Springfield, Virginia

The last week has passed by with breakneck speed – finals, graduation, Vegas, farewells, and now I’m sitting in my cousin’s room in Springfield, Virginia, typing this entry while listening to Count Basie. Thousands of emotions are passing through me at one point that I am surprised at my ability to contain it all.

Flying into Dulles Airport has always been pleasant and easy on the eyes. I’ve been through D.C. on many layovers to New York, Boston, and New Orleans. There is so much green here. As the Russians say, I had a soft landing after a five-hour direct flight. When the plane finally hit the ground, it finally hit ME that this is my new home, whether I’m ready for it or not.

My dad is here with me for the weekend. My mom is flying in tomorrow. They’re going to be here for a mutual friend’s wedding on Saturday, which makes the transition much easier for me. Dad is really excited about being in the city. We both rented a car today and drove down to the UC Center, where I’ll be moving in come Sunday. We drove into D.C. at the pique of rush hour – not one of our brightest ideas, but I now know that public transit is very much so my friend, which is not atypical of living in a metropolitan area. There is so much to look at! Everything has some sort of historical significance. Even the Starbucks’ and CVS’s are embedded into edifices teeming with stories that date back to who knows when. The city is amazing, but I’m holding off on the touristy stuff for a while, considering I’ll be here for quite a bit.

We trekked to Viet Town for dinner and had some pretty good hu tieu. The suburbs here remind me a lot of home, which either says a lot about my nostalgia or simply says a lot about suburbs in general. The Vietnamese population in Richmond and Springfield is one of the largest in the United States. It has always amazed me how the community has been able to establish itself in the locations that it has. I look forward to learning more about the community on this coast while I’m here.

In a way, being in Springfield first is a bit of a transition into being on my own out here, and I’m thankful for that. I’ve been catching up with my cousins Dan and Ann. They’ve got insight on what it’s like to live around here, and we had a really good time today.

Everything I see reminds me of people back home. Usually I experience this when I travel, and this results in prolific text messages in my friends’ inboxes. This time, I’m trying to take it easy. I’ll see you guys on the Fourth. 🙂

I’ll write again after Sunday when I’m settled in the city!

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