Sunday, October 01, 2006

Mr. Pup Goes to Washington, Part 3

The last time I was in DC, it was in the 10th grade. We were there to march in the Cherry Blossom Parade. It might look like all fun and games on TV, but marching in a parade is hard. Just imagine a hot day, big polyester uniform, marching for over a mile without being able to scratch yourself. Because as you know, as soon as you do that, you’ll end up on TV.

I continued my journey by walking towards the White House, and it’s doesn’t hold the grandeur that I remembered. When I last visited, there was a fence. Other than that, it was a clear view at the magnificent building. When I saw it this time around, I couldn’t help but notice how insanely militarized the White House has become.

I think it’s a shame what this country and the world has become. Militarization of anything has never been the path to peace. How do we say that we want peace when we militarize so much of our own world? There’s a line that I think we have crossed in trying to achieve some imaginary sense of ‘safety’. I digress.

As I mentioned before, I had my mp3 player on. I walked towards this grassy area by the building to get a better view of the White House. All of a sudden, I feel this hand grab my shoulder. When I turned around, a man in a black suite, who didn’t look particularly cheery said “You need to leave this area now”.

Apparently, he had been yelling at me for a bit now, but with my headphones on, I didn’t hear anything. He was clearly secret service and not happy about having to come after me. I played the tourist card and was sent on my way. I don’t know why that was exciting for me, but it’s not everyday I get the attention of the secret service.

I was getting hungry so I walked towards Chinatown because I had a craving. In case you didn’t know, here’s a tip on Chinese restaurants. There’re 2 things that you have to look for. 1. Lots of people in the restaurant. 2. Lot of Asian people in the restaurant. If you’re in a new area and looking for a good Chinese restaurant, just find one with lots of Asian people and you’re good to go. Even better, look for part of the menu to be on little sheets of paper taped to the wall. This ensures quality.

This assumes you wanted real Chinese food and not some bastardized American version of course.

I ended up at a place called Big Wong’s restaurant. I thought this would be funny to put on my expense report. Despite the name, it was filled with Asian families so I gave it a shot. Nothing much to report here except it was fantastic. Not the best I’ve had by a long shot, but it did the job.

I began my trek back to the hotel. It was still early and I didn’t want to go back right away. I remembered that I saw a bar right by my hotel in my drunken stumble back last night.

So I went in the BG. It was a nice small bar with a little grill on the other side of the room. I sat at the end of the bar next to a couple of seemingly drunk guys who was talking to the cute bartender. Eventually, we struck up a conversation when I agreed with one of the guys that when your girlfriend secretly reads your email, she’s crazy.

Turns out the bartender worked for one of the guys for her day job and as I got in good with this guy, the beers and shots started flowing. Of course, knowing the bartender makes one’s bar tab significantly cheaper. Fantastic as I’m not able to expense drinking binges.

In general, I’m not a fan of eating alone, especially in public. However, as I have to travel for work, I’m pretty much forced to eat by myself pretty often. Not that I need another reason to go to a bar, but I’m beginning to find that eating at a bar really isn’t as bad even if you have to do it alone.

Naturally, there will always be people there by themselves. Bartenders are usually quite friendly, and if you wait long enough, people will be drunk and everyone will be friendly.

The rest of the trip was quite uneventful, but I think the protest, run in with secret service, and the night at GB made the 3 day meeting tolerable.

No comments: