As I was saying: flew in two days ago, and had yesterday for myself before deferring to the various professional obligations on account of which I find myself here.
A "day for myself", especially in a new place, usually implying covering a great many miles on foot with my camera (in case you're wondering, though I also brought along my Fuji X100s, all photos so far taken with my Nikon D3300 which, though not particularly sexy, is just brilliant).
And so off I ambled, from Downtown first to South Beach via the Venetian Causeway, back by taxi, then off again on foot to Little Havana, and back the same way. The colleagues I mentioned this to couldn't quite believe anyone would willingly walk such a distance - then again they were US Americans, not naturally inclined or used to walking. A trait which manifested itself twofold, as first impressions go: it was very hard indeed to find my pedestrian way to the Venetian Causeway; and in doing so I hardly encountered a soul - though fair enough, it was a bloody hot day !
A peculiar people in a peculiar country. It occurred to me that of all places I've visited, the US is quite possibly the one I find most alien. I'm not absolutely sure why that is. Part of the reason may be that, though many other places are certainly much more different to my native Europe, I fully anticipate or "factor in" this difference, which no longer carries the shock of the unexpected, whilst the US "should" be more like home. Another reason may simply be the sheer newness of the urban environment, completely devoid of reassuring old or ancient buildings and features somehow to "fall back on".
This in turn brings about, or goes hand in hand with, a relationship between people and the land they inhabit that is largely circumstantial, a function of the opportunities there to be followed, as opposed to the more visceral attachment to our land we have in Europe and elsewhere (almost everywhere in fact, bar other former British colonies such as Canada and Australia). True, Americans seem to revere their flag more than almost anyone else, but this precisely implies attachment to a more abstract concept of the nation, rather than to the land as shaped, worked and built over the ages.
Curious to think I should be more thrown off here in the US than I was for instance in Buenos Aires, or even New Delhi, where I took pictures also featured on this site.