So this is the big HELLO from the land of the burgers and fries. That’s correct, even the hello’s have felt the dire consequence of copious daily intakes of malnutrients such as calories and grease (both of which come conveniently in either the chicken or beef flavour- which, in terms of flavour, are not actually all that dissimilar and can thus not be discerned by mere taste alone). Guess this all falls in line with the ‘bigger is better’ attitude that is the mentality of north- east America. An inherent attitude that would not, for example, have ever allowed New York to become known as the ‘Average Apple’ or ‘Medium-Sized Apple’, let alone and God forbid, the ‘Small Apple’.
As Murphy’s Law would have it, the only variable not following this common trait, is the size of the waves on the Jersey Shore. On the average day, the pier-partitioned waters of this coastline resemble a fish pond into which a pack of tommy-thumb fire crackers have been thrown. And what’s almost more horrifying is that I cannot see that the fish living in these polluted waters have a quality of life that is any better than fish living in the analogous fire-cracker bombarded pond. In fact, I can not see all that much happening in the ocean due to its deep chocolate brown colour rendering all subsurface activity practically invisible. The locals will argue that this masking effect is due to nutrient enrichment of the water, however, I remain unconvinced.
As these paragraphs represent the start of a blog page about life in the states, let us quickly outline that which can be established from this cynical introductory banter:
1)      My diet has resulted in the exponential increase in my body mass (an effect forthwith referred to as the ‘super-size-me’ effect)
2)      I miss the beauty of home and it should thus be stressed to the readers of this blog page that the stunning blue waters and rugged mountains that we as Capetonians have been blessed with, should not be taken for granted.
Until my next entry, much love to everyone back in the homeland and think of me and my eight-hour long wintery days while you guys are enjoying the sunshine and the beaches (and if you feel very sorry for me, post me rooibos tea, pronutro and Stellenbosch wines ;-)…
 “Our Man in Princeton….” .Bjorn von der Heyden is currently doing research for his Masters in Geology at Princeton University in the USA. Amongst other things, he is passionate about surfing. We asked him to keep us updated on his impressions and travels so that those of us who have a yearning to experience more of the great wide world we live in can do so, even if it is vicariously!