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So, it’s been quite a week.

We got back to DC last Saturday. It was a relatively smooth trip home despite Austrian Airlines not letting us reserve seats online because we had cats, putting us in the special assistance check-in because we had cats, and then bizarrely putting me in a front row seat with no storage for the cat. Taz, the part-Siamese terror, howled non-stop all morning until he was stashed under the seat, then did not make a peep until we got to the TDY apartment. Maybe he was just thankful I didn’t listen to the flight attendant and stash him in the overhead luggage bin! I switched seats with my son instead. Airlines are just weird.

The housing company messed up our reservation and so we had to stay in a one bedroom apartment in Ballston until our “real” apartment opened up on Thursday. At which point my husband was gone again, to a class reunion in Denver that had been scheduled months ago. But my son stepped up to the plate and was a huge help all day, shifting stuff over and helping me make a run to Target while we had a rental car.

The new place, a two-bedroom in Clarendon is NICE. Better than the Vienna apartment in many ways. I have a great kitchen with a full-size gas stove, a big pot-filling sink, a garbage disposal, and tons of counter space. We have great big closets, as opposed to no closets. And while the furniture is nothing special it is definitely not Drexel granny furniture either. I have no complaints!

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Acres of countertop! Grown-up appliances!
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Lots of light and built-in kitty TV.

Since that second move, I’ve been running around feathering the nest. I’ve discovered that I am very used to being car-free by now, and that it really isn’t that difficult to get by in this area without one. DC public transport isn’t a patch on Vienna’s, but it has gotten better, as more businesses have popped up near Metro stations. I even took the new Silver Line out to Tyson’s Corner the other day–honestly, it was way better than driving through that mess.

Also, eating my way through all my favorite foods! We’ve covered Five Guys, Tex-Mex, pad thai, and I had a true moment of zen yesterday with a Vietnamese noodle bowl accompanied by the Washington Post at a restaurant around the corner. I thought, yep, this is everything I need, right here, right now.

Today, I think I am more or less over jet lag, though it’s hard to tell with two freaked out cats checking to make sure I am not dead every couple of hours during the night. The second move really threw them for a loop, plus there was definitely a cat in the apartment before us (I found toys), so they both spent the first 24 hours looking for it and trying desperately to alert me to the intruder.

Oh, and Taz has figured out how to open the levered door handles, so that’s awesome when I kick him out at 3 AM. Last night was a bit better, though, so maybe they are calming down.

Sure, NOW you're sleepy...
Sure, NOW you’re sleepy…

I have been waiting to miss Vienna, but so far, I haven’t. It was a great post, don’t get me wrong, but three years was exactly right. I do have some observations to make about the States (of course!) but I’ll save that for another post. The big picture is that I have never felt like a rolling stone, or a “third-culture person.” I’ve always known exactly where I belong, and it’s here, in the States. No reverse culture shock at all: just flat-out happy to be home!

 

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