One of the things I always notice when visiting the Beehive is that, with possible competition from a hotel I stayed in in NYC once, it is one of the most post-sense places I've ever been. I am tempted to use the term cyberpunk, and it is true that there are certain elements to it that are like that, but this is much more surreal than that. I am sitting on a wants-to-be-flourescent green rocking bench, my feet up on another, with a shoddily-constructed table on the wall holding up my spinach pie, teacup, and teapot. A strange mix of good and bad art hangs on the walls, with odd toothpick-like structures hanging from the ceiling. A number of light sources, all different and most probably from a particularly tacky garage sale, provide light (although the sun is still up for now). Very few of the chairs match any of the other chairs, and sitting in some of the booths and other areas are people speaking sign language, something slavic, spanish, and other languages. There are two other rooms with different flavours too. Few of the obese or nasty average folk are here. Strange graffitti covers many of the surfaces. Additionally, their food is good and they know how to serve tea. If this would be the future, I would not shed a tear.
I don't go to the Beehive very often. This is largely because it's not the most convenient place for me to get to from Squirrel Hill. Today I'm here because I decided not to take the CMU shuttle right back to SqHill or Campus after running a subject. Walking in the southside was pleasant, perhaps partly because some of my wanderlust was simply wanting to see something different than the Squirrel Hill/Oakland area. I have a better idea how things fit together, and I have also identified the best bus to get to/from here relative to SqHill (59U). My dislike of cars was probably keeping me, amusingly, less prone to travel than I am now, because if a bus breaks, or needs new gas, gets towed, or even gets a ticket, it's not my problem. My anti-driving thing was at least partly irrational fear of my car breaking combined with knowledge that every time I drove it, I was putting some wear on it and making it come closer to breaking. Hooray for busses, and kudos to CMU for free public transit throughout the city.
I cannot entirely enjoy today though -- the thought of over three thousand dead from an earthquake in Indonesia does not sit well with me. With the scale of habitation that exists on our planet, disasters are always striking people somewhere, and I'm never sure if it's better to try not to think of it or .. something else.