[A much more exciting picture of a piece of pound cake my sister and I shared for lunch on our first day back. Someone at the market had simply made a huge cake, frosted it, and was selling it by the slice. Brilliant woman. Heavenly cake.]
On our first day back we went to downtown Bethesda. We did not know it was a rather expensive part of town, but we did have an appointment to buy cell phones and look at a car.
I had forgotten about bagels. Fresh bagels. Toasted and delicious and dripping with everything good and virtuous. We had them for breakfast, and then found a coffee shop called Quartermaine in which the barista understood proper coffee-related jargon.
[This the market up the street where my sister and I found the miraculous pound cake, and also other lovely things.]
Across the street from the market was a yarn shop, Knit + Stitch = Bliss, which was full of luxury yarns and knitting accessories I could not afford. Most of it was not local or pure or practical, so it wasn't really up my alley, but my sister found an incredibly complex pattern which she has already started and is enjoying fully.
On Monday my sister and I attended a knitting group that meets near the house we are about to move into. I am really very fond of it already--they were so welcoming and so warm that I felt comfortable immediately. Many of the women (it was an all female crowd) were in familiar lines of work and shared hobbies with us. Everyone seemed at home there. Even if it was at a Starbucks, at least they let us stay until closing and didn't get their panties in a bunch about us moving around tables chairs so as to sit together.
I love being able to speak English and understand almost everything that is said to me. I love finding familiar things that haven't been around for ages. Things have really changed, tho--more than what I can glean from having listened to newscasts and reading papers. It will definitely take a while to get used to.
Still no consistent internet; it will probably take me a half an hour just to keep pressing the upload button on Blogger; stupid thing keeps timing out if you load more than one page per hour . . . Soon, my precious, we will have a real connection to the intarwebz.