Monday, August 13, 2007

And Hello to you too!

My time as a Rambling Rover this summer has reminded me how much I enjoy writing for its own sake. Though in the past I have tried to use readyFIREaim in the past as an outlet for my creative impulses, I often suffered from the (all too real, I'm afraid) sense that I had nothing of great interest or novelty to relate. I believe that the essence of interesting conversation (and, by extension, writing) is "Be relevant, be original, or be quiet". My adventure this summer gave me something to share and I thoroughly enjoyed doing so. On the cusp of a move back east and the beginning of law school I feel that I am once again on an adventure, this one even larger if somewhat more subtle than the first.

In brief, I'm entering the final frontier of my formal education. After years of soul searching, anxiety, and "discernment" (which is the dignified name for slow-motion existential crises) I satisfied myself that law school wasmy proper path and fought my way through the institutionalized hazing of the modern law school application process. I was accepted at the Catholic University of America School of Law in Washington, D.C. and, after visiting in May, I accepted their offer. The 3 months that followed were a frantic montage of preparations for school and Europe follwed by my my and my brother's incredible 6 week romp through the old world. I arrived home barely 4 days before I was due to leave for DC with, once again, my life packed into bags. It seemed very much like a continuation of our trip; back on a plane, to another capitol city, with a more than a little trepidation and the promise of another great adventure.

Arriving into DC via Washington Regan (DCA) is quite an introduction to the city. Though Baltimore (BWI) is the cheaper choice for people not going directly into the city, DCA seems to be almost deliberately placed to provide tantalazing glimpses of familar landmarks to wide-eyed passengers as the plane taxis to the jetway. Driving into downtown DC the freeway signs were almost as comical as they were gratifying to me as a newly minted "local". So dense are the noteworthy sights, monuments, buildings, and institutions that the signs seem to rattle them off like a breathless maitre'd at a restaurant with 60 specials.

I couldn't help smiling at the peak of the Washington Monument off the port bow of our SuperShuttle, and I had to remind myself that locals don't gawk at the tourist sights.

Out for an orienting constitutional later that evening with my new roommate I was soaking in the pace of city life and delighting in the hordes of pedestrians vying bravely with cars for use of the crosswalk. I learned very quickly that tourists watch the stoplights, locals watch the cars. Slipping across a busy street right before a red light I had just commented on how city traffic moved to a different rythm than suburban traffic when *BANG!!* -- right behind us, an SUV t-bones a sedan.

We laughed for about two seconds, watching the karmically-chastised red light runner limp his 4-door off to the side of the road, then noticed that the SUV wasn't moving. No one else seemed to be doing anything and I didn't think citified indifference extended to car accidents, so I hustled over and poked my head in the window.

Me: Whoaaaa. Everyone ok? Anyone hurt?
Me: Uhhhh...{Shiiiiiiit} I'm only gonna ask one more time then I'm calling an ambulance
Passenger 1: Y-yes. Help. Ambulance.

And wouldn't you know it, I hadn't brought my cell phone. Fortunately Brendan, my roommate, had, and I called it in while being mercifully sidelined by the pros who showed up in a squad car as I was stepping away. Welcome to DC indeed!


Anja said...

It's kinda funny that you guys were traveling around Europe about the same time I was, because I swear I kept seeing guys who could have been your third twin (or 4th, or 5th). Upon closer inspection, though, none of them were quite right to have actually been either of you. But still, it's a funny coincidence. Where all did you go?

PNT said...

"Where all we went" requires more than just a mere comment; it's a whole suite of stories and memories that can't begin to be encompassed by the listing of the cities. To provide some satisfaction, however, I offer the following:
Czech Republic
(or, pictographically...)