Fun fact of the day: There's an Embassy of the Vatican.

I don't know why I was surprised to realize this, the Vatican is it's own country after all, but nonetheless I was. Pope Benedict XVI is in town for a few days. For everyone else outside of DC this might sound exciting, but for those of us who live here, it really only means one thing: trouble. Metro trouble, traffic trouble, increased security trouble. Just trouble. I crashed at some friends' place, and the normal 30-45 min commute back to my place took abouuut an hour and a half.

The Pope is going to do a little parade today in his PopeMobile, and is going up Embassy Row (aka Massachusetts Ave). People started lining up yesterday. Roads have been re-paved to make room for the extra security, what was once a 4 lane road is now a 2 lane road. Cops are coming in by the busload. I kid you not, I saw at least three metro buses chartered especially for the occasion. Tomorrow, there will be Mass at the brand spanking new Nationals Park, for a crowd of about 25,000 people. I plan on staying inside all. day. long. This has nothing to do with religion, I'm very firm in my faith thankyouverymuch, but simply an aversion to the chaos that will be Washington D.C. tomorrow. I didn't go see the Pope when I lived next door to him in Rome, for the same reason. I'm lucky that I'm not required to ride public transportation to and from a job or class. I wonder if people are going to be excused from class or work to attend the mass? That counts right? It's not really a religious holiday, but it is a pretty big event for the Roman Catholics in the VA/DC/MD area.

I remember about 9 years ago I was in D.C. for July 4th, and we watched the fireworks on the Mall. I'll never forget that experience. It was 95 degrees with a side of gross humidity, and there were thousands of us on the metro. As soon as the doors would open people would RUSH on to hopefully snag a seat so they wouldn't be the unfortunate ones standing with their face in someone's armpit. One of the most uncomfortable experiences of my life! At least tomorrow's weather forecast is looking good, sunny and 76 degrees. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe I'll spend some time on the quad on campus, NOT being stressed out about losing my mind on the metro while trying to get to the Pope.

And btw, does the new Pope kind of scare anyone else? Or is that just me? He's kind of scary looking, no?
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3 Responses
  1. LindzML Says:

    So, the number one thing I got out of that post? IT IS WARMER IN DC THAN IT IS IN FLORIDA RIGHT NOW. Congrats on the Pope, and I never would have thought there was a vatican embassy, either.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    he's scary. you're not wrong.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    i only recently learned of the vatican embassy, too--because everyone in this city is waving them around! crazy!

    last year on the fourth of july, i watched the fireworks from the roof of j's building, overlooking the mall. we intentionally left about 20 minutes early--i.e. we only watched the show for like 10 minutes--to beat the metro crowds. totally worth it.

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