Friday, January 21, 2011

Mr. Lane Goes To Washington

That's what my friends have been saying. Personally, I like the title "The Emperor Goes To Washington," but maybe that's a bit esoteric.

So here I am staying at the Meridian at Braddock Station in Alexandria, Virginia. While I can't see the National Mall from my ninth floor enclosed veranda, I can see it when I go over to the other building's sixteenth floor penthouse to talk on the phone.

I try to be seen and not heard when I'm with my three roommates. You know, if I dial someone on the phone for a conversation, I walk around the building and go to that penthouse in the other building where no one usually hangs out and chat away. Although last night, there was a woman in there on her laptop. Since I'm the courteous type, I asked her if I would bother her with my phone call. I almost had to shake her to get her attention, so that right there should have been a sign that I wouldn't.

The phone call and the writing of this blog are a sign that I'm bored. It's the weekend; my internship starts Monday at 9 AM sharp. I think I'll arrive at 8:30 AM, because I have a habitual fear of being late. I think it comes from my childhood where my mother would always arrive late places. But, see, she had a theory that if you left five minutes late, you could make up that time by speeding down the highway and then arrive at your destination five minutes early.

Speaking of time warp, when I left my sister and her husband's house in Toledo to fly out of Detroit to Washington DC, the flight went west to Chicago. Because of the time zone change, it only took three minutes. Ha! Yeah, but I didn't get that. Why did the plane have to fly to Chicago to go to DC? That's cartographically inconsistent. Why couldn't it fly out to DC from Detroit? They don't call it an "international" airport for no reason.

Yeah, speaking of international, my immediate roommate is from South Korea. He's a nice guy; he's obviously in the international affairs program. He's an ambitious fellow because he's here in Washington, not to get credits to graduate, not to "see the world" or whatever. He's here to improve his English so that he can get ahead and get a better job when he goes back to South Korea. Talk about enterprising and gutsy.

The other roommate I have is a postgraduate studying to be a lawyer. He's from Philadelphia and spent time in Boston. The other roommate is from Boston and grew up in New York. So, you hear the accents pretty thick, and they talk about microbreweries and how parochial the people in Maine are. It's like a different America when I'm around these guys. There really are different cultures when you divide the nation by mountains, rivers, and the Mason-Dickson Line.

I mean, I like the guys. Don't get me wrong. I like the other roommate a lot because he uses the word "schmuck" inordinately. That one is in the law enforcement program interning with the US Marshals.

Yes, I did bring a camera with me. I'll take pictures later because I'm a little unsure of carrying out a bunch of stuff with me when I'm in the city. I don't want to look like a tourist; I don't want to look like an easy target. I'm still feeling out the city. The multitudinous, heterogenous population still consternates an ol' country boy like myself. When I feel like I know what I can expect from the masses out here, I'll start to tote around more of my hundreds-of-dollars belongings. You know, this isn't Will Rogers Boulevard with a single mom with a stroller waving at you as you walk by anymore.

So there it is. I'm a little nervous about getting mugged. But the thing is you're not going to get robbed of your time if you spend it reading here. Stay in touch for more in the serial called "Mr. Lane Goes To Washington."

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