Greetings from Washington, DC

I have spent the past 10 days in DC for conferences and playtime. Jehan tagged along too.

· DC is an imperial city. Large, dominating architecture. Roads lined with marble curbs. A better name for it would have been “New Rome.”

· DC is also a holy city — coincidentally, like old Rome. It is the centre for America’s true religion: the constitution.

· Relatedly — and I’ve said this before when travelling through southern Europe — we in the West are all Romans. Though the empire fell, the Roman civilization never did. Pay attention and you will see it everywhere, but it is palpable in DC.

· Since arriving, I can’t shake the feeling that I’m being watched — all the time. There are police, of all varieties, everywhere you go. Now think about the ones you can’t see. Now think about the cameras.

· And you think twice about what you say in public — even jokingly. It’s like the entire city is an airport. It sucks.

· Segregation, segregation, segration. It lives.

· There are a lot of homeless in DC — in epidemic proportions. And I can’t figure out why.

· People say that Americans have no culture, especially food culture. But that’s silly. You will find magnificent southern fare in DC.

· DC’s best quality? Free, amazing art galleries. Oh, and Shophouse.

[Photo thanks to Jehan’s super-amazing shenanigans]