February 6th, 2002

JOY

Multicultural Evening/DC Morning

Last night was very, as George Mason University would put it: diverse.

My apartment complex runs a free shuttle bus between the building and the Metro stop. Last night, on the 7:20 shuttle, there were 14 people aboard, including the driver. Four separate languages were being spoken.

Later that evening, I was doing laundry in the laundry room and a man of Asian dissent (who I later assumed to be Japanese) asked me to teach him how to use the money cards and the washers. I happily did so, explaining to him everything from putting money on the card to the unwritten rule that one must jiggle the washer door to ensure proper locking and cycle start. After the lesson, he thanked me and bowed.

Last night's warm and fuzzy feelings were a nice contrast to the classic standard issue rudeness that was displayed this morning. Getting on my first train, a young meandering absentminded girl started veering towards the platform while I was passing her on the right side practically pushing me off the platform. While changing trains at L'Enfant Plaza, a 6'4" truck of a young man literally cross-checked me while walking past, a fine example of the DC "I Yeild for No One" philosophy. Another young fellow on the train, who I only hope was riding the Metro for the first time was getting all huffy and shouting "excuse YOU" at everyone who walked past him.

Aaah, Washington. You're a puzzle wrapped in an enigma surrounded in mystery.