Red Curry and Some not-so Red Wearing Buddhist Monks

Red Curry and Some not-so Red Wearing Buddhist Monks

Yes, I visited the Capitol Building, the Holocaust Museum, National Mall, and crossed off various other tourist spots of the DC must-see list thus far.

Although my life in DC hasn’t been as Eat, Pray, Love-esque (for those of you that have seen the movie or read the book) as I’d have wished it to be, I’ve managed to throw in a couple of sui generis experiences into my time here. As far as the Eat aspect goes, last Wednesday after work, my roommate and I decided to try out one of the many restaurants near Dupont Circle. Of course Dupont is scattered with the wonted three Starbucks coffee shops within a one-mile radius and the numerous sandwich and pizza chains (no, I am not complaining, as we the consumers are guilty for their abundant existence), but you can find a lot of unique restaurants there as well. They say DC is the most diverse in terms of restaurants, and I wouldn’t doubt that the person who published that or the people that ranked it there meandered to Dupont first. And so we strolled into a Japanese-Thai fusion restaurant and had our fill of spicy tuna rolls and red curry.

Well, even though DC has provided me many (and I mean, many) opportunities to walk, I decided one day (probably after stopping into Hello Cupcake) that I should look into yoga in DC. My Google search led me to links of yoga centers and even some Buddhist temples. Since I’d never been, I decided to go to a Buddhist temple near my office an evening after work. I could rant for pages on how interesting my experience was and how much I learned not only about Buddhist practices but more about my own religious practices in one meditation/prayer session, but I’ll spare you all. What I do have to say is that if it weren’t for going there, my red and orange, monk, and incense inspired picture of a Buddhist temple would still be painted. Pray? Check (or at least the beginning of a check-mark).

All said and done, I’ve learned a lot in DC. No, I don’t mean one of those learning experiences that we think to ourselves “well, that was interesting” and move on. I also don’t mean “learning” in a sense where you read for hours and memorize a plethora of facts and then regurgitate them on an hour-exam. I’ve really been able to learn in a hands-on, so to say, way, ranging from the financial sector I’ve delved into at Merrill or the countless trips I’ve taken here and there. It’s been more than refreshing to step away from the university experience and into a practical, engaged, and resourceful environment.

On a side note, for those of you who are Facebook-ing me with questions and comments, I’ve created an e-mail address so that you don’t have to find me (yes, there is somehow another Aleeza Asghar in the world). E-mail me at with any questions or comments.

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