Odyssey, Day 1: Seattle Arrival

©2022 Michael Raven

Note: I am currently on holiday in Seattle and Portland. I plan to write about the trip and post pictures when applicable.

I have no pictures. I maybe should have taken a few, but I was a little thrown off by what I saw today, and maybe I was just to tired from the lack of sleep (again) to consider such things. The lack of sleep was due to the roller-coaster barometric pressure changes back at home last night — we went from -20°F to 35°F to -15°F in a 48 hours period of time and that kills my arthritis and my joints and kept me away the night before I left town.

But I was taken aback by seeing relatives on arrival. One was suffering from really bad health, the other okay, but looking like they might be going downhill. And then, the drive from a house in Kent to my cousin’s place where I am staying.

Things in Seattle along I-5 looked run down as hell. More graffiti that I recall there being, more unflattering age on the buildings, and the city has lost some of the evergreen feel it once had (even in winter, it was the “emerald city” when I lived here. Time has caught up with Seattle from the I-5 vantage and I have to say I was caught off guard by the change. Perhaps things will improve when I dig down into the city proper tomorrow, as I plan to hit the rail and hang out downtown, but I was unprepared for what I saw.

Things look a little better where I’m staying near Northgate, more of the Seattle I remembered, but even here the city has taken on a mishmash of looks, as if someone decided to stop what they were doing part-way through and not got back to finishing it. But on the way, there were more encampments than I recalled there being visible from the freeway. And litter, something that wasn’t very commonplace in the memories I have of Seattle.

I ended up talking more about politics than I really wanted to on my first day. It’s what’s on everyone’s minds in the family (including my hostess). I played with a catch-obsessed corgi all evening while I tried to chat with my cousin.

I keep going back to the man on the plane before we took off — the one that decided he was going to take a stand with the flight attendant over his non-existent mask. He refused to wear one appropriately, getting mouthy with the flight attendant about it and ending up getting himself bumped off the flight as a result. He’d proven he was going to make trouble, so they removed him ASAP. I’m not sure why people feel it is worth the battle.

I’m exhausted now, so I’ll keep this entry short. I think I may hit Pike Place Market in the morning and see what there is to see. I’ll take pictures and try to have a brain.

I hope all of you fared well today. Cheers.

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