Before coming to DC, I had this preset ideas and imagination of how life will look like in DC. Having been only to Seattle and New York I always imagined, DC as smaller version of New York with everyone running around, super busy doing many things. My first surprise happened on my way from the airport, this city doesn’t look like NYC, it is very green, beautiful and yes very clean too. Afterwards, I realized that it’s not a smaller NYC, it’s a beautifully balanced version of a mixture of Seattle and NYC. It has the calmness and openness of Seattle and the busy eventfulness of NYC. It has a unique combination of history and contemporary flavors, with all Smithsonian museums and the loud night life at Adams Morgan and U street.
Public transportations are very popular here, specially the metro, because in rush hours you do not want to be stuck in DC traffic jam. Metro crowds represents a very diverse crowd of almost all social classes. People from different background, ethnicity, colors, shapes, ages and believes. It’s the mixture of young and old, black, brown and white, rich, middle class and poor.
The common thing shared among this crowd is that they came here looking for better opportunities. It doesn’t matter where you work or what you do, whether you are a government employee, a Nonprofit activist or you work at private sector. You came to DC cause you know that it is the place to go if you want to make a difference.
However, things might get a bit extreme here, whither the very hot and humid days in mid-August or the snowy cold days in January. The liberal progressive politician advocating for more rights or the very conservative ones who wants the country to jump 50 years back.
Politics in DC is in the air; everyone has an interesting political view they are willing to share on a random conversation while waiting for the metro, at the elevator, or even during serious meetings.
It was very interesting to be here during 2016 presidential race; the city was thrilled and overwhelmed. The overall racing and campaigning of both sides, the presidential debates, and off course the surprising results.
It was fascinating for me to see the real implementation of democracy, to understand the true meaning of peaceful transfer of power. It’s not hidden that the election results were shocking to many people, especially in DC area. Yet, they were still able to accept it and think about how to work together to make this country a better place for everyone.
Sixteen months in DC and nine months after the major change in the US history have taught me invaluable lessons. I have learnt that life is full of surprises, no matter where you stand or how logical you think you are, there will always be a counter argument that might not be as valid as yours but has a 50% chance of winning. I realized that life doesn’t stop at one failure, but it stops when we fail to learn from that failure and transform it to success. Finally, in this world good things are far more than bad things, yet bad things are more loud and hence it is our responsibilities to make good things louder.