Monday, September 17, 2007

Size tatters

I am enjoying my first trip back to the States since moving to Germany. I am at the business center in the DoubleTree Berkeley, about 100 feet from the conference I am supposed to be attending. I am in fact attending, just in my own way.

My return has, among other things, underscored the size difference between the two continents. Everything is bigger in America. It ain't just SUVs, freeways, people, national debt, or hegemony of the military industrial complex. Bathrooms are big enough to feature bathtubs, or at least showers large enough that turning around requires no planning. The BART cars are wider than the streetcars in Bremen, which makes much more of a difference than it would seem. Wide chairs, wide aisles where people can walk without bumping into each other or kicking your foot, and armrests between the chairs make the San Fran mass transit system far more comfortable and practical.

Energy flows like sunshine. After washing clothes, you can utilize a remarkable drying machine that takes about 5% as long as putting clothes on a stringer and leaves your clothes looking better. Actually, the sunshine is plentiful too. The weather has been fantastic, warm and sunny. The crisp sea breeze of my home state smells like ambrosia. My coat is packed away and my sunglasses are in my shirt pocket. Normalcy reigns, albeit briefly.

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