It’s about damn time I wrote a post for this here blog of mine.
I’ve already written 5,000 words for what I had initially planned as one gruelingly long post, but I’ve decided to divide it into four chapters, which are as follows:
PART I: GETTING THE INTERNSHIP, OR HOW LIFE HAPPENS RATHER QUICKLY
PART II: MY TIME IN THE BIG APPLE, OR HOW I MET THE CONDOR
PART III: BOSTON, OR CHEERS, WHERE NOBODY KNOWS YOUR NAME
PART IV: RON PAUL, CRAZY OLD LADIES AND MY FIRST JOB, OR HOW THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE WATER THAT MAKES EVERYONE IN DC BAT-SHIT CRAZY
It’s strange to think that I’ve done all this in less than a month, which is the main reason why I’ve been rotten about posting anything online, especially updates on my Luxembourg dual-citizenship project.
But I’m back, eager to blog and ready to post lots and lots of gifs. So here we go.
PART I: GETTING THE INTERNSHIP, OR HOW LIFE HAPPENS RATHER QUICKLY
On Thursday, Aug. 27, I received an email offering me in internship on K Street in Washington, DC.
Many discussions with my mom and dad ensued. We planned how I would make the move and afford living in DC as a $0-an-hour intern.
That following Monday, my mom and I embarked on a 14-hour, 741-mile journey across the flat, corn-covered plains of the Midwest during the day and up and down the rain-drenched mountains of Appalachia at night. Madre and I only stopped for Diet Coke and coffee, our respective stimulants of choice that we abuse more than anyone. We’ve not shame but unabashed pride in our dependency, and y’all can go to hell for criticizin’.
Besides, we needed to stop for fuel, both for the car and our bodies, because we were on a mission. We weren’t spending the night at a hotel to dillydally like a couple of whiny bitches who can’t trek the entire 3,912,480 feet of beautiful Amurrrca between Chicagoland and DC. We were headed to the nation’s capital, and nothing, not even the signs tempting us to visit countless historic sites or outlet malls, would stop us from successfully finishing our mission.
At 2 a.m., we arrived at the Fairfield Inn near Dulles International. For the next few days, we hunted fiercely for the apartment in which I wouldn’t end up with a roommate who’s pastime involves murdering his roommate, skinning him and using his epidermis to make chique lamp shades now on sale at Ashley Furniture.
The first abode on our list, in Alexandria, Va., was nice, located in a decent area and situated by a Metrorail station. PERFECT, RIGHT!? But when we returned to the rental office, the young man who gave the tour handed us a copy of the apartment application, which required that the tenant be employed and earn a minimum salary of $38,000.
I’m glad this tidbit of information wasn’t mentioned until after the management office had wasted its and our time showing the efficiency. The moment we walked out of the office, we both unanimously rejected contestant No. 1.
We then went to a city in Maryland for the second apartment on our apartment-hunting list. As I drove farther away from DC, the state of the neighborhoods rapidly declined into an urban wasteland, replete with cracked sidewalks, dilapidated row houses and the vibe that you’re probably going to be shanked. Worst of all, the apartment was nowhere near a Metro station into the city. When we finally saw the house advertized on Craigslist, I frowned, quickly turned around the car and, at a red light, texted the subleaser that I wouldn’t be able to make it that day.
His textual response: “nice..”
If anything confirmed my feelings about this place, it was the subleaser’s use of two periods, which I refer to as either a mutated period or a prematurely birthed ellipsis. It was time to leave.
Uncertain of our surroundings and fueled with a thirst for more Diet Coke and coffee, I hit the pedal to the metal and our Nissan Sentra zoomed out of that city and back into DC.
Located in an up-and-coming area off the H Street Corridor, I’m within walking distance of Union Station, the U.S. Capitol, the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court, where I’ve already creepily attempted to snap a picture of the Supreme Court justices playing drinking games in their offices late at night. Failure has thus far been my only outcome.
But more importantly, I’m within a few blocks of a plethora of bars, an English Pub, an Irish-Jewish fusion restaurant (ישראל go bragh!), a hookah lounge, a place called Dangerously Delicious Pies, a to-die-for pizza place and the indoor Eastern Market, where I can buy fresh produce, meats, cheese and baked goods. On the weekends, farmers from outside DC set up stands around the indoor market and cut up slices of tomato, peaches, nectarines and other crops for free sampling. I have spent the past two weekend walking up and down the row of farmers’ market stalls to gorge on this delicious array of fruits and veggies for free sustenance. I’VE NO SHAME.
My mom and I decided that this would be the perfect place to start my life in DC. We felt too confident with our decision, so we retraced our steps to make sure we didn’t miss some glaring issue with where I had chosen to live. But we couldn’t find any reason not to commit to our plan. We solidified the plans at the hotel. Mission accomplished.
I don’t live in a apartment, actually, but it’s a yellow row house where I rent out a room. A gentleman, who worked at Department of Defense for twenty years and whom I best describe as “the most chillaxed person I know,” lives on the third floor and leases rooms for students and interns. I occupy a large bedroom on the second floor and have my own bathroom. Although I share a kitchen and living room with the owner, he’s rarely around; oftentimes I feel as if the place is my own.
To celebrate our find, which really was meine Mutters discovery, we toured what I call the Acronym Monuments on the Mall: the FDR Memorial and the MLK Jr. Memorial (Congress, I want to let you know that I, the good people of Texas and Robert A. Caro are impatiently waiting for LBJ’s monument on the National Mall). Speaking of Robert A. Caro, I saw him, Walter Isaacson and R.L. Stine last Saturday at the National Book Festival on the National Mall.
Sadly, my iPhone’s battery died before I could snap a shot of R.L. Stine, who was working with his audience to create a ghost story about a boy named Bill and his magical pumpkin.
Anyway, after only being in Washington for fewer than two days, we left for the Land of Lincoln, except this time I besought my mother to hand over the steering wheel so I could drive. Perhaps she regretted this decision; I sped perilously through the mountains at 80 to 85 mph. But it wasn’t the speed at which I was driving that posed the most danger for my mother and me. It was every person with a New York license plate.
When we returned to Sleepy Hollow, I packed everything I needed for the move, and I, alone, departed for Washingon, DC, once more. But this time, I had no return trip in mind. I left the following Monday, stopped for the night in Zanesville, Ohio, where a man released 48 exotic animals before killing himself and leaving the mess for Jack Hanna and the police to clean up. Then I started the last leg of trip to DC.
For some reason, the parkway down which I was supposed to drive was closed, so I rerouted and drove southeast on Massachusetts Avenue instead. I zipped by the National Cathedral, the vice president’s swank crib and an assortment of embassies, my favorite of course being this one …
OH, LOOK, SOMETHING FINALLY RELATED TO LUXEMBOURG IN THIS BLOG. IT’S A LOW-RES, GRAINY, ZOOMED-IN IPHONE PHOTO OF THE LUXEMBOURG EMBASSY. AND YES, I was photographing and driving. Come at me, DC police.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post, titled PART II: MY TIME IN THE BIG APPLE, OR HOW I METTHE CONDOR.