Saturday, February 13, 2021

Lisa Klungseth's Journey to the United States and a New Life - Part 2 of 3

 Continued...  Lisa's boat entered Manhattan and they prepare to disembark:

July 5.

It was a lot of work to depart from the Stavangerfjord. We stood in a line. We sat here. We sat there. We waited. We sweated and when we had come past all the counters on the boat, there was customs to go through. I was fortunate there, but many had to pay for antiques and cloudberry jam. Travelers Aid took them and some of us and helped us out of the station. There we sat for many hours, but finally we got into a train and could leave. I am writing while the train is going.

This fast train is very noisy. It was a big relief to come into it and leave New York, which we didn’t like and couldn’t do anything there. The conductor was very pleasant. It took a long time and we were starving, but we had to get through it in order to leave. Many think that it made them nervous, but not me. There were so many enjoyable sights here that one does not have time to be sad. We complained a lot, were hungry and sat, and waited and sat. Between New York and Philadelphia there was mist which was there the whole time. But afterwards there was more farmland. The wheat is ripe and some that was combined lies on the ground. Here are horses and cows and red soil along the railroad lines. The dirt is red and sun-dried and the sand is red sand. I see big green fields, but the train goes so fast that I can not see what they are. There are many more hills. We have very quick stops at the stations. The houses are quite pretty, red and white, but the towns are messy. There are many ironworks and factories all over, and rarely a greenhouse. Here are woods all over, but I can not see what kind of trees are there. The train cars are just like ours. Your seat is reserved when the ticket is sold. The dining car is very pretty but chilly. The food is good. You can get a pillow for the back of your head for 25 cents. This is not a sleeper car.

The houses often have chimney pipes on top of them and often tapered roofs. The train cars are very large with red upholstery on the seats and white paper under your head. There are 72 seats in each train car. Close to the towns the houses are built of red bricks, but often decorated with something that looks like gray bricks. The railroad stations are dirty. There are no flowers and plants. They look like the east train station in Oslo.

It is certainly warm outside. I use sunglasses inside the car. There is a Negro who wakes us up when needed. Here are pine and fir trees that we are passing, tall ones. I see seven hen houses on a hill, and only white hens. I see a red barn. This looks like a farmyard in Gottland. We are going faster now. There are hardly any trees. There are some hills in the distance or only flat land. The Negro comes in and brings us fruit and chocolate and other good things. Here is land, land, land. Just like before we got to Harrisburg it ls very beautiful. There are large lakes, rivers, but rarely any boats. There is soot from the ironworks. We stand a long time underground. From where we are we have to walk up many steps. The Americans are certainly not any better than we are.

A soldier is coming home. There is a big reunion with his wife and children. It looks like it is usual and approved, yes, that the women clothe themselves with light and airy sleeveless dresses. People drink colored water. I have not yet drunk the water. I had coffee in New York and coffee on the train, and not anything more. It is not hot. I am not thirsty. I am enjoying myself. Here it is a delight to sit in the dark shadows under the ground and the Negroes serve coffee for 50 cents for a cup of coffee – 3.50 kroner. Yes, yes. Then we start up again, very quickly. Yes, we will go far tonight.

Early this morning, 6:20, we came to Chicago. There I was separated from all those I knew from the boat and with many good wishes I came to my first northwestern station. Alvin was going to meet me but I didn’t see him. But when I had walked a little, he and his wife and Halvorsen and his wife came. They had been looking for me. I had been to Travelers Aid and got the best service I had gotten so far in America. The service at Union Station was very poor. I carried my suitcases myself and they were heavy.

Alvin seemed a little reserved and embarrassed at first, but I got a hearty welcome from them when I went back to see the schools in Chicago at last. He invited me many times and I believe he meant it. This is a much nicer train. It is Sunday and outside it is so clean here. The other train was so messy. We see much more ____?_______ on this side of Chicago. It is more neat and orderly. Here it is also flat but not so _____?_____. At 12:40 we stopped right outside a church. The train did not blow its whistle. It is so still, so still. People are coming in cars and stop outside. Here are flowers outside all the houses. Everything is painted nicely. Here now and then we find meadows at the same time.

There are no Negroes here, only in the dining car. People look more French and Spanish. There are many with brown eyes and dark hair (both Alvin and Anne had brown eyes). There is a completely different type of people than yesterday. These are all well-dressed people. They stand proudly by the train cars and surround us as we drive through. Here are also _____?_____ fields. There are no places to set your cups down and no place to put trash either, and there is nobody who throws them away. It is not permitted to smoke in the train car, only out in the corridors. It is clean in the bathrooms and there are two sitting places for those who want to sit and comb their hair. There are drinking cups and paper towels.

The woman who sits by me has IKE on a button on her handbag. In Chicago a man came into a café. He had a waitress stand beside him and had a picture taken with a sign which said IKE between them. It was most likely a picture for the newspaper. This picture is all over and is an advertisement for Eisenhower.

We have left Sparta and are in Wisconsin. There is a beautiful landscape. There are low hills and large farms, trees of many kinds. Land, land, plenty of land. There are 30 cows standing together and sun, only sun. Some are drying hay. There is a flat landscape. It is 3:25. There are well-kept buildings on the farms. The cows here are either black and white or red and white. There are kilometer-long fields of corn. I see windmills and the first cabbage field. This is the finest I have seen in this country. We are at West Salem at 3:20.

Now we are coming to a long, long marsh. There is a small bird down there with colored feathers. We are coming to LaCrosse. There are 18 strange ducks on the bank of a large lake; no, it is most likely the Mississippi. Now we are coming into Minnesota.

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