Wednesday, September 16, 2009

On Tolstoy-reading horses

If you take the blue line all the way out of Washington, D.C. and into Virginia, you might end up at Arlington. That’s what Leanne and I did on Wednesday.

Arlington is one of those places that isn’t funny, and that also shouldn’t be funny. It doesn’t belong in a funny blog, and I don’t intend to try to make it otherwise. Therefore, let me make it short. We went there, it was moving and beautiful and horrible at the same time, and we got to pay our respect to one of the recent “attractions” – the grave of Teddy Kennedy. The brothers are united at last.

After Arlington, however, we had a lot of fun.

First, we went for lunch. Why is it that when on vacation, you always go for hours and hours without eating until you are absolutely starved, that as a consequence when you finally have lunch it is impossible to restrain yourself (or make up your mind on what to eat)? We ended up at “Au bon pain”. Even though I do know some French, I still think this is a funny name considering that we’re in an English-speaking country. Despite the name, lunch was pain-free, and afterwards we moved on to more important things – the bookstore across the street.

The thing about visiting bookstores with someone like Leanne, is that she will have read half the books there (or more), and she’ll recommend you most of them. Even when she’s not at work (incidentally, a bookstore), Leanne kicks donkeys at selling books. So I walked out of the shop with a ton of new books in my bag (I did pay for them, I swear!). This turned out to be a repeating incident – I might have to write a blog dedicated to bookstores of D.C. and Boston (since I already wrote one praising the Library of Congress).

After the bookstore, we figured that since we only had one more day in D.C. (well, she had – I have plenty), we should try to see some more. Like the Mall.

I have not yet figured out why the park-like area connecting the memorials with the Washington monument and Capitol Hill is called “the National Mall” (there is not a teenager in sight, so clearly it’s not really a mall…). My Lonely Planet mentions that “you know you live in Washington, D.C. when you know that ‘the Mall’ isn’t really a mall”, but it is otherwise unhelpful in this respect. Any enlightenment here would be appreciated.

Anyway, the Mall decided to maltreat me this afternoon – I was already beyond repair from lack of sleep the previous night (why I have turned into a part-time insomniac in this country is beyond me, but so it seems), and when I then proceeded to fall off the sidewalk (releasing a string of incomprehensive swearwords that finally allowed Leanne to howl out since she probably bit her tongue off trying to avoid laughing when I fell… Good job!), we realized it was time to head home. There the incomprehensive swearing continued due to my computer being a Tolstoy-reading horse (excellent insult to use if you’re in need).

What I was trying to do (and still need to do), was to book the flights for my next grand journey – this time to go see the Midwest. I am still planning to go, but it appears that in order to book flights you need: a) a functioning computer, b) a loaded credit card, and c) a functioning brain, I was indisposed at the time since I lacked all three. By now I have managed to obtain two of these, but the brain part still needs some work. It was on my to-do list for today, but apparently it ended up in the postpone-section of the list. Maybe tomorrow. Why is it that whenever I try to book flights I feel like I am making life altering decisions?

Oh, well… This was part two of something like four of the travel edition of my blog. Tomorrow you might need to wear comfortable shoes. Consider yourself warned.


Rayna M. Iyer said...

So that is where the Tolstoy-reading horse came from - wouldn't a giraffe literate in Russina authors be more appropriate, though?

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Welcome to the country of insomniacs! Join the crowd. :)

The mall is an odd name, isn't it? I've no idea....

Mystery Writing is Murder

Cruella Collett said...

Natasha - that may indeed be the case, but unfortunately, this was not what slipped ouut of my mouth... (Then again, one might argue that in reality, if a horse can read Tolstoy, that is some accomplishment, and it shouldn't have a negative connotation at all...)

Elizabeth - I gather you are a member of the club as well? I suppose if you spend your time right and use it to write those brilliant mystery novels, it might be worth it (plus I hear the newsletter is fantastic...)

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