Sunday, March 13, 2005

jet lag report 2

I'm almost up to week 2 in the US, starting to sleep better, thought the whole readjustment schedule will likely be blown with the train ride down to San Francisco.

In front of a grim motel style apartment building on Rainier, I saw an old lady wearing torn beige coat over a shimmering Lao sinh! I greeted her in Lao and she almost fell over. She smiled so broadly, exposing her old, worn, betal-stained teeth. She kept asking me how I came to speak Lao language, hugging me every so often as if to convince herself I was real and not some genie trying to confuse her. In between she explained she had come to the US ten years ago. Her children had since married and she lived alone, which seemed strange for me, that Lao kids would not bring their mother with them. She wanted me to come inside and stay awhile, but unfortunately this is America, home of the clock. I'm not sure if it was a good thing that I talked with her, or whether she'll have strange memories later.

Later, at the bank. The manager is VN, we talked about her home province of Quang Tri, which was heavily bombed during the war. I have been there and visited many ofthe battle sites when I was consulting on a UXO curriculum. She had returned this past year and we talked about the damage of the war to the country. Next to us, I heard another bank mployee talking with a customer in VN.

Today, bus passed SCC. Old bizzarrely dressed man immediately picked up police on his internal fuzz-buster radar. "What they doing there?" A whole line of bike police. In front of SCC, there was a demonstration. "Bush, keep your laws off our bodies."

Later in the afternoon - walked around UW. The cherry trees are blooming and people were lying on the grass, taking pictures, hanging out. A lot of Japanese families were there, taking pictures to send back to relatives, making the connection between the US and Japan in the flowering of the trees.

Much later, saw "Hotel Rwanda" Great film, will review here later.

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