In our TEFL instruction session this morning I was overjoyed to see a shoutout to my homeland; we used New England for a sample activity. I felt a little swell of pride as I gushed about clam chowder and coffee milk, the backdrop of our national independence and Gilmore Girls. It was my little corner of the world, my New England, with the autumn leaves and the maple syrup and the rocky coastline and the pilgrim reenactment villages.
After session, I tripped out of the building into the balmy sunshine. I eat my dinners to go sometimes; as much as I love the chaos and community of the cafeteria, I love sitting under the palm trees and watching the parrots fuss. The spongey grass makes a better seat than a chair ever could and the blessed absence of humidity in the air has made my hair more cooperative than ever before in my life.
Some things are strange to me. The bizarre plants that look like they belong in a western film. The way complete strangers greet each other on the street. Calling highways freeways. Horrendous LA traffic. It blows my mind to watch Ironman 3 and consider that the story takes place (theoretically) just twenty minutes away. Or the rumor that Danny Puti of Community hangs out at Intelligensia Cafe just two miles away.
I don't know. I guess I forgot Pasadena was a real place, and not just a good story.
I like how different from New England it is. And I like that it makes me love New England more.