I notice a lot of blogs I read have been a little stalled lately, perhaps it is the laziness of hot dog days, or just that summer is busy with travel and leisure. I feel stalled, but have compelled myself to share some observations about my recent travel.
My May China trip was certainly personal, but I mixed a little pleasure with business during a trip to Washington, D.C., a town I haven't visited in decades, and even then it was with grandparents or Girl Scouts. I vaguely remember cherry blossoms and a spitting camel at the Washington Zoo, or that may just be because of photos of me at four with Grammy and Pap. I have more valid memories of the Girl Scout trip, lead partly by my co-troop-leader mother, who made me call her "Mrs." and never paid any more attention to me and my troubles than any of the other Scouts, some of whom "sneaked a boy into their room." (I couldn't get away with that.) We visited our Congressman, and I sliced my big toe open (not in Congress). Mom made me drip blood in the bathroom. "Don't bleed on the hotel carpet!" she advised. "Bleed in the bathroom!"
I measured this recent trip against the recent walkabouts in Beijing. I was in D.C. during the budget debates and heat wave--but you'd never have known the dealing was going on just by walking around, although the heat was obvious and oppressive. I wanted to contrast the capitals, but found more in common than not. Yes, one party versus two, but really, which government gets more or less done. One is impotent, the other reckless; I leave it to you to determine which is which. It's kind of yin/yang.
It would appear that Congress has gotten the message.
The Great Hall of the People! Walk don't linger.
A constant police presence at the Capitol.
Warriors for the people, but these guys don't have any shade trees.
I left Washington for a brief sojourn in Oregon before returning to the 50th State, which is just about as close to Beijing as it is Washington, at least judging by my air travel time.
More irony to follow in Part 2.