As months go by, I’m getting more and more soured on the endless parking lots here, opening into shopping or office complexes and strip malls without sidewalks, a city designed for a life like that of the old Peking emperors, where our feet never touch the ground. My wanderlust is frustrated by roads that don’t actually go places, cutely named loops with housing cul-de-sacs on either side. Cary makes all these lists of the nicest places to live in the US, which reminds me that this suffocating sameness I feel is not you, it’s me.
I try to focus on the things I like here. Working in the Chocolate Bean, good meals at Bosphorus and Unaabi Grill, the Middle Earth poster in my boss’ office, my wonderful students, driving past Awesome Street, walking around Hoffman Lake (yes, that’s the real name!). Playing with Isabelle. Our apartment, a happy bubble of Meg and Stick. The simple enjoyment of English conversation hasn’t entirely worn off yet.
And I like the little town library here. It’s between the school and the train station, across from the post office, an ESL lesson come to life. This is also, perhaps not so coincidentally, one street that’s good for foot traffic. I love reading the liberal bumper stickers and seeing the reusable book bags. I remind myself to really enjoy the easy access to English books now, because I hope I’ll soon be missing them again.