I stayed at the Chocolate Box Backpackers hostel for five more days. I was so tired and burned out that I kept mostly to myself and stayed inside. The weather was still wet and dreary, so I wasn’t missing out on much outside. I read the web, watched some movies, and otherwise relaxed. On Friday, March 2, I flew from Taipei to Seoul, and then a couple hours later I flew to Seattle, Washington.
There was a gunshot about a block from my building after midnight about a week ago. A few minutes afterward, several police cruisers arrived with lights flashing. It seemed to happen in front of some kind of bar or restaurant that I could see from my bedroom window. What the hell’s going on? Chill out, people!
I met my friend Chris from work at a piano bar in the Pioneer Square neighborhood of Seattle a few weeks ago. It was around 9 or 10 p.m. and I had never been to that part of town at night before. Let me tell you, that is one shady place. There are a lot of homeless people there. It doesn’t feel comfortable to linger outside. I parked my car a few blocks from the bar.
It was 105 degrees today in Seattle! It’s almost midnight, and it’s eighty-three degrees now. No one in Washington has air conditioning. These people are completely unprepared for the elements. This place is known for a single element—rain—and people don’t use umbrellas. I’m sitting on my bed, under my only ceiling fan, with my only desk fan two feet away and pointed straight at me. I meant to actually do something with my time tonight, but it was just too hot.
I went shopping at the Costco in Seattle for the first time today. They didn’t give me any bags or boxes in which to carry my stuff, so I had to carry a few items at a time from my car to my apartment. On my first trip, I put together an armload of provisions, and thought I could add to it a two-pack of Clearasil facial cleanser, but it was too much.
I flew from Seattle to Sacramento on Saturday, December 20. I reserved a flat-rate taxi ride from my apartment to the airport, and it started to snow as I approached the airport terminal. When I later glanced out a terminal window, the tarmac was carpeted with snow, and more was still falling. Earlier flights were delayed, but fortunately my flight was delayed only thirty minutes, so I grabbed a beer. We boarded without further delays, but we didn’t depart until hours later.
It really came down today. I woke up bleary-eyed and tired, got up later than I meant to, and got ready. I didn’t even glance outside until I was all set to go. I tried logging onto my Microsoft mail remotely to see if there was any mention of canceling work, but the mail servers were so impacted that the web pages wouldn’t load. For a while I didn’t know whether I should try to go or not, so I decided to try and see if I could even leave if I wanted to.
Microsoft put me in touch with Angela in Seattle, a rental provider, who helped me find an apartment. (Actually, Microsoft put me in touch with Susan on the east coast, who put me in touch with Angela. Every relocation service that Microsoft provides uses multiple levels of agents who contract the person beneath them, the last person contracted being the one I end up meeting face-to-face. When I was shipping my belongings from Grass Valley to Seattle, I met the driver Boe, who was contracted by Ronnie, who was contracted by Joey, who was contracted by Chanda, who was contracted by Microsoft.
I’d heard good things about the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle as a place to live, especially for my first year here, so I decided to venture into the city to check it out. I read a little about it and decided to visit Volunteer Park first, which seems to be near the north end of the neighborhood. The park was quite large and green and had an old water tower, a reservoir, an Asian history museum, and a conservatory.
I need to find a permanent place to live soon because Microsoft stops paying for my temporary housing on December 3. For a long time I thought I would look for a place to live in Eastside, probably Bellevue, because I don’t want to deal with the traffic crossing the Lake Washington bridges and I would be closer to work. Lately, after having worked for a couple weeks now, I realize that if I live in Eastside, it’s not as likely that I’ll have the energy or time to drive to Seattle to explore the city, which I really want to do.
I drove to downtown Seattle yesterday to check out the Space Needle and the surrounding Seattle Center. I got the sense from my past visits here that natives don’t really do this kind of stuff, so I thought I should get it out of the way before I’m totally submerged in life here and would be too embarrassed to do it. The Needle is quite tall, which gave me a nice view of the sound and the cityscape below.
I moved to Seattle! Yes, it finally happened. No, the thesis isn’t done; I’ll have to fly back when it’s done to defend it. Seattle couldn’t wait any longer. I would have written about this sooner, but I’ve felt so tired in the evenings since I moved here. Moving is always such a chore. Thankfully Microsoft made the move very easy by shipping my belongings and car here, providing temporary housing and a rental car, and connecting me with a rental agent in the area.
I was in Seattle last night. I had planned to fly home to San Luis Obispo at 7:20 PM and ultimately arrive at around midnight. But the fates had other plans. Katherine dropped me off at my hotel and I was already running late. I ran through the glass doors, up the stairs, and entered the elevator. The elevators there required guests to slide their room keys to operate them. Judging by the title of this post, can you guess if my key worked?