My blood used to be so thin, the heat felt milder. My eyes were adjusted the sonoran desert- any green was magnified, magnificent, and I could appreciate the loveliness and subtle richness of the desert. Coming back from years living in a dense urban center at the edge of the Black Forest, Phoenix looks like it does to many outsiders- an industrial ghost town on Mars. When you have six lanes of blacktop in Germany, you call that the Autobahn, and it connects the largest cities in the country. When you have it Phoenix, they call it a "busy street" and it connects residential neighborhoods.
I arrived a week ago- Saori picked me up with Larry navigating. Saori had her boho shawl and sunglasses on. The girl back in the desert. I took mom and Larry to the airport early sunday morning for their flight to meet my brother in DC, and I hope they are having a good time over there. Wish I could come, but this has been a vacation in their planning for a long time, and it's really sort of happenstantial that we're in town while they are gone.
We've been relaxing a bit, shopping a bit, and working on our to-do lists.
- Pack and sort wedding and home stuff. Almost all the wedding gifts went to mom's house here in Phoenix, so we have to see what we can fit in Larry's car to drive up, and what is going to stay behind. The good news is
- Pick an apartment. We picked one, sent in our applications, etc. Now just waiting to hear back from property management company.
- Set up cell phone service. Still in progress. Shopping for cell phones service in the US is kind of like getting to pick which stick the provider gets to shove up your anus.
- Ditto for cable TV and internet.
- Buy a mattress. Timing is good: lots of sales going on for Labor Day. The bad is we don't have a secure address to send it to.
- Car research. Gonna need a car in Portland. It will take some time.
We've also been taking some time to do fun things. We met some former classmates at a cool new bar in a rapidly changing neighborhood in north downtown, Saori got her hair cut and we had lunch with some old friends of ours from Phoenix, we took daily strolls with Larry in the morning to check out the birds and varmits of South Mountain park. We met Larry's son Dan and his girlfriend at Oregano's. We've eaten tacos at least every other day. Today we drove up to Old Town Scottsdale and bought another Mexican rug/blanket.
We're eating a lot. Too much. We have European stomachs and we are subjecting ourselves to American feedbags. I've been doing pretty well since I arrived since I was eating something about once or twice a day and moving around a lot, but since I landed in Phoenix, I've been stuffing myself and I feel terrible pretty much all the time. I love Mexican food and AZ Mex and New Mexico and I haven't had any remotely good Mexican food for years. The US is exemplary in so few positive things- we positively suck at all metrics of health, education, and welfare, and our legal and justice system is fraying, but we're still #1 for best shopping destination, and I would put the US against any other country for the food culture.