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[Today a Month Ago] – I’ll Just Take the Metro Home

December 5, 2014

My first full day in the US was mostly spent being a tourist. I always say I’m not good at being a tourist – I feel awkward taking pictures of monuments and buildings, and I often have trouble deciding what to look at. But I think I got a bit better at being a tourist during this trip.

My memories of that day are a series of strangely clear pictures interrupted by stretches of “I don’t remember that at all”. Luckily, I have notebooks full of scribblings to fill some of these blank spaces.

I remember breakfast, blueberry pancakes and finally satisfying my body’s craving for fruit. (For most of the trip, my body was a little strange about the foods it would accept. Sometimes fruit was the only thing that didn’t make feel like gagging. I did eat every last bit of the pancakes, though.)

What I didn’t remember until I read about it in my journal was relocating to our next hotel, or rather, just walking over there with our luggage since it was still too early to check in. So many hotels, so close together, is not something I have ever seen before. I posted a picture yesterday of the view from our hotel – what I should have added is that was the view from the hallway. From our rooms, we had a view of a busy streets and hotels upon hotels. (Ylvs took a picture of it.)

Another thing I had forgotten was that we promptly walked into the wrong Marriott – who knew there were so many?

And then to the Metro to get from Crystal City, which seems to consist of nothing but hotels, to D.C. for some touristyness. Like the geeks that we are, the first thing we took pictures of was the Archives, while making lots of references to The Name of the Wind.

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I remember sitting outside a Starbucks (I’d never actually been in one before), and then wandering along the Mall, but most of all I remember how I felt, that happiness that comes from being surrounded by Smarch-friends. I feel it again now that I think of that day, but mixed with sadness because they are so far away again. And thinking back now, to how it felt to walk and talk and laugh, I also realise how relaxed I was – I’d spent the weeks before leaving driving myself mad with silly worries and too many things to do, and all of that had fallen away, and I felt so relaxed and free.

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Smithsonian Castle

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Smarchers at the Washington Monument. Left to right: Ylvs, Cyan, me and Firsfron, who prefers not to show his face.

We had a good laugh when we took the Metro back – if I’d known this, I would just have taken the Metro from Vienna instead of a plane!

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I don’t really remember anything after that, but my scribblings tell me that we went over to the con hotel when registration opened, and then out to dinner, in the hope that we would be able to sign up for kaffeeklatsches when we got back. That didn’t work, but we picked up our bookbags and headed back to our hotel, where we drank champagne, played Firsfron’s Memory, Sorrow and Thorn video game (or rather, made Firs play while we watched) and received more presents from Firs and Cyan.

Speaking of Cyan… probably the funniest (but also a little creepy) thing that happened during the whole con was Cyan’s name badge. Which simply said “cyan”. Not even capitalised. Which might be the name she uses online, but how the hell did it end up on her badge? When there’s nothing on the registration form they could have gotten it from – and when they had her registration packet under her real name, and her real name is on the member list.

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I started laughing again every time I caught sight of it – it was impossible not to laugh. But also impossible not to wonder how it had happened. I’m still wondering.

And with that I will finish for today, and go to bed to giggle at Cyan’s badge until I fall asleep.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 5, 2014 23:30

    GREAT post! Yes, the “cyan” name badge thing was so odd… but funny, too! The mass of hotels surprised me, too. We don’t have that density of hotels where I live, nor have I seen it in other cities where I’ve visited. And having three or four Marriotts next to each other was just… strange. Glad you were relaxed in DC.

    • December 7, 2014 00:10

      It’s so funny, I didn’t notice how relaxed I was while I was there, but thinking back now, it is so obvious. I felt the same way in Stuttgart earlier this year – there’s just something about Smarchmoots that makes me feel so good!

      • December 7, 2014 00:48

        Yeah, I think it’s at least in part due to this: being around good people on a fun holiday, knowing the same books, etc. Traveling with people you know is bound to be easier than traveling by yourself, naturally. And because Cyan had made so many of the arrangements already, it made it much, much easier on us, and we could relax much more than we could have if we had had to make the arrangements for hotels and transportation while we were there.

        I *so* appreciated your willingness to laugh at so many of my stupid jokes. That helped me to relax, knowing I wouldn’t have four ladies frowning at my ridiculousness.

        • December 7, 2014 12:22

          Glad I could help you relax as well!

          Being around people I already know and like is definitely the thing for me – and knowing they already know and like me, so I don’t have to worry so much about what I say, what impression I make.

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