Coming Home

Chestnut St

Just returning from a month away from SF & America and it makes me appreciate it all the more.

– Our weather rocks. I love putting on a hoodie, layering, whatever we do here to manage the slight variations in cold.
– First day back I walked up to a cafe, met a friend, and sat down to a long Scrabble game over beer. It’s a pedestrian city! We enjoy our casual cafes and don’t have weird alcohol restrictions. It’s a small, but urban city! Yay.
– A big cup of coffee and a not-too-sweet cinnamon roll for under $5. Our food is so high quality and so well priced!
– Bought a honeydew melon and oranges, in mid winter, for a few dollars. It was perfect. The oranges are sweet and heavy, the melon was ripe and tasty.
– You can eat so many different ethnic foods, at so many places, for so little.
– Just to wax American, for my relatives at least I have a new appreciation for the opportunities we have here, for its class-less society, for the attempt at least not to judge people by where they came from, who they were, what class or occupation they had. The lack of history is refreshing, and freeing, basically. (In Sweden, you were locked into your father’s occupation up until the late 1800s.)
– For our political process that allows for different parties and interests to come in and out, without fundamentally changing the process, but representing different interests. (From Bush to Obama, may seem revolutionary to international friends, but as a seasoned American, is par for the course- Reagan to Clinton, i.e. but really- how many other countries’ processes can see that change, and support it?)
– For our honest attempts at understanding recent history, for the flourishing journalism and blogging, and for our interest in accountability. (In Russia, you could really have a debate over whether Stalin was a monster. Same with Mao in China, his culpability is debatable. As a small example here, but we’re ready to impeach Blagojevich. For some, without flourishing journalist estates, that may seem hasty.)

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