mr. zilla goes to town

Thursday, April 10, 2003


The sleep debt comes from being economized for 20 hours, but I'm sure it was the airport-taxi's inauspicious route between the IMF and World Bank last night that has trashed my ability to repay it. The first stumble from the hostel today finds my head scattered raw and eyes grasping at straws. The streetcorner shape of the new world is anchored by global chains and that's... strangely relieving.

Sanctuary was Kramerbooks at Dupont Circle, with twenty seven different vodkas on the wall, a freemail terminal, and a passing involvement in the recent affairs of a President. (Yes, that one. Apparently it was a haunt of Monica's, and the list of books she bought supoena'd). It has an intriguing range of critical Americana, which is great for me, but what if this is just situation-normal navel-gazing for the locals? I gather up half my wits and eventually wander out again.

The metro was unexpected and needs pictures to tell you about. They will be coming before too long.

The streets here in NW DC are lined by gorgeously flavoursome row houses, who seem to feel a little bemused when a screaming convoy of 4 police cars and three blacked-out vans roars past for the second time in half an hour. This time a passing Ethiopian research scientist shares with me his thoughts on the tragic farce of US foreign policy. I pick up a paper: for 35c, Saddam has allegedly been bombed over his dinner. Then a cab goes past - "J HUSSEIN TAXICAB" on the door - could he really be as wily as that? Could he not be? There are contrails in the afternoon sun. I take shelter before I get accidentally liberated.

The suburb I'm staying in is one of DC's chic restaurant hubs, Adam's Morgan. The bar on 18th st I'm now quietly drinking in is the Madam's Organ. I've made it to 6pm without being run over, although since I keep looking the wrong way when crossing it's been a close run thing. A passing white rabbit with a cashmere coat and stogie recommends the shrimp gumbo at the Cajun restaurant across the street. I'll head over in three more amber inches. An evening chill is closing in, and I think some food plus fatigue means I'll be able to sleep soon.

2am. Nope.

But lordy, that rabbit knew his gumbo.


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