Nerd camp doenst meet on Saturdays, so we were free to explore the greater DC area. I left Saturday morning with a mix of US and foreign medical students. Paul, Craig Connard, padmanesan narasimhan, and myself. Paul was a 3rd year at U. of Washington, headed to Tanzania. Craig also a 3rd year from Tulane, headed to Mali. I'll let you guess which one was the recent medical graduate from India. We were to meet Furahah, a young physician from Tanzania at the metro stop. While we waited, we pined for a frisbee to throw in the sun. We knew Furahah was on his way, so we called his room to tell him to pick up the frisbee from a friend at our hotel.
I must have forgotten about the large sea of cultural differences that exist between America and East Africa. I quickly discovered that Furahah had absolutely no idea what the hell a frisbee was. He couldn't really even say it. He kept saying "A feersbee?, what is this thing? a firenzbee?" I tried to explain, confident that my simple description would solve the matter. But, how do you describe a frisbee to someone who has never seen one before? "Uh, its like a plastic plate, but you throw it." I think that confused him even more. However, the loyal friend that he was, he showed up at our friend Eric's door asking for the plastic-plate that we were going to throw at each other. Eric had no idea what he was talking about. After a few more phone calls, Furahah came marching down the street with the frisbee, and we were off.
Once the furessbuisness was resolved, we loaded onto the subway and head to the Washington Mall. Keep in mind that, in attendance were: the Tanzanian, the Indian (not the pipe-smoking, feather wearing type), and three med students about to leave the comforts of America for odd places like Durban, Bamako, and Dar Es Salaam.
We hit all the typical spots on the Washington mall: the white house, the Washington monument, the Lincoln memorial. Then, we broke out the ferzubee. We had gone to all the trouble to bring it, we might as well use it. The foreigners had a little trouble at first. Most of their throws curved wildly away from their intended direction. We had to apologize several times to the nearby kickball game that was going on next to us (which, by the way, seems to be the new cool thing to do in DC. Actually looks kind of fun, too bad the trend will likely be dead by the time I come back to the states). But after a brief frisbee tutorial, Padma and Furaha were throwing the disc like champs. It was a sunny but cool day on the lawn, perfect for throwing the disc with your international ultimate Frisbee team.
After several hours walking around our nation’s capital, we headed back down to the subway. We were exhausted but satisfied with our day. However, as if by telepathy, the three Americans simultaneously noticed the large Hooter’s advertisement that stood before us. How could we ignore the airbrushed face and bleached blonde hair of the stereotypical Hooter’s girl? She was practically begging us to corrupt our new friends with pitchers of Sam Adams and extra spicy
wings. A brief American forum was held, and 10 minutes later, we were inside Hooter’s.
We had to somehow explain exactly what Hooter’s was, and attempt to clarify its awkward, perhaps tacky place in American culture. I think they understood that it fit in somewhere between Kentucky Fried Chicken and an all nude strip club. I think the pictures speak for themselves.
After dinner, the day wore on into the evening. I met a good friend for Sushi, and then met the guys again in Adam’s Morgan. Padma and Furaha retired for the evening, and we were once again merely a big group of Americans out in DC. But that didn’t seem to slow us down at all. We drank Mojitos and danced the Rumba until 3 AM. We barely caught the last metro back to Bethesda. Underground, drunk college kids were rampant in the subway station. I saw a girl fall down and ascend the escalator upside down. One poor guy had thrown up all over his pants and was being dragged out of the station by his friends. Really though, I think the only difference between us and them, was that we weren’t in college anymore. Oh, and the vomitus, that too I suppose.