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Three weeks in and I'm starting to feel like a local.

Three weeks in and I'm starting to feel like a local. I recognize my neighbors, own a supermarket loyalty card, and successfully gave directions to a tourist.

I'm also doing fairly well at getting around and about. From historic Alexandria, which looked like something Disney might have made, to up-and-coming H Street. On a rainy day in Georgetown I tried on, loved, and did not buy some of the most expensive clothes I've ever dared touch. I danced with the Drum Circle in Meridian Hill Park, and moments later found myself being lifted upside down by an acro-yoga group. I got here just as summer events we're coming to an end, but managed to make it to an outdoor film screening and a couple of music events Jazz in the Garden, where I sought friend-making opportunities in the sangria queue, and The Yards Rockin on the Riverfront, where hundreds of people gathered on Friday night to picnic and listen to the live band by the Potomac. I've ticked off the main sites along the Mall, rambled in Rock Creek Park, and made it out to Maryland on my bike, meeting a very helpful man en route, who had the best of intentions when he tried to send me home the short way, but in fact made my journey much longer.

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Navigating the city is remarkably simple. Cycling on the right-hand side initially proved less simple, particularly seeing as cars are allowed to turn right on a red light, so it's quite easy to end up inadvertently blocking their path. Crossings do, however, have a handy countdown to how long until the lights change, and every intersection has Stop signs, which appear to mean that other vehicles stop for the bikes. The idea that cars might stop is completely alien to my London cycling brain, and I remain somewhat cautious, often leading to unnecessary stoppages, awkward hand-signalling, and some puzzled looks on the faces of drivers who can't decipher why I didn't just barge on through.

I've also been running, sociable running in fact. My first run was less sociable, passing through a building site and ending up on Kingman Island, where I tramped through bracken and found parts of the city that nobody has visited before or since. In an attempt to find out where normal people run, I turned to Capital Striders, who, it turns out, are a very sociable bunch. Running and talking simultaneously remains somewhat beyond me, but the brunch afterwards is worth it.

Amid all the activity there has, of course, been food aplenty. This is a country where milk is essentially cream, a 'regular' ice cream constitutes two scoops, and a meal-for-one involves two pieces of salmon. I've been somewhat taken aback by how normalized organic supermarkets are, but I'm very taken with Eastern Market, where I suspect I might end up visiting on a weekly basis.

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Posted in Recreation and leisure Post Date 01/28/2017


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