Wednesday, May 09, 2012

welcome home

You know you are back in Baltimore when...

...you have to do a corporate compliance endless online learning module thingy for your job at a city hospital and this is one of your end-of-module multiple-choice quiz questions:

9. Strategies that may improve Patient Satisfaction regarding pain management include the following:
a. Allow patients to purchase street drugs to supplement their pain management plan. 
If only they were joking.

...it is raining and starting to get dark out and you are feeling tired and lazy and want to say screw financial responsibility and take a cab home and there is nothing to be found and you know if you called one it would take longer to get there than it would to walk home so you just walk home and get soaking wet.

...you meet a friend for lunch and have a delicious seafood salad sandwich with Old Bay mayonnaise at an outside table by the water and it smells like oysters down there, in a good way.

...you realize you don't have the key to your bike lock when you get to the restaurant down by the water and are so paranoid someone will steal your bike that you prop the bike next to the fence around the outdoor seating area and make your friend go inside and secure a table before leaving the bike for the 30 seconds it will take to enter the restaurant and make your way to the outdoor seating area.

I realize this is sounding mostly negative, but I'm mostly happy to be back. I missed Baltimore's gritty weirdness (although China was gritty and weird in its own special ways), I had a spontaneous hangout with four friends this afternoon, yesterday my friend found a custom-framed Pearl Jam poster in pristine condition discarded outside in my alleyway and gave it to me (he does not share my appreciation for Eddie Vedder, apparently), and during the car ride back from the airport I saw two people I knew walking down the street (and whom I was too shy to roll down the window and say hi to, of course).

Relatedly, one of my friends has this quote as her G-chat away message and I always pause on it:
A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it. -- George Moore
I think that's pretty beautiful. I also think that going to the other side of the world served as a reset button for my brain and I'm now able to see and appreciate my home in ways I couldn't before.

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