I’ve arrived in Seattle. I open the train doors and walk off. One of the train staff is yelling. He’s yelling at me! Apparently you cannot open doors yourself in America. I try to find the bus stop, but the locals send me off in the wrong direction, so I decide to keep walking. It’s starting to rain as I walk through 1st Ave. Not really sure how far the walk is, I start to doubt myself. The rain is only getting worse. When I step into the hostel, the water has crawled up to my knees and my hair looks as if I just got out of the shower. Welcome to Seattle.
Since I can’t check in yet, I walk towards the Pike place market. It is much bigger than I’d imagined and it is covered. They sell everything from collector’s items like stamps to food and clothes. There are a lot of places where you can eat. I also see the famous fish stand and just as I walk past, a fish is thrown towards the selected tourist, who catches it with a smile for the photo. Further on is the waterfront. There is a lot of going on, but I reach the curiosity shop. There are two-headed animals, shrunken heads and creepy looking bodies. In between are souvenirs and gifts. After a snack at Biscuit Bitch I can finally check in.
Come 3 o’clock I am so wet and tired of getting wetter that I move into my room and make a run for the shower. It is so warm it feels like I’m defrosting and so is my mood. I hang out at the hostel planning the things I want to do. At 6PM an art walk starts from the hostel. I thought we’d just go to see some street art, but the Seattle Belltown art walk is a thing. Several ateliers, galleries and shops open their doors and often even offer a drink or a snack. We start at a shop with clothing. All a bit uncertain about what we’d started, we rummaged through the racks. Next up was a gallery with some work by local artists. A cider in my hand I walk around, chatting to my hostel mates. Later at the community centre there is more art and a local who’s interested in our foreign school systems. Finally we end up in a tattoo shop that’s celebrating day of the dead with spray on face painting and a band. We don’t really seem to fit in and a bunch of us go to a bar.
It’s getting later and later and most of us haven’t eaten. It doesn’t stop us from taking an über to the Capitol Hill area. There is a bar called Linda’s Tavern where Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain was last seen before he died and we had an Australian fan so had to have a drink there. The drinks were good but we were slowly falling asleep and decided to go dancing. “the best place is the gay bar R place a few buildings down.” So we climb up a bunch of stairs making our way through the sweaty crowd. The music is highly danceable and up on stages are some barely dressed men shaking their asses.
After a shot we too find the dancefloor where a mix of gay and straight people are going crazy. Suddenly a guy walks up and as I’m trying to get out of the way, goes straight for me, kisses me, and takes off. Way too soon the music turns off and the lights turn on. Everyone’s standing in the street and some random guys say we have to go to neighbours. By the time we make the front of the line, there is not nearly enough time left to justify paying 10 bucks, so we go for breakfast instead. It’s super busy with people trying to eat away their future hangover. It’s almost morning when I’m done, but I manage to get a few hours of sleep in anyway. Seattle. I think I like you.