Saturday, August 20, 2011

... leaving seattle. meh.

i leave seattle in three hours. i can't believe i'm actually counting down the time but i really dislike this place. there have been people who have been nice enough - i bought the best tasting lemonade i've ever had in my entire life from an azerbaijani guy who emigrated to the u.s. twenty-six years ago. he's lived in seattle the entire time and says he likes it about as much as i do. he's established here and has a regular clientele whose seattle freeze has eventually thawed (somewhat) but as soon as it's time to take holidays him, his wife and his family, all disappear out of state for the whole time. sometimes to vancouver, canada, and sometimes to portland, oregon. they never stay here.

he was really cool, though, and we talked for about ten or fiften minutes about him and his business, how long he's been doing it for, his family, his hopes and dreams for them. he's very familiar with the seattle freeze and when i told him a definition for it that i'd read here he laughed and thought it was hilarious but unfortunately true. the quote:
but the dichotomy most fundamental to our collective civic character is this: polite but distant. have a nice day. somewhere else.
i found this even from people in starbucks! (yes, i went into starbucks. it was just the once and i promise i won't do it again. deal with it.) i'm so used to people working in coffee shops having maybe the most... focussed niceness (?) of people in the hospitality industry, knowing that if the coffee doesn't bring you back then the service might and coffee drinkers, once they have a routine, tend to be quite faithful to that routine. maybe it's the preponderance of coffee shops in seattle: maybe there's no particular fidelity on the part of coffee drinkers here... i don't know. i do know that since walking into a tully's coffee i haven't felt any great need to go elsewhere. the staff i've dealt with there have all been very nice. exceptions to the rule, i think.

the hostel is pretty good. the rooms are very small but the common area is set up quite well. i think the entire place was furnished by ikea! the bunks, mattresses, sheets, comforters, bedlamps, dining chairs, chill-out-room furnishings, cutlery, cooking utensils, towels... all ikea. there is wi-fi throughout, the showers are good (one of my benchmarks) and the toilets, well, they're not too bad either.

my biggest terror here in the states (and no, it's not being eaten by a bear, although from what i've been reading if mum's still in russia she's more likely to be eaten by a bear than me!) is the toilets. i don't understand why they (whoever they are) decided that having water fully halfway up the side of the bowl was a good thing!? it freaks me out that i feel like i have to lift my butt off the seat to wipe myself without risking dumping my hand in the toilet water. ewww. i'm not overly icky about things but that one seriously takes the cake.

so the toilets here haven't been too bad. every one i've seen or had occasion to use has had the water down to an almost australian level (i.e. pretty much right at the bottom of the bowl) and i've been able to relax completely when i've needed to relax... partially. it's nice. alas, portland's toilets weren't quite so consistently relaxing. astoria's weren't too bad. mind you, after visiting china back in 1993, i can suck it up enough to use pretty much whatever toilet i've had to.

you know, i don't think i've seen a cloud in seattle the whole time i've been here? i feel i've been gypped. i know it's the middle of summer but still... is one unseasonably miserable day too much to ask?

so, my train leaves at 14h20 and i need to be there half an hour earlier to check my luggage. so i think i'll check my luggage much earlier (say an hour) and then go up the street to tully's and have a cuppa. cheers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

it's a pity you didn't like Seattle - maybe that's why the music is so filled with angst, no one likes it. Where are you off to next? i hope you are enjoying yourself. the toilet info was an overshare - just so you know. take care and be safe.