Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dispatches from DC #01

07 October 2010

Hello there... Rodger French here. Finally.

The farewells in Pretoria were extensive and heartfelt, the flight from Johannesburg six movies long and then some, and the weather in the southeastern United States hot and beastly. All in all, your basic transition from four years in Africa to a new life, for the next two years, in the nation's capital. After regrouping with our dear friends R & D in Alexandria, Virginia for a couple of daze, A.J. and I hit the road to visit other friends and aging relatives.

This epic journey took us to Kentucky, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and back to VA. (By the way, if you're going to the Orlando area, do not miss the Kennedy Space Center. Wicked awesome and not a mouse in sight.) Upon our return, we checked into our new abode in the fabulous Hawthorn Building in Arlington, VA minutes before two households worth of goods from our past lives, sitting in storage these few years, were delivered and deposited all over the place. We've begun to make sense of things, although we have way too much stuff, with more yet to come from South Africa.

This is my first experience living in a condo building and it should prove most useful, especially if housing at our next posting happens to be of the apartment persuasion. It's time to reassess, edit, and pare down... a lot. Anybody need more stuff? Really, talk to me.

Our flat is walking distance from the DC Metro, so we can usually leave the mighty Honda Element (aka "The Toaster") in the garage and avoid the routinely horrible DC area traffic. I've also procured a very nice bike and expect to be mobile just as soon as I can figure out the new-fangled gear shifters.

What else... I am trying very hard to view the land of my birth with new eyes, like someone who is visiting for the first time. Not a convenient conceit, certainly, but one worth pursuing in the interest of good travel writing and the maintenance of reader interest. So please bear with me as I get my bearings and I promise to resist the temptation to deliver the snark regarding sundry idiots littering the political landscape in an election year. Seriously, I'll try.

One other thing. If you find yourself planning a trip to the capital of the free world (Official Motto: "Taxation Without Representation"), please let us know. Meanwhile, be well and stay tuned.



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