Friday, August 8, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

Ok, I have truly been busy these past couple of weeks. Good for my eventual bank account, but not good for right now. I seriously haven't had the energy or time to do anything else right now, especially blog (how did blogging become an activity?). In addition to teaching, I took on a short-term contract assignment. It's great work - educational outreach for an important cause - but it's in Reston!!!! I think I've blogged about this before but I have extreme suburbaphobia. Can someone please tell me what's up with these corporate parks with acres of land set in front of office buildings that look uninhabited except for the gazillion cars in the lots surrounding them? I even saw a band of geese as I was walking toward some form of public transportation. Maybe they were long-neck ducks, but whatever. As some of you may know, I am without car and have begun to believe that people like me are not welcome in places like Reston. If so, where are the sidewalks? How was I supposed to get anywhere walking across wet, grassy land? I am just not a fan of town centers. They are fake substitutes for real cities. Even the perfect little townhouses I saw while walking seemed unreal. Where were the people? I got enough of that while in the Midwest as a grad student. The point is, while in Reston, I felt lost, stuck, stranded. I was seriously scared. This situation may sound like no big deal, but it is so much worse in extreme weather. As we know, DC has been so extremely hot that people have been advised not to go outdoors on some days. So, imagine how I felt when I am standing in the middle of nowhere, with no store, restaurant, hotel, or any other form of shelter, waiting for a bus. I was so relieved each day when I finally got on the train and it pulled into the L'Enfant Plaza metro station. I could get out, hail a cab, walk home, find food, rest at a nice hotel bar...whatever. These were not options out in northern Virginia. While this assignment was good experience, I have no intentions of ever going back that far into Virginia for work again. Hey, these are the sacrifices we have to make.

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