Every time I'm out on the streets and I know what strangers are saying, I feel extraordinarily lucky to be able to understand them.
I remember I'm still in California.
This is just so different from the California I know. I love it. I love that there are Ethiopian markets, taquerias, natural foods stores (of course); that there's Lebanese and Greek and Vietnamese food; that there are museums and infoshops and bike coops, a combination skateboards-and-chocolates shop (dream come true), used bookstores and avenues that run for miles... There's never any shortage of new things to do, see, smell, taste and feel.
Maybe I don't have to go to India quite yet to see new things.
Apparently, being new to town necessitates some wild good chases. The other night, I tried to go to a poetry reading I'd seen in the calendar in the East Bay Express, but the date was evidently wrong. Anyway, I wound up at a tasty little cafe in Berkeley, eating a tasty tortilla espanola with potatoes and peppers and remembering San Sebastian and the strangest tapa I ever had - some sort of roe in some intestinal tissue on, of course, a piece of baguette - feeling all the while like I was, once again, in another country.
Still, I can't emphasize enough how much easier it is to up and move to a new city when you speak the language natively!