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Sleepy in Seattle

We pulled into Seattle after a godawful train ride with some serious bags under our eyes. Sleeping on a train, whilst considerably easier than the same on a plane, is still quite uncomfortable; and while I tried to give sleep the red hot go it deserved I ended up demolishing Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons instead. Decent book, worth a read, and if you enjoyed The Da Vinci Code you’ll no doubt see Robert Langdon push through this prequel with even more of an Indiana Jones vibe than you’d previously detected.

Dave, Titty, Mike, and I had had a bet running since way back in Los Angeles as to where we’d see snow first. As ‘mediterranean’ climateers, though, most of us have never actually seen snow up close; thus the bet was a big stupid guessing game and my guess of Eugene, Oregon, was met with some amusement from the other boys. Other guesses closer to Canada (or at least a bit further north of California than Eugene) were more common, but in the end I prevailed: snow’s first sighting was three stops short of Eugene… and remarkably we haven’t seen snow anywhere since.

As this is the part of the post where I give everyone the lowdown on Seattle (after you’ve already made at least some assumptions about it because Frasier is set there and the Omni Group has offices there and Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins live there), I’ll try to be gentle:

If I were sleeping the whole time I wouldn’t have missed much.

Yeah, Seattle bored me. I’ve heard Perth described as a boring town in the past (with serious media frenzy accompanying… as though the state government ought to be doing something about how tourists view our city) but at least we have sunshine… and attractive women. If I had only five words with which to sum up Seattle, they’d be “goddamned freezing, didn’t see anything”, which can be up to eight words depending on how much of a stickler for contractions you are. But seriously. We went up the Space Needle, that was about it.

Never mind me, though: ignore the previous paragraph. I hate hate mail. Seattle’s upside was the availability of a beer known as Natural Ice, something I hadn’t seen anywhere else during our trip. US$6.84 for a 12–pack, at 5.9% alc/vol. I only had about seven of the things and I was ratshit. It’s as close to an Australian lager as I’ve found anywhere else in the world: bitter and very alcoholic.

Seattle is also supposed to be one of the top ten wireless cities in America… and despite the fact that I had a page listing dozens of hot spots I wasn’t really in the mood to go sit in one of Seattle’s billion coffee joints and spend fourteen bucks on coffee just so I could check email. The place we were staying had some very dodgy Lindows boxes… so I made do with webmail. Though, while I’m on the topic, what’s with all the coffee joints? My god, I thought LA had a lot of Starbucks.

So, with all this incredible excitement and our fabulous opinion of Seattle set firmly in our skulls, we decided to cut the stay short by a night and move on to Vancouver… which is something I’ll save for another post. (preview teaser: Vancouver is fucking awesome)