There is an absolute stillness in the air outside right now. The light is softening and declining at the same time, and there is no movement in the air. The reduced amount of life casts an unusual glow onto the trees and plants outside my window. And there is a loud sound coming from outside the wall of the university; a sound that I can’t place.

I received my first mail two nights ago. It made my week. They were both Christmas cards that somehow made it here before Epiphany. It just somehow escaped my mind that pieces of paper decorated with ink could mean so much to me. It interpreted it as physical evidence that people back in the states were thinking about me.

The other news is that the other day I went out to the spot where Jon and Jota go running. This time I drove around on the bike that I will eventually inherit, the MCC bike, the Windy that Jon calls Abe Lincoln. This bike is different from what I had been practicing on, this bike had a clutch. I was nervous about stalling. I was nervous about shifting (this bike has a very different shifting pattern than the other motorbikes I’ve driven here). And of course, I was worried about making an idiot out of myself in front of people. But it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought. It went so much better than I thought. New things to think about, but it went okay. I didn’t stall.

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