Harvard Kid Takes DC


It’s my first day of vacation. For some reason I thought we were going to NYC until I saw “DC” at the airport gate.

After arriving at our hotel, we got lost immediately and somehow ended up in Chinatown. What can I say: the motherland was calling. (Even though I saw zero other Chinese people there.)

We entered a McDonald’s and were greeted with some next-level sagging and suspicious noises. I hail from the Northwest Chicago suburbs where this is not the typical McDonald’s treatment, so we migrated to another Chinatown classic: Chipotle. There, I made the rookie mistake of asking for extra sour cream before seeing the standard volume, and consequently received an entire tub of sour cream on my bowl. It was the most intense dairy experience I’ve ever had. I felt like I could taste the cow’s udders as I ate.

After the Creamy-Chinatown-Chipotle-Catastrophe, it was time to go to the White House.

There were a bunch of secret security men scattered about—can you imagine trying to secretly date Malia? Objectively speaking, impossible. The secret security guys looked a bit sweaty. One of them twirled an empty water bottle around, and I felt bad for him. It is important to stay hydrated in this type of weather.


I didn’t see my girl Malia around, unfortunately. I did see a man protesting in a plastic trash-bag tent. He had luscious dreads and was surrounded by signs that said “Ban all nuclear weapons,” “Free Tibet,” “End AIPAC,” and my favorite: “Chernobyl is everywhere.”

A fun but largely unrelated fact: there are thousands of radioactive boars living near Chernobyl. I approached him and heard him say that there was going to be more of Vietnam. I also made sure to walk in front of a bunch of the cameras around the White House to increase my chances of appearing on national television.

Later, I saw a secret service agent walk a police dog that was pooping on the fenced-off lawns. One of the tourists near me yelled, “Hey Charlie!! Get a picture of this!! He’s taking a shit.”

I also saw a family dressed entirely in Crocs and conversing in Spanish about the time left over on their parking meter. Most surprising of all, I saw my mom climb into a golf cart that definitely was not for public use. This started a trend of my family members sitting in various carts that they really shouldn’t be entering, and then pretending to drive them.

We passed lots of fat pigeons that would fly really close to you for food. It is a good thing I wasn’t carrying any, for I would have handed it over like the avian-beta I am.

To end the day on a high note, I went to Shake Shack and let them rob me of my time and money. Portillo’s tastes better and costs half as much, but I was still so excited that I attempted to pay with my hotel card and then my state ID, before finally handing over my debit card.

Hello identity theft, my name is Emily Jia! You can expect to see my SSN and passport when I return for the s’mores, doughnut, and cheesecake flavors later this week.