Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Oh My Lord Berkeley

So I've been in Berkeley, California, for four days. Biffle and I flew in to bother mercilessly visit with Biffle-in-Law and for me to play with kids I've known since before I was a twinkle in my father's eye.

One aspect I wasn't prepared for was the botany. Sure, the squirrels the are the same, and a sparrow continues to be a sparrow on either side of the continent, but the plant life is radically different. In Georgia, mere hours from Appalachia, there is Spanish moss and gnarled oak trees and this weird ground vine that seems to pass for grass. I don't actually know what it is, but it's isn't a "lawn" in the traditional sense of the word.

Here, there are flowers everywhere. Every color, every shape, there are flowers hanging from branches and twisting on vines up stairs, on every privacy bush, sprouting from cracks in sidewalks. Wild jasmine is everywhere you look. No matter where you go, you can smell it.

Another were the sheer number of dirt-cheap bookstores. I've been really, really good. Shockingly good. Disgustingly good. I've only bought two fucking books after visiting four fucking discount bookstores. If that doesn't gain me entry into some sort of heaven, I don't know what will.

There's also a plethora of hole-in-the-wall, family-owned, cheap ethnic food. There's a Mexican restaurant where I have yet to actually pay for food, since the two owners are friends with Biffle-in-Law. They've invited me to come in any time and eat all their food and refuse to take my money, even when I throw it at them and flee the building.

They follow me and give it back.

I am seriously considering having Zombie Fishfish, Warrior Princess, and Husband shipped to me and just never leaving. Because I have entered what is the closest scenario to Paradise.

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