My task last week was to start exploring Washington. The more I am getting to know the city, the nicer it seems to me. My goal this week was to see the monuments I have not seen yet, especially the Martin Luther King, Jr.
Memorial. The Inauguration was very important here, yet it all reminds us of Martin Luther King as well. After seeing this sight I dare say the Memorial complies with his legacy. I have read some controversial opinions towards the style of the whole monument, specifically considering its resemblance to Social Realism.
However, being from Prague and having traveled through other post-communist countries as well, I have to say, it is interesting to compare the distinct points of view.
The statue, in contrast to the above mentioned styled sights, consists of significant artistic inventions, yet it preserves a certain simplicity. It does not communicate in clear emblematic symbols of Socialism, as it is in some genuinely Socio-Realist monuments. In order to express myself clearly, I would encourage everybody to compare the pictures of the monuments in Sofia, Bulgaria and the particular sight in DC.
Out of all the sights I have seen in DC, the Lincoln Memorial is still my favorite. Even though when you are tired of crowds, it is the best to go and calm down by the DC War Memorial. Doesn't it remind you of a tranquil sanctuary among all of those crowded places?
After seeing this, I strongly encourage everybody to go and pay a tribute at the World War II Memorial.
Having done this night tour, you are cold and in need of a nice and warm place to go to, especially in this time of the year. We chose a renown place in Washington – Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe. This wonderful bookshop offers a lot more – it is a bar, a cafe, and a restaurant, and at the same time, they have a live performance every night. I had been longing to go there since I first looked this place up, that is prior to my arrival, therefore I am glad I finally managed.
Saturday was quite a special day for me. I met my Global Colonial buddy, Livia, and we went to one of the Smithsonian's, National Museum of the American Indian. The museum gave us the opportunity to learn about tribes from various locations, their traditions, rituals, everyday habits, languages, and most importantly their history and first interactions with people coming from the Old World. It also focused on the nowadays situation, the struggle for identity and for preserving the culture, reflected in arts as well.
Afterwards I went to a party celebrating the Australia Day with typical Australian food. I don't think I will ever forget about the pronounced taste of Vegemite. I am sorry, my dear Australian friends, but I don't think I will ever have this yeasty spread again.
In the evening we had our Exchange Orientation Group 6 reunion and had the pleasure of tasting the delicious food cooked by our Singaporean friends. Now we are planning to have more sessions of this type so I wish good luck to the Italians when preparing the pasta for us next week!
Hopefully, I will see some other parts of Washington to admire as well!