April 9, 2009

Thank you, Congress, for taking a break. There’s still plenty to do for me, but it adds up to a lot less work overall. Plus it’s a chance to get some of the mindless, long-term projects out of the way that have been on the backburner for a while. Like spreadsheets and databases…these have been the bane of my existence in the past, but with my current internship I don’t mind them. It’s probably because I know they’ll be put to good use, instead of just providing me with busywork. The atmosphere is more relaxed too – now if only I could wear jeans to work, like staffers and interns do on the Hill when Congress is out of session.

And we all have been experiencing the other defining part of this time of year…tourist season! When the city is bursting to capacity with families in FBI t-shirts and sneakers and carrying Smithsonian gift shop bags, I always feel conflicted. On the one hand, I know how lucky I am to live in a place that people come from all over the world just to see. As long as I’ve been here, that knowledge never gets old – I still think it’s so cool to go for a run past the White House or pass cherry blossom trees on my way to school.  But on the other hand, every time I have to wait in a line of people trying to figure out where to put their farecards, then jostle for a spot on a packed platform, then squeeze around strollers and suitcases to get on and off the train, and then stand in helpless frustration as some hapless family commits the cardinal DC sin of standing on the left on the Metro escalator…then, I don’t feel so enamoured with the tourists in DC.

Although I’m sure so much frustration is jacking up my risk of dying of a premature heart attack, it’s also kind of cool to have such a sense of belonging here. I absolutely love to travel and experience new places, but there’s something to be said for living somewhere long enough to really get used to the system there.

So I will try, with that knowledge and in the spirit of the holiday, to keep my exasperated sighs at a minimum when I’m stuck in the crowd this season. Happy Easter/Passover/Spring!


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