July 17, 2006

Looking back at Boulder

Boulder was a wonderful experience. The town is pretty small and has a nice pedestrian "high street." It's nestled at the foot of huge mountains, so the culture is very earthy and organic. Excellent restaurants and streetlife, especially in summer, when the town is not flooded with kids from UofC. Hippies abound everywhere with long blond beards and guitars. There is a store that sells clogs. Uber crunchy. Not my normal scene, but nicer than it sounds. The weather ranged from a very British 60 with rain/drizzle to a dry 85 degree heat.

Most of my time was spent in the company of others- at first all strangers- so I had to push well out of my comfort zone. Some friends know that I had really bad anxiety attacks before I went, which is strange because I can cobble together a conversation in most cases. I don't tend to freeze when confronted with people. For some reason this trip made me very nervous, but it all worked out brilliantly.

Twice I went to a place that will now enter my pantheon of favorite places on Earth: The Dushanbe Teahouse. From 1987 -1990, more than 40 artisans in Tajikistan created the decorative elements of the Teahouse, pictured in this post. I went twice, once for brunch and once for dinner and both times were delicious. I was in a good mood the night I went for dinner in that pretty room. I had the Persian cod and house blend Jade Spring green tea (pic above!) The light was coming in the room so nicely. I was happy in that moment and I knew it!

After dinner, I walked a fair distance along the path next to the creek, which was more like a river with rapids, since Boulder had so much rain that week. I made a phone call or two holding the phone up to the rushing water to prove I was actually IN nature. Then I walked up into a beautiful neighborhood with some amazing old houses (more on that later). Although I am a gregarious person, I have an introvert's need to recharge alone sometimes and this dinner/walk was the highlight of my trip.

My musical choice that night was 80's and 90's Joni Mitchell - specifically starting with one my all-time favorite songs, her duet with Peter Gabriel called My Secret Place (lyrics below). This song has had so much meaning for me over the years and I have taken many friends to my secret places (get your minds out of the gutter!).

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