Yesterday was a very long day of flying, first a 10-hour flight from Krakow to Newark, then a 2-hour layover before a 5.5-hour flight from Newark to San Francisco. The flight over actually was very nice, as Lisa and I were incredibly seated together with one of our friends we had met at Lisa’s program.
Newark itself though was a bit of a rude awakening to American life I think, though maybe it’s just Newark. Granted, it’s a very large airport, but it seemed like the voices of people were incredibly loud, if not in a pure sense in terms of volume then perhaps it was loud in mood and character. Airports are very stressful places, but still, it seemed out of character, or maybe perhaps I had just gotten used to the amazing politeness of Polish people. We discussed if maybe it was simply the fact that we could understand every word being said by everyone as it was all in English, and that might be a big part of it, but I think there’s more to it than that. Just no “please” and “thank you’s”…
It was nice to sleep at home in our comfy bed, and this morning was great to wake up and to have space to warm-up and do a round of tai-chi and to have a cup of green tea. Looking out into the park in front of our apartment, there were a lot of older Chinese people doing their morning chi-kung and tai-chi exercises, which made me smile. Something about the way they were awake and alive, moving around and exercising, the expressions on their face seem so vital and excited. I think that earlier this spring there started to be more and more people in the park in the mornings and I’ve enjoyed spending time there doing tai-chi, and I’m looking forward to getting to spend time there in the mornings to come.
Lisa and I got out of the apartment and walked down Polk St., the same path I normally take when walking to work, and we stopped by Cafe Biologique for breakfast. This cafe is one which my friend and former co-worker would often stop by in the mornings and occasionally pick up cookies from. I had only stopped by once in a while in the afternoons on the way home from work but had never really sat down there in the mornings, though I passed by every day. It was really nice to spend the morning with Lisa there, a croissant and cafe au lait for her, a small salmon quiche and coffee for me, and pleasant conversation. =)
Now, back at work, returning to life here, as if some kind of pause button was pressed and now resuming, I’m feeling good about things here. It’s been nice to catch up this morning with everyone and interesting to get back into the swing of things. I already miss Krakow and am thinking of all the wonderful memories from this past time there, but I’m also sitting here smiling, the morning fog having lifted, looking forward to the rest of the day.