Goodbye DC

So I have not written anything in 3 weeks. Things got pretty hectic these past 3 weeks between work, finals, and overall being in DC while trying to take care of things over in CA( that would be much easier IF I WAS PHYSICALLY PRESENT IN CA). Here is a brief over view.

I wrote my final paper on China-Africa relations. I was oddly excited about it in a nerdy IR/Economics student way. It was only a bit over 4000 words but made the silly decision of doing a very tedious and time consuming data based approach to researching it. Unfortunately charts graphs and tables do not count for squat in a paper with a length requirement that was measure in words. LAME

I also almost forgot to register for the graduation ceremony and order my cap and gown. Something about being in the nation’s capital ( as well as really really really far away from my home university without the constant reminder of graduation) makes you forget that you have to get back and walk the graduation ceremony.

I am not sure if I mentioned this before, but getting Chinese student visas are the strangest process ever. Apparently I am only allowed to apply for the Visa in the consulate based on my permanent address ( in this case the Consulate in San Francisco). I applied for a back to back study abroad program in Beijing and Shanghai in the Summer and Fall, respectively. I have experienced some rather inconvenient delays with receiving sponsorship p paper work from the Chinese Universities and they are cutting it pretty close to my actual departure.

Now I am siting on my plane headed back to San Francisco on a flight paid for by Delta Airlines in return for screwing with my initially flight to DC 10 weeks ago.  The flight attendant next to me just hit me with a coffee pot top. It literally flew off and hit me on the hand. Better the top than the actual scalding coffee.  On the bright side, pilot made a great quip prior to take off.

“We will now be dimming the lights to enhance the attractiveness of our flight attendants”

Best flight ever

I made some interesting experimental lifestyle changes. For a while I started waking up at the crack of dawn( or at least 2- 3 hours before work). And exclusively getting school work done in the morning. I find myself feeling incredibly accomplished before I even get to work. It is even more liberating to get back to work and not worry about school work because I already finished it in the morning, I have time to optically devour books and run and do all that fun stuff that people do at night. Also, I have started keeping my phone on airplane mode about 70% of the time. On the bright side, I am no longer constantly checking my phone when someone texts or messages ( it’s a bad habit  I have ). My focus is no longer frequently broken with constant buzzing and phone noises. On the other hand, I am not longer emergency response capable. Oh well, I like to assume that external problems fix themselves.

Part Two FUN STUFF

So the Spy Museum in DC is probably the coolest thing ever. I definitely recommend everyone who goes there to check it out. They had this game/simulation called operation spy[CHECK FOR THE NAME OF THIS AWEOSME THING]. It was definitely heap loads of fun.  Essentially, they sent us to a backwater country in Asia we took on a spy mission of finding a trigger for a nuclear weapon stashed away. I snuck through sewers, dodged security cameras( and lots of bullets), infiltrated rooms and discovered/ interrogated a double agent ( normal interrogation, not enhanced). At the end of it all, we sent in a black ops team to intercept the delivery of the nuclear trigger and saved the day. Best part is that they have a whole exhibit to dedicated to James Bond and his many many movies.

I also finally went to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. They had some vicious looking carnivores in there. Most importantly, they had a picture of a wolf squirrel. It was a deadly looking creature with razor sharp claws of slashing ( and climbing) vicious fangs.. AND A BIG FLUFFY TAIL.  I also saw a mummified baby, it was both adorable a terrifying. I think I might have nightmares about it.

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Wolf-Squirrels, like squirrels, but more vicious and wolflike

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Oh, and I also went to the American art museum, it was pretty cool too I guess. They had Halo for Atari and a silent movie of someone playing “Let It Be” on the viola.

FOOD

I have been eating out a lot these past three weeks. Something about impending finals and a low quality kitchen makes you want to cook less and eat out more. However, I did get to chance to try a lot of good restaurants  while I was out.

Izakya is a little Japanese tavern style restaurant behind the Verizon Center in Chinatown. I swear my mind was blown with all those little dishes they had. It is a bit like Japanese Tapas style of eating food, and I wish I had been to this place earlier. They have BLACK SESAME PANNA COTTA, and wish like a fiesta in my mouth. They had some other great dishes like the Chawanmushi ( a savory egg custard) and the grilled avocado with Ponzu sauce. I had no idea that grilling avocado was socially acceptable, even if it isn’t it is still delicious. But really guys, Black Sesame Panna Cotta is the way to go.

Black Sesame Panna Cotta.. now they need one but creme brulee
Black Sesame Panna Cotta.. now they need one but creme brulee

Butter Chicken ( yes like the Indian kind) Poutine. Two things you would not expect to be in the same plate, but go extremely well together.

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Butter Chicken Poutine.. yes it is a thing

Astro Doughnuts is also a place that makes me happy. Above all, they have a crème brulee donut that makes my stomach want to regurgitate it so I can eat it all over again. First they have the donut, then a nice layer of custard, and finally the burnt caramel crust on top that makes it a crème brulee donut. I also heard their peanut butter and jelly donut is also amazing. But they always run out of them before noon. One last thing, they have fried chicken sandwiches with donuts instead of bread.

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Fried chicken sandwich in a DONUT.

Finally, Cumin Lamb Dumplngs at China Chilcano. Peruvian/ Asian Fusion. They taste as good as they are pretty.

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The one time I did cook I made butter poached steak… yum

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How could I forget, I saw Robert Irvine at the Memorial Day Parade. I suspect he is graduating from Restauant Impossible to his new show, White House impossible

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Robert Irvine was here

Finally, here are some views from the top of the Washtington Memorial [you can go inside and take the elevator up). The capitol and national mall are under construction, but everything else looks nice.

Warriors are in the finals and won game 1[ I wrote this two days ago. I am sad/angry about game 2)

Okay, this flight is long, I ran out of things to say. I am going to take a nap now, good night.

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