First impressions: A desert wasteland. Dry, empty, and stucco. Drones roam around in their SUV's as far as the eye can see. Dressed in wrinkled khaki shorts and frayed polos from Abercrombie. Too many commercial radio stations, playing the same 4/4 beat songs over and over and over. I might go mad. An older lady, with big blonde helmet hair and a pastel suit (the kind a Stake President's wife might wear) at the Village Inn practically confirmed it.
Then, I walk into the grocery store, a Smith's Superstore (used to be Fred Meyer's) and instead of attempting a hunt for direction on where to locate the toothpaste from some foreigner with broken english who will avert his eyes or pretend not to notice me, I am greeted with a smile, in perfectly understandable english. "What can I help you find?" She asks, almost in an enthusiastic frenzy. And the check-out? Super fast. No yapping to the clerk next aisle down, whilst barely exchanging hello's with me, the customer. It is, "Would you like paper or plastic with your purchase" and, "Have a great day".
Then I awoke early this morning for the long forgotten ritual of a Saturday massage at the Utah College of Massage Therapy. It was couples day for some reason, meaning a two for one deal. A man behind me in line made me a deal that we'd go in on it together. So instead of costing me a mere $25, it cost us each a mind-blowing $12.50 for an hours worth massage. Dixon was my therapist, and he was cordial, respectful, and relaxing. With magic hands. Couldn't help but beam on the way out. Really, I couldn't stop smiling.
Went and treated myself afterward to a brand new library card at the practically new and artistically fantastic Salt Lake City Public Library. A breathtaking building, encased glass, and boasting a courtyard, cafeteria, and practically as many books as the Library of Congress.
So now I look around, the sun is shining, the people helpful, the city beautiful in its own desert-to-blossom way, the massages cheap, oh, and two guys next to me, waiting in line, rated me an eight on a scale of 1-10 (so I'm a spy, and maybe they are generous young fools, but I'll take it). There may be a lack of fashion-forwardness, and there may or may not be quite the hip scene I left back in DC, but I think there's a chance I might like it here afterall.