Well, folks, I am back home in Atlanta again. I took Delta 67 for the last time on Monday.
It is good to be here. For over a week just the thought of stepping back into the Saloon house would get me charged up, and now I am here.
Curiously, the transition has not been dramatic. It is more of a suffuse improvement. There was no goodbye party, no welcome home party---people mentioned the idea but I am too self-conscious for such a thing! I just took the trip the same as the last ten or so times: I walked out with my bags and got on the train.
Perhaps the reason is that this was not really an ending. The work I will continue on is similar to what I did at the end there. The coworkers I will continue seeing, some as soon as a few months at OOPSLA in Montreal, and anyway I will always see them at conferences--programming language research is a narrow specialization! As for the pastry shops, I will certainly miss being able to walk in any direction and find a great pain au chocolat within a block, but in Atlanta I can still drive to the Dekalb Framer's Market and get a great Danish.
As for the view.... okay, the view in Atlanta sucks, but it has a different sort of charm I have missed: I really dig seeing massive buildings and giant roads all over the place. It feels not just alive, but energetic and powerful. It reminds me what humankind can do nowadays.
So ending was so much of an ending. The real change is the new possibilities. I can grow a plant now.
All in all, it has been an interesting two years. It was really neat living somewhere where everything, not just the language, was a little different. French is not so bad if you are immersed, but weirdness is universal. The rest of life, though, was sort of like living in a science fiction novel or a Twilight Zone episode, where something as basic as the laundry might trip you up. Job-wise it was excellent. Martin Odersky and the people working in his lab are really a lot of fun, and I learned a lot in the process that graduate school somehow sheltered me from.
All right, back to the grind guys. We are still sharing a car so I need to get moving....