After the heat wave last weekend, autumn is finally here. The weather has been grey and rainy for days and days, and I’ve had little motivation to go outside this weekend. Which meant that I once again missed the mingling event at the Ambassador’s residence with the Swedish delegation to the IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings, but it just wasn’t tempting enough to leave my warm and comfortable apartment!) I’ve been trying to hold on to this summer’s flavor by portioning out the jar of coffee from Café du Monde that I bought when I was with Jonas in New Orleans, but I think it’s time for me to face the fact and full embrace fall. Hence, apple muffin baking and tea shopping is on the agenda today. I should also get used to the cold since on Friday, I’m off to a much colder destination, namely Mongolia! The capital, Ulaanbaatar is allegedly one of the coldest capital in the world, so although it isn’t exactly winter yet, it’s already far below 0 Celsius at night. Fortunately, as I grew up in Sweden, at least I know how to pack for two weeks in cold climate. For some of my colleagues from the Southern hemisphere, this trip will definitely be more of a challenge in this regard. But immensely exciting, nevertheless – truly a once in a lifetime journey!
I got an e-mail from my dance studio this afternoon saying that it was closed for repairs this evening. So instead of sweating in my favorite ballet class tonight, I ended up having a relaxing evening at home in front of the tv. Quite nice, actually. Indian summer is definitely over now and it was cool outside when I left the office. So a perfect evening to stay in with a cup of tea. And there is always class tomorrow!
We had Indian Summer in Washington DC this weekend and since I wasn’t entirely ready for fall, I enjoyed every minute of it. It wasn’t Indian Summer by definition (aparently, a frost should have struck prior to the heat wave for it to be real Indian Summer), but it was around 30 centigrades for three days and I wore my favorite summer dress for what was probably the last time this year. The DC:ites complained, of course, and turned up the air conditioning, but I stayed out as much as possible in the sun.
My time in the sun was, of course, in the company of a book and I can recommend this one. It’s called Expats, by Chris Pavone and I picked it up in a book store at Frankfurt Airport without ever having heard about it. Expats about an American couple (he a programmer, she former CIA) that moves from Washington DC to Luxembourg, where they meet another couple who aren’t who they say they are. And so the story takes off. The plot is quite captivating, but the best part is definitely the description of European capitals, today’s Europeans in the borderless EU, and the expat environment. It’s evident that Pavone is highly familiar with the environments that he depicts in the book. For me, who’s been moving around in these environments for the past 15 years, the book was very entertaining, but I think it would be a fun story for anyone to read. If nothing else, it gives a good insight into everyday life of international professionals on temporary work permits.
Sorry for not dedicating time to update my blog lately! It’s not because of lack of inspiration, nor because I don’t have anything to write about; I have just been very busy lately. As always after summer and vacation, I came back to work filled with energy and inspiration, and I decided to seize the moment and get into new routines. These included allocating time for writing and for additional dance classes in my weekly schedule, and with 10 hours a day in the office, I just haven’t gotten around to write blog posts these past weeks. I will try to do better!
Except for allocating more time for dancing and writing, one of my goals for this fall is to travel more during weekends. I already wrote about my lovely and very lazy weekend in Ocean City, which was a result of this idea. The weekend after was Labor Day weekend, which meant Monday off for everyone except today’s real laborer (i.e. those in retail, food service, and maintenance workers). So I got on a bus Friday afternoon and went up to New York for three days. It’s not exactly a secret how much I love New York, and I had a great stay as always. Since Ms. Jenny and Elisa have both left the city, I don’t have any really close friends in New York anymore, so in order to not test the patience of my remaining friends there (I already stayed at their place back in March) I got a room at an inn in Chelsea instead. Convenient for the price and perfectly located in the middle of Manhattan and by the L train out to Williamsburg, where I spent every evening doing dinners and going out with my friends (ate at Diner for the first time – can recommend it!). During the days, I did what I always do in New York: spent a lot of time just walking around, sitting in parks, browsing bookstores, and going museums (we spent an afternoon at the Metropolitan this time). In other words: nothing new, but never old!
After my weekend in New York, September just kind of passed by. Summer lingered for another week or so, but the air is chillier since a few weeks and the trees are to shifting colors. I cleaned out summer last weekend, which meant putting away sandals and summer dresses, making my bed with the duvet and putting the blanket on the sofa, bringing in seasonal flowers and stocking up with tea. And slowly, slowly, I am getting into autumn mood. My routines are settling in – it’s ordinary but not boring – and the next few weeks will probably remain the same. I have a very exciting trip coming up in less than three weeks and I don’t think I will go anywhere before then. So although I will try to post more frequently, I’m afraid there won’t much interesting going on in my life before late October. In the meantime, here are some pics from my weekend in New York:
Williamsburg Bridge // The High Line // Wonderful Pianist in Washington Square Park // Sockerbit – Swedish Candy Store in Greenwich Village // My favorite hangout, Bryant Park
I have been home sick all week, though I’m still not sure what it is, exactly. I have similar symptoms as a couple of colleagues who got the flu, but a lot less severe than when I had the flu 4 years ago. Anyway, I’m rarely sick so I feel very small when I get a fever and I complain to everyone who is nice enough to listen. So Mr. M has given me advice on things from how to treat a fever and nutritional intake when sick to his Netflix Top 10, and yesterday, Monika came by with these beautiful spring flowers and a licorice bar. It’s very considerate, though I have a feeling that it might be because I whine so much…
I recently found a new favorite TV show! Ever since I was in university and wanted to work in the public sector, I had a thing for Public Office tv series. I’ve watched them all, from Yes, Prime Minister (anyone remembers that?) to Spin City and The West Wing, And now I’ve discovered Parks and Recreation! It’s really funny, and best of all, the main character, Leslie Knope, is as enthusiastic about Government as I am! Here, she seems to have joined my cause:
Washington has great weather and it hasn’t been cold at all this winter. At least not for someone from Sweden! Still, I long for spring and summer as always. A lot, I realized the other day when I all of a sudden craved pasta with pesto and tomatoes and a lemon beverage. It’s something I love having for lunch or dinner in late spring, and that really connect with the first signs of summer. But since our contemporary food systems allow us to eat almost anything we want all year around, I actually picked it up on the store the next day (although I resisted the temptation of buying tulips, which is a symbolic spring flower in Europe). Fortunately, today is Groundhog Day (an originally Northern European tradition that seems to have been kept alive in the U.S., mainly in Pennsylvania), and when the weather is grey as it was today, it means that spring is under way. (With a sunny Groundhog Day, spring will apparently wait another six weeks, source Wikipedia.) So even though light snow is falling outside my window right now, I’m getting ready for spring!
Sorry for the poor update lately. My internet connection down for about a week and even though I have a smartphone, it’s amazing how isolated I’ve felt while at home without proper internet connection. And how much I’ve read… Before solving it myself by going down to the service center on the other side of DC and picking up the replacement equipment, I had this Kafkaesque experience with the internet provider Comcast, during which I spent a total of two days in my apartment waiting for their technician – I felt like in The Castle! When the internet was finally fixed I had so much work and other to-dos that I didn’t had time to even open my blog. But the work peak is now over for this time and I’m back! Here is a bit of an update of the past weeks.