Redwood City

Is an odd place.

Once I got over my nausea and accompanying bad attitude, I chilled out and took a look around. I mean, hel-lo, I'm in California. I first realized I was in an exotic locale when I discovered a bush covered with fist-sized trumpet flowers in the deepest shade of purple. There are in fact lots of nifty plants here that I couldn't begin to name: yucca-looking things with stiff leaves; trees with thick, waxy foliage; even a row of impressive palm trees--aren't they called king palms, or something?

But here's what's funny about it. I don't think any of those plants belong here. In fact, if this place wasn't fully carpeted with freshly mown sod and well-marked asphalt, it's hard to say what would be here. I saw one bedraggled pine tree that remined me that this place is called Redwood City. Not too many redwoods, I can tell you that. Lots of sidewalks, though, which I found strange since I was the only pedestrian in sight.

I'm sure there's more to this town than the little corner of it that is within my walking distance, but still it was strange to stroll, in the evening, along deserted office complexes with all their lights on and fountains bursting on their front lawns. One building has its logo rotating on a screen in a massive upper window, like a little slice of Tokyo. Even the traffic on the main road seems quiet, stately and graceful, calm but without personality.

It smells wonderful, though. Lush and tropical. Inviting, like the evening after a warm rain. And the moon was gauzed in thin clouds over the streetlights. Nature persists on, beautiful even in small corners, refusing to be landscaped away.

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