from my diary;
"christmas. it was earie yet perfectly appropriate for thsi to be my first day in DC. the deserted streets softened the blow of transitioning to this city. spend most of the day reading "chronicles of tao" - by deng ming-dao - near the white house. but the first place i went to was chinatown, early this morning. it's strange, despite having no ties to or interest in most things chinese in the past, i now feel more at ease in such places than elsewhere in this american west. i know a lot of it has to do with the time i've just spent with scott, as well as my history with him and wang. besides, china inherently has no christmas, so this was one of the few places in town where th e"godless" could get their groceries, on this christmas day. some stores had adopted the american custom of being closed, but most were open. after buying groceries at a mexican run market (barley to substitute millet, as its usally harder to get - and the healthfood store sure wan-gonna be open today) i went to this chinese place where i got a nice, modestly sized wooden bowl, chopsticks, and - much to my surprise, millet! all nicely wrapped up in a plastic bag with chinese characters written all over it, sold by the pound. got a knife there too. small, a little bit bigger than a potato knife. a great knife, i would later find out as i was cutting vegetables. i was glad i was able to continue cooking my own meals.
it was ironic that as i was reading and walking around the white house area today, there seemed to be a lot of chinese people visiting. i know it's not just my mind focusing on it. i shelled (hulled?) some peanuts and read whilst eating a few. the sky was cloudless. the sun beamed down. later i enjoyed a nice meal of millet, acorn squash, sweet potatoes and turnup root. a korean man in the hostel gave me some fresh, home-made kimchi."