Oh, well, it is what it is dontchaknow.
Today was another beautiful day in central Minnesota. It’s been three weeks since I moved here. In those three weeks I’ve generally got over missing California and do not miss San Francisco in the least. From my kitchen I can watch the sunset; something I often do. It’s also nice having a balcony. The view isn’t overly memorable. A car park, trees, bushes, two roads, etc. Yet the light is beautiful. In the afternoons my flat is bright, so bright that I almost have to draw the curtains.
My life has established itself into a pleasant, predictable order. I have a work schedule, a course schedule, and a study schedule. In between the three I have enough time to do something, be it listen to music, go through the St Cloud city centre, or simply go to grocer’s to buy a few things. The music, as some of you may know, isn’t to everyone’s liking. But, considering that no mob has yet lynched me, it obviously isn’t too atrocious.
The city centre is modest but pleasant. The majority of buildings date to the mid-to-late nineteenth century. Stone and brick constructions, they’ve held up against the elements well. The stores are nothing too impressive, but they’re not helpless, either. The one music store has a fair selection of things, but one that requires eBay or Amazon to complement it. The restaurants are passable. I would not say that any are especially notable, but most are not the stuff of nightmares, either.
The most remarkable things about life in Minnesota are the Mississippi River and the people. The Mississippi is really an unremarkable thing. Despite its profound length, it does not make itself known to be anything other than an average river. Still, there is something to do — there is this draw, this sense that one has seen something worth seeing.
The people have been the most pleasant. The accent is not as pronounced as one might suppose. Central and Metropolitan Minnesota do not have strong accents. The northern woods and the rural west are said to have a more pronounced Nordic inflexion, though.
The people in general have been very pleasant. While notoriously passive-aggressive, they have seemed content to treat me with respect and kindness while leaving me in peace. It’s simply now a matter of getting used to not being at war with those around me, not having to fight for every last inch. Things come together more easily here, life is more humane.
I get on with my boss well and he’s made my life much easier. He is also my main mentor for my graduate thesis — increasingly a work on Neo-Confucianism in Korea and Japan. I’ve been fortunate to have found a second professor who is eager to actively assist me both find resources, review the quality of resources, and tell me if my work is absolute and utter rubbish. Isn’t it better to learn that from a friendly source before going to the university directors for less sympathetic scrutiny?