Finally it is nice autumn in Washington, neither roasting sunshine nor thundering showers. There are still flowers of mixed colours scattered along the streets, swinging in the wind.
The Seoul-U.S. Forum is held in SAIS. For the whole morning, experts talk extensively about the Korean Peninsula, the U.S., and inevitably, Japan and China. It is more likely to meet leading scholars from Asia in Washington than in Tokyo or Beijing, not only because of the high frequency of events held here, but also because its more relaxed atmosphere and the way people network.
Lunch looks delicious, with plenty of choices, from which I get a salmon sandwich pack. Food in the U.S. is indeed giant portion and I have to throw away many things with guilt. Exiting the conference room in the middle of the afternoon session, I walk along 18th street towards GWU. In a small park in the middle of the crossroad, some people are training for sports. Washington is wonderful, in the sense that it puts the busy centre of world affairs in a small town instead of a metropolis.
After an inspiring interview for my PhD project, I have a quick look at the World Bank bookshop. It offers places to sit and read, as well as discounted books.
Back in SAIS, there is an interesting seminar on Japan-U.S. internet economy dialogues and a reception full of fun. Washington is the ideal location for IR students, and those who are based here since undergraduate are so privileged.