With two days left in America, I decided to retrace my childhood steps around Oakland. I went to Anderson playground across a bridge from my house. I remember as a kid that it used to have a huge ball maybe 15 feet in diameter with holes cut out that you could climb, and a slide around both sides so that the hole thing resembled a planet. They've redone it since then; there are swings there now:
I used to play on the train tracks down under Panther Hollow Bridge. Walking along the tracks, I saw a lot of places that people had put coins on the rails and wait for the trains to come through and schmear them out.
The tracks lead up to my high school which is right next door to WQED, the local PBS station. It was in there that Mister Rodgers filmed his iconic series. Passing over the nearby campus of Carnegie Mellon University, I came across some students playing some bizarre game on a green in the gathering dusk. It turned out to be rugby, which I took to be a good omen for my soon to be new home base.
The next day I went to a birthday party for a cheerful, wubbulous little boy. His friends are all other little bubbies just about the same age, and what could be more awesome than a roomful of happy laughing babies (none of which I am directly responsible for)? His mom constructed a clever caterpillar cake made out of cupcakes, one of which he demolished all by himself. Why do we spend so much on hair product when icing works just fine?
And the next morning after that, it came time for my last goodbyes. Mom and Robert whisked me to the airport. I will miss Pittsburgh, and all of the familiar America that I'm leaving behind. So it's goodbye, for now.