What's wrong with this statement:
"Minute Maid Strawberry Soda is the most disgusting pop I've ever tasted."
Pop is a sound. Soda is a beverage. SODA! It's called strawberry soda! You're not in Michigan anymore, there's no excuse.
Also... "primary concern of course is whether I can afford monthly airfar to the East."
I'll hold you to that!