Let's Go Drink Some Water!

Let's Go Drink Some Water!

As I wrote in my first post, getting to The Washington Center was not exactly a walk in the park. Unfortunately, being here isn't exactly a holiday. We have a lot of things to do: in a few days, we have our midterms, several deadlines for academic programming, and this is of course the moment my home university has chosen to give me some extra paperwork. While trying not to drown because of all the assignments, you should of course also take advantage of being in D.C. It's a great place to be, particularly if you are interested in "networking." It is kind of the national sport in D.C. Everyone does it: to get a job, to meet new, important people that might be of use or just for fun. One of the best places to do that, are the happy hours. Staffers of offices from all over DC go to the bar and hang out and talk – often, their bosses are there too. However, to do all this kind of amazing stuff, you need to be 21 years old. Which I am not.

 

 

I knew before I came to the U.S. that drinking would not be possible here. I did not know however, that it is also impossible to be near people who are drinking. Even if you are just planning on drinking water, you aren't allowed in a bar. The worst part? Drinking beer is legal in Belgium from when you're 16. So what do I do on a normal Friday evening? I hang out with my 20-year old friends (or people older than 21 who want to take it easy for a while) at someone's apartment, while drinking water. It is less horrible than it sounds.  I'm still alive.

 

Dude, this is some strong stuff!

 

On Saturday, I went to go see a movie. Before that, I had a few hours left so I decided to go to the Mall and to whatever museum I hadn't seen yet. When I came closer and closer to the Capitol, I saw them. There were hundreds of them. Maybe even thousands! Tourists! Of course, I completely forgot that Monday was Columbus Day. That is the day when most countries on the North American continent celebrate the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, and the United States celebrates this event with a national holiday. This weekend was thus a long weekend, and apparently lots of tourists decided that this was a great moment to visit D.C.!  Of course, being a real D.C. citizen, I was incredibly annoyed  by all these people who were trying to knock me out with their huge cameras.

 

Okay, it wasn't that bad. Also, a piece of advice - probably the first useful thing you will read in my blog: if you ever visit something on the National Mall, don't take the National Mall entrance. All buildings are huge and have more than one entrance, but most tourists don't seem to know that. If you take the entrances at Constitution Ave, Pennsylvania Ave or Independence Ave, the lines are normally not very long. Well, that was some great advice, don't you think? Don't get used to it!

 

After the movie – Kill the Messenger, in case you are interested – I decided it was time to go for a run. This is like the national sport in D.C., everyone does it. (I know that I mentioned networking as the national sport in D.C. at the beginning of my post, but networking is of course not a real "sport", you see?) Anyway, after some social pressure, I thought maybe the time had come to actually use the sports shoes that I had brought with me all the way from Belgium. And I have to admit, running is indeed more enjoyable if this is what you're looking at:

 

 

 

 

 

If you go for a run where I live, you see this:

 

 

 

Who am I kidding?  I love cows!

 

You Zany Americans

 

I'm not sure what "truck trailres" are, but the next message will tell them to take a right turn!

 

I really did not expect D.C. to have real houses like these! It looks like a small suburban city!

 

I kind of expected these kind of buildings in D.C. Unfortunately, they are located in Virginia. These actually are the suburbs...

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