Monday, June 4, 2012
No, I'm not going anywhere just yet, but I do need to submit my "bid list" next week. In the Foreign Service, you are given a list of available postings, and you then submit a list ranking all the locations as either "high", "medium" or "low". The list my orientation class has received isn't an exciting one for me - there aren't any positions available in Japan or Taiwan, for one thing. Nonetheless, I will be going to one of the locations on the list, and I need to hand in my preferences by Tuesday morning. I will find out where my next home will be on June 22. For now, though, I'm just looking forward to next Friday (the 8th), when my wife and daughter will finally join me here in northern Virginia.
On my last Sunday as a swinging single guy, I went for another long walk. There's no certainly no excuse to be obese in this area with all its recreation opportunities, and considering all the Sam Adams' and Long Trails I had last night with Jim Thorn, I needed to sweat all that ale out of my bloodstream.
There are a lot of historical markers to be seen in the area, a testament to the long (by American standards, anyway) history of this part of the country.
The above photo isn't particularly good (in my defense, I had to take the shot through a very narrow opening in a chain-link fence), but it shows both Washington's excellent Metro rapid transit system and the horrendous traffic conditions on the local freeways.
There's an extensive web of bicycle and foot trails throughout this area. The trails were busy on this sunny Sunday afternoon, but it was nothing like the densely-packed cycling paths you find in Taiwan. Also, bike riders here are far more courteous and aware of their surroundings than their Taiwanese counterparts, and the scenery isn't marred by crass commercialism (no go kart tracks or paintball courses, for example). On the other hand, suburban America being what it is, there were no convenience stores or small shops where you could get something to drink. It would be nice to throw the occasional 7-Eleven into the mix of housing tracts.