I'm A Legal Alien Now

Friday, July 21, 2006

New House Post!

I'm typing this from my new home!

I'm living in what will in a year or two be one of DC's trendiest areas- the U Street Corridor. About two blocks east is ghetto and I'm not allowed to go there but where I am, and between me and work, is pretty safe provided you've got your wits about you. It's about a fifteen minute walk to work, and if I'm crafty I can go via Whole Foods, and quite pleasant in the morning. Not as pleasant in the hot late afternoon or as pleasant I can imagine in snow. I also won't be doing it after dark, as Logan Circle, the midway point, is a bit of a mugging hotspot and Vermont probably isn't dangerous, but makes me feel unsettled in the afternoon as it is.

The house itself is amazing. It's a 2 storey row house, very close to the metro (which if it's pouring rain is an option to get to work- it is a bizarre route and otherwise inconvienant but undercover) and beautifully renovated and decorated by my roomie. I have my own amazing bedroom and adjacent bathroom with fab tiling. Downstairs is a huge open plan living room and kitchen. My roomie doesn't cook so it can be mostly mine too. So far we're getting along great, and we are both happy not to do the whole named-shelves thing. He eats out most nights with his boyfriend after the gym anyway. They are both disgustingly fit and healthy looking. Will it rub off on me? I doubt it. I have this plan just to cook and cook and stuff them with food. But they ride bikes and pump iron and probably have really energetic sex too, so I'm going to have to find a deep fryer of some description. The kitchen is amazingly equipped considering he doesn't cook.

Speaking of which, I bought some groceries at Whole Foods today. This was more of a celebratory treat nature in honour of my first grocery shop in DC as Whole Foods is very expensive (although as a foreigner I get 11% off at Macy's! Yay!). Leaf tea is prohibitively expensive here, and I have to say I was disappointed in WF's sausage selection. But I bought some gnocchi for tonight and found a yummy sauce... and have couscous for tomorrow night. They also do a good takeaway coffee for this country.

I was supposed to have a drink 'around 5' with the guys from FL. who are interning on the Hill. At any rate, around 5:40 they call and say they're still on the Hill but are leaving now. So I sit around at the Embassy a little longer and burn some photos on to CDs from last Thursday night and try and photocopy a page from the Washington Post (SURPRISINGLY difficult- their page size is not standard at all) and eventually at 6:20 I leave a message on one of their phones saying that I have other committments tonight (this, mainly, but I'm not ashamed of that) and if I haven't heard from them by 6:30 I have to leave and 'we'll work something out next week' (lies of course). I left at 6:30, a little unimpressed. God knows how they even got on the invite list in the first place (well actually it's not that hard to figure out- every Congressman and Senator gets invited and someone obviously just passed the invitation down the line) but dudes. Punctuality. Goes a long way.

My boss goes back to Australia this weekend for a few weeks, and we have some projects to occupy us- namely cataloguing the complete art collection of the Embassy and the Ambassador's house.

I really like it here- in the house, at the Embassy (despite the inertia of the job as we head into summer, but it will get better- I'm sure of that) and in DC.

I was thinking of applying for a job at UNESCO if I leave here in November. UN salaries are internationally tax-free and I'd really need to get fluent French (between rent and occasional WF splurges and my planned Labor Day weekend trip to NY I can't really afford them here) as UNESCO's languages are French and English, and they also prefer people who can speak Spanish/Chinese or Arabic as well.

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