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Washington DC 2011

My Kindle got a crack on the screen and became very difficult to read. Now it is used mainly as an audiobook device. In order to salvage the investments in the e-book titles I have purchased for Kindle, I had to order another Kindle via Amazon.com. I took a taxi from the airport to the hotel. $70. (Notice how the ceiling serves as the filing space for the taxi driver.) Taking a taxi is a bit of challenge for me, even in Korea. Being in a tight space with a stranger with his face away from me gives me an odd feeling. It is my third time to Washington DC (2004, 2010, and 2011) and I have always stayed at Normandy Hotel, a small hotel which used to be called Jurys Normandy Inn. I love its uniqueness and the cozy feeling which is difficult to experience in larger hotels. It used to be one of the more affordable choices around the area in the past but not any more, it seems. The work setting at the hotel. I am so happy that the wireless Internet connection is provided at no additional cost. While not shown in the photo, they have Nespresso coffee machine both in the room and in the lobby area. They also offer wine and cheese during the evening (but I didn’t get the chance due to other appointments in the evening). I am very much satisfied with this hotel. In the evening, I attended a dinner hosted by a local entrepreneur Vince Sedmak at restaurant Top of the Town in Arlington, VA. (Taxi to the place $18.00.) Mingling with people at a large gathering is not what I am good at but I am grateful for this kind of exposure, which is priceless. Many interesting persons were there. The couple on the righthand side of the photo is Mr. and Mrs. Thompson from Thailand. Mrs. Thompson is involved in a mission providing a shelter house to the young victims from the local “adult entertainment” industry (I had to resort to euphemism here but the reality is devastatingly cruel, according to what I heard from Mrs. Thompson). Who sat next to me on the dinner table were Leland, a jazz musician (drum) and Joe from Samoa. I didn’t have much interesting story to share so I played the role of being a good listener. I walked down to Cosi near Dupont Circle for the breakfast the next morning. The store opens at 6:30 am. Too bad they serve soup only after 11 am. There also is a Cosi store in Dubai Airport and I enjoy getting something to eat from there too. Breakfast “Santa Fe” burrito and Grande Latte were nice, at $5.55. I learned from my father (or perhaps it was my uncle, I am not sure) that leaving a dollar bill on the pillow is what you were supposed to do when traveling. While it is difficult for me to find out how much it is appreciated (because of the indirectness of the interaction taking place here), I try to do it anyway. I am wondering if this amount is not affected by the consumer price index. (Tipping has always been a challenge for me. For one thing, the conventional rate seems to differ from place to place, ranging from 12.5% to 18%, as far as I was told by the locals. Also, trying to get the calculation right in my head was not easy at all. So I try to be on the more generous side if I were to tip.)]]>

One reply on “Washington DC 2011”

Enjoyed your blog…sorry about your Kindle. What was the occassion for the dinner hosted at Top of The Town? Thanks, Alex

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