Letter from Ohio: Rock & Roll, Small Towns and Apple Pie
By Yeoh Siew Hoon
Friday, 26th November 2021

Cleveland, Ohio, may not be the most obvious destination for a first holiday in 20 months, but it certainly yields the most unexpected discoveries.

And perhaps this could be the way post-pandemic travel eventually pans out – that we seek out the not-so-obvious to truly enjoy the serendipity and anonymity of travel.

On the United Airlines flight from Fort Lauderdale to Hopkins International Airport, I am pretty sure I am the only tourist from Asia, headed for this Midwestern state that I’ve been told is “very cold”, “there’s not much to do there” and “you’ll get bored after one day”. Expectations managed, I settle in for the two-and-a-half-hour flight, masked and as distanced as possible from the passenger next to me.

It’s a pretty sold-out flight, marking the beginning of Thanksgiving travel season and by this, my second domestic flight in the US, I am getting used to the new protocols of flying. Mask on in airport and on flight, and that’s about all that’s changed. The experience of travelling in America is pretty much as I remember pre-pandemic – crowds, queues, security officers instructing you “shoes off, jackets off, belts off, nothing larger than your mobile phone in your bags”.

Everything is super-size here. Hopkins Airport, which used to be one of the hubs of Continental Airlines, is huge and you have to walk for miles to get from aircraft to baggage. Outside, the weather is definitely chillier than in Florida – in under three hours, I’ve gone from being barefoot on sandy beaches to boots in snow.

Read the full story here

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