Looking at my bank statement after six months of unpaid internship:

nothing to see here

I shall declare personal bankruptcy and then spend the rest of my days dancing for pennies and telling stories of America in street corners.. Come and see me and I’ll make your hearts tingle.

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The Luther

One of the many lies I told myself prior to moving to DC (learning the exact location of all 50 states, being able to name the last 20 Presidents, and understand the fundamentals of US domestic policies etc.) was to get in shape and take care of myself. Eat right, exercise, meditate etc etc. That was doomed to fail the moment I touched down at Dulles International as the United States of America has an almost religious relationship with the deep-fryer. I am not one to object to this cardiac arrest-inducing machine, as all the stuff that comes out of it is devilishly delicious: fried pickles, tater tots, sweet potato fries, fried chicken. The list goes on.

However, occasionally one does questions what comes out of the fryer. I reached that point when I heard about ‘The Luther’ at GBD (Golden Brown Delicious) Fried Chicken and Fresh Doughnuts. The Luther is, in short, a sweet and salt concoction containing the following elements: fried brioche doughnut glazed in maple chicken juice, with candied pecans, slab bacon with a fried boneless chicken. All together with a side of fries.

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I scream,  you scream, we all scream as all notions of food-decency is quietly being stripped away from our common consciousness.

It was absolutely delicious. Ex-fellow intern Amy and I hit new gastronomic heights as we experienced the fullness of the sweet doughnut, majestically complemented with the salty chicken, and crispy bacon. Needless to say, we shared one and that was quite enough.

Another food-absurdity (bravery?) is the ‘Chicken in a Waffle’. It’s a thick Belgian waffle and a fried chicken with maple syrup drizzled all over it. Take your time and take it in. It makes me wonder if these food combinations were at all drug induced or if they spurred from genuine experimentation. It’s almost greedy, as if the chef barked out at the pan and said: “How can I have it all? Salt and sweet?! Meat and cake!!”

Alas, we shall never now the exact motives behind these wonderful, albeit confusing, results. All we can do is enjoy them and quietly pray to the cholesterol god to show mercy.

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Tequila

My exact reaction when I’ve had Tequila:

Golden Girls- power of satan

I am no stranger to the occasional shot. In fact they can be a fabulous boost to an evening. However, there is one beverage I have a most complex relationship with: Tequila, we simply do not mix that well. Yet, here in America (and I assume that this is due to the proximity to the Mexican border) this is the shot of choice for most people, and as an ambitious Try-American, I naturally adjust to my new habitat’s choice of mind-wreckage. So many bad decisions in so little time.. I shiver with equal amounts of fear and excitement whenever anyone shouts: “Let’s do Tequila shots!”. It is a devious, devious drink with the extraordinary tendency of turning the most serene individual into a madwoman; shouting abuse at a traffic cone simply because it’s too orange, or dancing on the table or starting a fight with someone twice her size. The worst thing is that you don’t even know when it’s hit you. You feel fine, queen of the world, dancing, singing and talking obscenities to absolute strangers when suddenly, you turn into a raging bull that has just been flagged a red drape.

It’s bad. Real bad. Yet, whenever I hear that clear voice suggesting ‘Tequila’ I always smile and roar: “Hell yeah!”. Because I am an adult and I make the right decisions in my life.

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Take me to the Ballgame

‘It’s like cricket, only American’. I didn’t have the heart to tell Chris that I have a very limited, if any, knowledge of cricket. That all I know about it is that it takes days to play, players are dressed in white and that the audience is busy doing other stuff, such as drinking wine and admiring the birds, instead of watching the game. Me, Chris and Erin went to see The Nationals, DC’s own team, play… I don’t even remember who (it doesn’t matter, no one was watching). Official attire was: Anything in red or blue with a ‘W’ on it and baseball caps. I quickly learned that, just like cricket, this is a bat-and-ball game with nine players on either team (actually,not sure if this applies to cricket because I know very little about it), one team is ‘in’ the other one is ‘out’. So far so good. The ones with the bat tries to hit the ball as it is being pitched to them and if lucky, hits the ball and runs for his life whilst trying not to swallow the tobacco he’s chewing.

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The stadium. It was a perfect sunny day without being too hot.

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Posing like pros.

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Statue at the entrance. I don’t remember who it was but it was mighty fine if you ask me.

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What baseball is all about: Friends, drinks, hot dogs and half-attempts to watch the game. We succeeded majestically!

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And one more for Mum! Chris is following the strict red and blue dress code. I put on a neutral white. One is Swedish after all.

The Washington Nationals, if understand it correctly, is a team that has performed well but are at the moment not delivering as they should. However, if you’re an American that follows baseball, you support your team unconditionally. The Nationals fan base is quite large and very loyal. If you’re supporting the Nats, you have Natitude. Yes, isn’t it brilliant? What spectacular PR firm came up with that 3 am before the deadline, high on caffeine and anxiety? Natitude. Feel it.

I did actually enjoy the game of this non-sport (because let’s be honest, it’s more of a social gathering than a sport) and as soon as I had gotten the hang of things I even managed to cheer at the right moment without having the run/pitch/catch explained to me beforehand. Progress! Now, considerable baseball-hours at home later with Mike and Brian commenting/shouting abuse, I consider myself being something of a baseball aficionado. Or not.  Actually, most definitely not.

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The Proposal

DC hosts a myriad of free events during the summer and I managed to go to the last screening at the Rosslyn Filmfest, where they have shown High School-themed films all summer. They ended the season fittingly with Grease, perhaps one of the best High School musicals of all time.

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Go Grease-lightning!

I don’t think I have quite appreciated the comic brilliance that is Grease. Needless to say, I was 12 the last time I saw it, pre-pubertal with insufficient knowledge of both English and life to fully appreciate the sexual dimension and cultural references that the film is jam packed with. I also thought it was actually filmed in the early 1960s so I never really understood how John Travolta could continue to look so young for the longest of times.

It was a warm evening, the cicadas sang loudly and airplanes were landing every ten minutes at the nearby Ronald Reagan Airport. People were sat on blankets and munching on improvised pick nicks. I made a new friend, a small dog. I think his name was Terry. He made friends with most people around him, but I’d like to think that we had something special going on as he attempted to hump my leg twice.

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The little rascal.

The mood was delightful in the park with a spontaneous sing-alongs and as we were nearing the climax of Sandy’s daring transformation and Danny’s astonishment, a flashmob started dancing, complete in 1950s attires, to “You’re the One that I Want” much to the thrill and delight of the park, and particularly Terry who started to bark along.  Suddenly the music stops and a man drops down to his knee and starts talking, the microphone was a bit off in the beginning, but then we hear “You’re my best friend, you’re the one I want to spend the rest of my life with. Will you marry me?”. The park has already gotten the gist of what is about to happen and starts cheering.  The only one that cheers louder than the park is the bride to be who shouts a “YES!” in the microphone. The park, which is now standing, erupts in applause. Aw bless! You can see it here. I don’t know this couple at all, but it did give me a sense of thrill to have been part of what is the beginning of their new life together. I can also imagine that for all future couples-dinners, they will always win the Proposal-competition.

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