Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Flip-flops and military uniforms in Washington, DC

So, I got a job. To which I go every day and all. Very exciting stuff. But it gives me the chance to hang out in downtown Washington, DC, which is rather interesting. This is what I see most often in the streets, in order of highest frequency:
--people with various types of chains dangling from their necks, on which they carry ID cards, a thousand keys, more ID cards, access cards, key fobs, metro card pockets with metro cards in them and other curious objects. I sometimes wonder how they manage to carry the load
--women in flip-flops, whether they are wearing suits, skirts, miniscule shorts, pants, sweats, whatever
--men in army uniforms
--men wearing shirts and ties
--panting tourists

I like the uniforms.

Son had the experience every child in daycare dreads--he was the last kid today and the lady there had to stay and wait for us for extra 35 mins. Everything with drop-off and pick up went wrong today. I had to get to work ungodly early so that I can leave early to pick him up since the Diplomat had to be in DC the whole day (rather than in Arlington, where the FSI and the daycare are located). The Diplomat drove Son to daycare in the morning. It is a 8 min drive. 20 mins later I get an angry call from him, during which he announces that he is hopelessly lost on the way to the daycare. Um, what? Keep in mind he has been traveling that road every day for the past one month, whether by shuttle, by car or on foot. Plus, I heard the GPS in the background. I am just saying...
Then, in the evening, I met the Diplomat in the metro--he was going to pick up the car from home and then go pick up Son. Naturally, there had to be a problem--someone passed out in the metro car, apparently, so for over 20 mins no trains were coming or going. I am entirely unsure why--I cannot imagine the sick person to have been sick on both sides of the track. Finally, when I was mumbling that if an air-conditioned train does not come soon, they will deal with a whole lot more sick people in the metro, a train came on the opposite track. We were assured that it was going in our direction. We boarded like a herd of disoriented but rather irritable sheep. Then the train went in the opposite direction. Even more irritated, we got off at the next stop and after we saw the massive crowds of people waiting to board whatever came their way at the opposite platform, we decided to catch a cab instead. Mistake. Traffic was insane. After 15 mins we passed by the original metro station where we boarded the train and the Diplomat decided to get out of the cab, go in and see if he can catch a train while I go by cab. The idea was the one of us will get there sooner since we are already late to pick up Son. Finally, traffic moved and I made it to the daycare. The Diplomat showed up soon thereafter--naturally, the moment we left the metro, all the backlog had cleared up. Son was sitting lonely in the principal's office, eating Chex Mix with an evil expression. Fun times.

I also would like to mention that tomorrow is D DAY for my orals. May the force be with me! I can't wait for all this prep work and studying to be over, so that I can start my Dhaka prep and finally get back to knitting a sweater I started last winter. Though I am not entirelly sure that I will need it in Bangladesh. OH well. Stay tuned...


  1. I just took my OA Monday and it is one wild day. I have a friend testing tomorrow as well. Best of luck!

  2. @Consular--so what happened? Are you joining the ranks?