Friday, July 31, 2009

Initial observations

1. People are still rather fat. It's not just a stereotype, it's a problem. In my extended stay at the Orlando airport (a total of 7.5 hours) I watched a family of four consume their weight in high fat, high sugar, high calorie foods. The father was the only one who didn't really eat and he was also, not coincidentally, the only one who wasn't pushing the portly-to-obese barrier. We need to think about what we are putting into our mouths.

2. Cars have gotten boxier and uglier. It's no wonder why American car companies are in the crapper. No only do they produce inferior, poorly engineered products, they also products butt ugly machines. The new "box on wheels" design has got to go.

3. On my flight to DC, there was a youngish man with his presumed girlfriend who had a problem with the flight crew and eventually go kicked off the flight. The police were called. He was utterly ridiculous and a jerk. Now, I can't verify this, but I have a very sneaky suspicion that he plays for one of DC's sports teams. I won't name any names, but I can say that this individual had the physique, body art, attitude, and wispy beard to match a particular individual in the DC sports scene.

4. It's weird responding to people in public in english. I guess after 3.5 years, my natural inclination is to say something in spanish. I'm sure I'll get used to it soon enough as I revert back to my original culture but it is a little odd to hear english all around me.

5. The US is perfect, much as they say in Colombia. The roads are perfectly paved with all the correct markings, the stop lights are well defined (and seem long), the distance is vast. These are the things that Colombians say about the US and they're right. Compared to where I've been, we present an appearance of perfection. I'm not complaining about it, just saying that I have a heightened appreciation for that which we do right. And we do roads right.

6. Chipotle, thankfully, has done nothing to degrade the quality of their pork. Still as succulent and delicious as ever. I shall soon become reacquainted with their other meat options.

7. The MacBook Pro is easily the coolest computer I have ever owned. More than that, however, it suits my needs. I don't want to have to worry about maintenance and hassle and viruses and all the other crap that goes with Windows. With Mac, my PC concerns are essentially over. Now, if Google would only release Chrome for Mac.

8. After living in Colombia, I find that I don't like my air conditioning so cold anymore. Maybe it's because I prefer fans and the air circulation that they provide or maybe it's just after living for so long without, I am not so addicted to artificially cooled air. (Note: There is no A/C in Bogota because the average temp in the city is between the 50s and 60s. This comment only refers to A/C in the hot lands or times when I was traveling with my wife who doesn't like a lot of A/C.)

9. If there's anything about DC it's the consistent nature of things. The politicians still think they're hot shit, the people are always in a hurry, and hope springs eternal for Redskins Nation in July and August. My mother's house is about 5 minutes from Redskins park and while tempted, I'm not going to make it to a training camp session. But that won't stop the thousands of other who will as we saw yesterday when we passed them on the road, all lined up to park.

10. All things considered, it's good to be back. I have to confess I was quite nervous about coming back and not knowing what to expect. I shouldn't have been. The US is still here, as always, with good, decent people who are largely ignorant of what their political leaders are doing. I don't say that to denigrate Americans - most people around the world are mostly ignorant of what their governments do in their names. No, I say that because often, living abroad, one only gets the most narcissistic view of America - the political view - and that's a bit depressing. It's reassuring to see with my own eyes that people are people - whether Colombian or American, we all want the same things. No matter how nihilistic and depraved our leaders become.



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