Friday, December 14, 2001
Juliette arrived on September 19th.
It was to be a short visit; she'd lost a week when they closed the
airports after the September 11 tragedy, so she could only stay for
three weeks before she had to start medical school in Germany.
It was kind of a surprise for both of us to be together again so
soon; when we parted in Thailand, neither of us knew when, if ever,
we'd see each other again. She'd gotten a deal on a flight ticket
and we both had some time, so we took advantage of the opportunity.
Often while I was away, I longed for the comfort and joy of being
with close friends who have known me forever. But in the culture
shock of coming home after two years in Asia, it was great to be
with someone who really understood what I was going through now.
Someone who was used to examining the happiness gained from
spending money, for example, and came to the same conclusions I
did. For us, it wasn't the least bit strange to buy day-old bagels
on an outing to San Francisco, eating them on the sidewalk of
Valencia Street with peanut butter and marmalade we'd brought
from home. We were used to this kind of living.
For our road trip, we borrowed my old van back from David.
Wow. Back in the cockpit of the Roach. My home for a year, this
giant green monster held more comforts of familiarity for me than
any house. The big question was, would it make it to the Grand
Canyon and back? Juliette had a plane to catch, and I really
only knew how to fix the van if a particular thing went wrong.
"Let's go two weeks spending no money on food," Juliette said as I
coaxed the green machine up to freeway speeds, leaving the
megalopolis of the San Francisco Bay Area.
I laughed. We'd already had a lucky beginning when Jeff offered us his
old food, and we were making plans to learn how to dumpster dive.
Who knows? We certainly had a history of being luck's children.
"Okay," I grinned, not knowing how serious either of us were.