Sunday, May 12, 2013

The weekend.

It was one of those lazy weekends.  Now that the sun is out, Ethan and I have made a weekend habit of walking through our neighborhood, past the row of embassies, down to Dupont Circle.  (We're not yet sure if we'll stay in this neighborhood. While the architecture is charming and there are numerous shops/cafes and an awesome public library within short walking distance, the lack of diversity is startling.   But, for now, it is home.)

This Saturday, the EU embassies opened their doors to the public. Crowds lined up. We did too. We scored chocolates, waffles, Framboise and other beer at the Embassy of Belgium.  That embassy was even raffling off tickets to Belgium. Well done, Belgium.

We visited a few other embassies, seeking cover from the spotty afternoon showers in ornately decorated dining rooms and eventually made it to Kramerbooks, where I thumbed through a few guides to Istanbul and stumbled upon a Xinjiang province (China) guidebook, which brought back all sorts of memories of crossing the Kazakhstan-China border by bus.

It's funny how my memory glosses over certain things, like that bus ride. But that memory came in  so clearly yesterday, leaving me with images of the desert.  There was the bus emptied of seats, brightly-colored tapestries covering the back wall and floor. The group - there were maybe 12, all, but us, local--sat on the floor as the bus bumped along the desert highway.  A young Kazakh woman with jet black hair and a slender face asked where we were from. We shared a sequence of broken phrases and, from what I gathered between her laughter, she advised me to have children.  Later, as we crossed out of Kazakhstan and then into Xinjiang province in China, I would catch her checking in on us, buzzing around the lines, making sure we made it through.

That was nearly two summers ago.

I continued to thumb through the book and its stunning views of Xinjiang, the images leaving me a little melancholy.  


  1. I wonder if we ran into each other and didn't know it! Belgium definitely had the best swag!

  2. Hi, we probably did run into each other!


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