Pandemic Journal, Day 471

Today was my first day not being a Toastmasters officer in a decade, so of course I celebrated by going to two Toastmasters meetings: my own club’s, where I was Table Topics Master, and Toastrix, the club I used to mentor, where I was a guest.

At my club, the theme was “Immigration Dreams” and there was only one project, a panel discussion with the moderator (from the Czech Republic) and three other panelists (from Taiwan, India, and England). They told about their experiences coming to America and California (they all had DMV stories!) and adjusting to the US – it was a very interesting session and the time flew by.

The theme inspired my questions, like asking one of our US-born members what “immigrant-centric” food stores he liked (he picked two of my favorites, International Food Bazaar and India Cash and Carry), or asking one of our immigrants what he first thought of American food (that one didn’t work out quite as well – he’d come to the US at age 7!).

Toastrix also had only one speech at their meeting, about the opportunities the speaker had had when studied abroad for a year in college – the college wasn’t well-organized to help, and when she returned, they offered her a job helping other students go abroad! I was happy to see that the club has been doing well, despite the pandemic; I hope to visit them in person again.

And that was about it for today, other than continuing to excavate; there are flat surfaces visible that hadn’t seen the light of day for many moons, like much of the kitchen desk. Yesterday, it was piled high with newspapers and clipped-out recipes; today, there are several square feet that have nothing on them (the rest of the desk is covered with a computer, pads of paper, a handie-talkie, pens, and cables – but most of that belongs on the desk). Another step in the right direction; there are more to come, and I hope they’re equally uninteresting.