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June 11th, 2010

Place-dropper

After I came back from my Peace Corps service, it was astonishing (not!) how often the phrase "when I was in Africa" would come out of my lips in almost every conversation, as just about any subject would manage to trigger some memory I just had to share. (Thank God for patient friends.) Ten years later I was able to add "when I was in Antarctica" to my repertoire. So I was completely understanding (and amused) a couple of days ago...

I was telling a colleague about a trip I am planning to Australia in August to go star-gazing. He was lamenting that his only trip there was cloudy the entire week (a fate I hope to avoid) so he didn't get a chance to see any of the southern stars. "The only time I remember ever getting to see the Southern Cross was out the port hole of the Space Shuttle; there was a time when our attitude was oriented so that the stern of the ship was aimed at the celestial south pole, and..."

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