Thursday, September 16, 2004

U.S.A., Washington, Seattle

E----- woke me up when she left for work. I listened to the rain tapping onto the balcony outside. Microsoft is putting her up in a corporate high-rise, downtown, on the waterfront. I rolled out of bed and stood at the window. I looked at the ships chugging past the docks, the wet rooftops of the buildings lining the wet streets, the people far below walking with their coffee and their rainjackets. I came here to say good-bye, not to E-----, for her I’ll see again in Asia one day, but to this, my favorite American city.

Last night at dinner with some of her new Microsoft cohorts, I answered a question with, “I’m on my way back to Mongolia.” Sandeep responded that he had just returned from spending the summer traveling in East Asia. “Mongolia was the last country I visited,” he said, “and the most amazing.”

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