American Pie: Slice 2- Sunny Side up!
Don't quiz me on the science of this, I am still unable to do the Farenheit-Centigrade conversion, but it was incredibly hot when we landed in Dulles International Airport, Washington DC.
After a rather "easy" exit, I roll my strolley up to the car park, where a US State department person was waiting to take us to the hotel. I have my leather jacket hanging stylishly on my left arm, I am waiting to sweep it over my shoulder and slide my arms into it, but it seemed like Washington DC was saying to me "PFFFTT"- sticking her tongue out at me.
It could have been Chennai. It was very hot, very sunny and very humid. And I could just sigh. I then quietly rolled up my jacket and stowed it away from sight, and it has since stayed there! Sigh! So much for being in America during Fall, nearly Fall.
And as we got to explore the city, I couldn't help noticing how like Chennai DC could be: It sure had monuments for as many dead people as we have, and maybe even more! They package them well, better than us though and take great pride in them! I did like Lincoln Memorial though, the frontage of which is a pool, the one that Tom Hanks crosses in Forrest Gump when he meets his girlfriend after the war.
You can even stroll through the Pentagon, with a smart well-dressed military guy walking you around and experience the anticlimax of seeing the 'ordinariness' of its corridors. Ordinary as in common, everyday, usual, regular - people lounging on park benches eating and drinking, relaxing, smoking, even singing! There are parts of the Pentagon that live up to its expectation, sombre, cold, where the only sounds come from the knocking of military boots on polished, sanitised flooring.
The advantage in Washington though is that everything comes free, which I'm told, is not the case in the rest of the United States. Especially, the Smithsonian Museums- the key of them being the Air and Space Museum, holocaust museum, Museum of the American Indian and the one on natural history. Remember it will take a whole load of time, you need a good camera and a pair of sturdy legs that come in walk-friendly footwear! So you can walk the mile, under a bright sun, sucking on a huge pop-stick!
Could I do this in Chennai? Hmmm... I wonder!
If you factor in the fact that I'm hard pressed to find good vegetarian real meals at reasonable prices, the final analysis is that I'm still searching for "America" and what makes it so special to loads of people!
But that is just because I have not been to New York yet!