 4 of us after a small lunch.
Because of my connection to one of the servers, he had the cheesecake removed from our bill.
At $8.95 a pop, I’d say we got a pretty good deal.

Here they are, in heaven.
(a terrible photo. an even worse ‘shop.)

J and A.

J and A.

There is some confusion with the roommate and I about protocol.
I am under the impression that these are my guests, and I will treat them as such.
Going out of my way to do what I can to make their stay in Milwaukee as enjoyable as possible.
Driving them when I can, making them breakfast, and getting to know them better.

She thinks I dote. (which i do)
She also believes that this makes our guests uncomfortable.
To be honest, the thought hurt my feelings at first.
I think it’s because I was embarrassed.. I thought I had done something wrong.
After thinking about it for a night, I realize that I am comfortable with this.
An aspect of who I want to be as a human being is a generous, thoughtful, and helpful one.
One thing J said while she was here was that we, my roommate and I, were a reflection of the people of The United States.
And she’s right.