Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Fourth Week Reflection

Blogs! Travel blogs, work blogs, internship blogs, project blogs, volunteer blogs, graduate school blogs. Just about every college student and postgrad has a reason to blog and a half-baked dream of penning the next inspiration for a Hollywood hit a la "Julie & Julia"-- but almost none of our lives have a fraction of the required glamor. And fewer still have a fraction of the required appeal.

I wish I'd written more about interning at National Geographic, but the sad truth is that four weeks is a really short amount of time. This is my 23rd day in Washington, DC, and I'm not sure what I have to show for it other than a painfully depleted bank account.


- Everyone is political. Everyone. And sometimes it's appropriate to discuss. And sometimes, apparently, it's very much not. Pulling out your copy of The Militant on a train near the White House might not be the smartest move you make that day.

- Eating out is more expensive here than in most major US cities, because District restaurants and bars cater to high-powered lawyers and politicians. Why bother with a student menu or cheap ethnic food when you can make bank decking out a hole-in-the-wall with suit-luring decor?

- Food trucks just look and taste cheap. A cupcake is still $3, and a tiny slice of pizza that would embarrass New York and Chicago goes for a cool $5.

- The Metro claims to be one of the cleanest public transit systems in the country, and actively pursues this agenda with terrifying, 300x -sized pictures of rats on posters throughout city terminals with the distressing caption: "You gonna eat that?"

- The Metro, like the food, is over-priced. There is actually a calculator on the DC transit's website designed to calculate whether your trip in and out of the District is more cost-effective with a car or with the train. ?! Public transportation should ALWAYS be cheaper than driving. That's why it's called "public transportation" - it's meant to be for the public. You don't even see homeless people getting warmth and rest on train cars or buses because the cost is prohibitive. That's not right. If the country can't even support cheap public transit in its capital city, there's something wrong.

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