Monday, April 7, 2008

Weekend Review

I honestly can't recall the last weekend which I enjoyed this much. As previously mentioned it all started off the way any weekend in a new city should, by going out and grabbing a couple of beers. As mentioned on Friday I feel they were well deserved after a relatively long first week at work. So me and some other interns met up at Dupont Circle which we had been told was a good area to go out. And we certainly weren't disappointed as the first place we went to, 'Cafe Citron' which someone had recommended us, ended up being quite a good spot. The minute I looked at the menu (pictured below) and saw the phrase "Dancing on the bar is not only allowed its encouraged" I knew we were going to have a good night. (BTW, this also brings back fond memories of good nights back at my student residence in Vienna, but let's not go there...;-)

Now after having a good laugh at that phrase and basically inhaling the first beer I had ordered I spent some more quality time with the menu. Imagine how thrilled I was to see that they also stocked Cerveza Crystal, one of my favourite beers in Peru. Now they could have only topped that by also offering Arequipeña but I guess that would have been too much to ask.

So while I was happily sipping my Crystal and pondering the question of whether I should get some Ceviche, another Peruvian speciality that I haven't had since 2005, I was suddenly very much reminded of some good times back during my exchange-year to Peru. The beer, the ridiculously loud half latino / half techno music, the highly motivated dancers next to the bar and our table, the Margarita pitchers, the fresh mint that was being prepared for the Mojitos,... it was all there. Good times, good times indeed... During one of my later visits to the bar, when I was shocked to learn that they had run out of Crystal I went back to look at the menu and much to my delight the also offered Paceña , a Bolivian beer that I had found to be quite good during my time in La Paz in 2005.

The other weird thing was that I was actually quite motivated to dance that evening. I mean seriously, when does that ever happen? I guess I just hit up the perfect mixture of beer, mojito, lack of dinner (I had decided that I should really have Ceviche the way it's meant to be eaten, after a long night to cure a hangover) and memories of South America. On my way home I also met three of the guys living in the house next door who were chillin' out on their terrace. It was decided to try and get together some sort of movie-night next week, which should definitely be fun. All in all, it was certainly a very good night.

Saturday was also off to a good start as I slept in until ~11.30 a.m., oh my God how happy I was to wake up around 10-ish, briefly glance at the watch and then go back to sleep. Afterwards our new Hungarian housemate and I went for brunch-turned-into-lunch at a nice café relatively close to our house. They had some excellent food there and the coffee plus cheesecake was also excellent. The fact that the weather was outstanding, it was nice and sunny and warm, also put us into a good mood. In the afternoon I went off to see one of the most absurd sport-events I've ever seen, a Roller Derby with the DC Rollergirls. I had only heard about it via my collegue at the internship and I all knew was that girls on rollerblades were involved. Needless to say I was intrigued. I really didn't know what to expect but turns out that Roller Derby is actually quite a good way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Especially if accompanied by a few cold ones.

I'm not going to go into the details of the game itself because it's really not all that important. What I liked was the general atmosphere of the event. It of course starts off with the various teams sporting names such as Cherry Blossom Bombshells, DC DemonCats, Secretaries of Hate and (my personal favourite) Scare Force One. The player's names go along the lines of Guantanamo Babe, Trampon, Whiskey Tango (with the number "1 too many" printed on her back), Condoleezza Slice, Free Radical and Speedy Gonbraless. One of the team's mascot was this guy wearing an inflatable airplane, you can just about make him about in the photo above. Plus the two announcers were really having a good time and it was extremely busying to listen to some of their comments and whatnot. In general the whole event had some kind of 'underground' and 'alternative' touch to it, two notions that I've been decidedly missing around here in suit'n'tie-afterhour-happy-hour-lounge-bureaucrat-heavy Washington, DC (of course I'm also guilty except for the bureaucrat thing).

Born on April, 6th, 1987? Too bad...
Afterwards we briefly went to the so-called waterfront to catch the last moments of the fireworks for the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Then we again met up with two other fellow interns to look for a nice pub for the evening. We ended up going to this Irish pub near George Washington University were I enjoyed a great burger and beer. However the real highlight of the evening was watching some people who were very much into a semi-final game of some collegue-legue basketball game which was shown on the screens. Especially the one guy who got so annoyingly loud every time something even remotely interesting was happening in the game provoked a coordinated counter-attack by 5 or 6 supporters for the second team was interesting to observe. Especially how quiet he got towards the end of the game when it became obvious that his team was going to lose. Good stuff!

Today again I only got up at 12-something and then we all met up at a shopping mall close to the Pentagon. I wasn't too thrilled by the place and unless there's some really good reason I don't think that I'll be going back there. There's just something that I don't really like about shopping malls. Of course it might be convenient to have a million shops in once place. And yes, I even bought two shirts which I probably wouldn't have gotten that cheaply anywhere else. And yes, a visit to the Apple store was long overdue, and oh my God I love the size and (lack of weight) of the MacBook Air. And yes, the visit to the Johny Rockets dinner (pictured below) was fun. But still, one visit should be enough.

The evening was spent at a barbecue to which Wayan had invited me. It was a good place to be, with excellent food, great discussions about politics and cable-management (I'm not kidding!) and a generally very nice and relaxed atmosphere. The perfect end to the perfect weekend!

By the way, 6 hours from now I'm going to regret having spent all this time writing the blog entry instead of going to bed and grabbing some sleep. This should be another very interesting week, maybe not work-wise (things there will probably only pick up the week after this one) but other that the outlook is pretty good. Especially tomorrow evening's Saul Williams concert to which I'll probably head should be good. Plus I've got a couple of other interesting meetings coming up over the next few days.

Anyway, take care everyone and I hope you have a good start into the week!

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