One of the things that changed in our routine during the Blog Silence of 2014 is that JB & I started taking German together. It's always been this fantastical idea for us to learn a language, but which to take? JB wanted to learn Russian, but I said nyet. I wanted take up French, JB said non to that. So we sort of settled on German, because somehow that seems like a middle ground between the two (pun unintended, but now that I proofread this, it totally is between them)? And so far it's been a lot of fun.
I'll admit that at first I was so wary of it. "How do you say that?" "French doesn't sound nearly as clunky." "What is this business of conjoining words??"
JB even told me that if after German Basic I, I wanted to take French I could splinter off. Isn't he thoughtful? But as it turns out, I loved German more than he did after finishing our class. I love the logic behind their language! Why, oh why, can't English be straightforward? But that's a post for another day..
So here we are taking Basic II for 2.5 hours, once a week, and to get there we have to ride the blue line (which is the whole point of this post actually). On the way there, the train is always packed with commuters, but the leg back tends to be less crowded & often provides something (or someone) that piques my interest or imagination.
The first week of this quarter it was a balloon, a yellow smiley face balloon to be exact, and it was bobbing along in the train, juxtaposed with its less-than-thrilled owner, headed further into the District. It might have been failing at its job to brighten its owner's day, but there it was just happily floating near the door, as if waiting to escape on its own adventure at Farragut West. Perhaps he got off at Smithsonian to take in the sights?
Last week, I was enamored by a father & son pair who boarded our train with luggage in tow for the jaunt from Pentagon City to DCA. They seemed to truly enjoy each other's company, the way you hope your kid will always feel about you, which is what actually drew my attention. They were clearly in good spirits, laughing at each other's jokes, perhaps regaling that day's adventures all over again, and it struck me how rare it is to see that kind of respect in the wild. I mean both the parent & the kid being fully present in each other's company, with no cell phones or headphones or any distractions in sight? That just seems so out of the norm these days.
These are the things that stick with me after my commutes home, however small they may be. Brief little snapshots into other people's lives.