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Of a little town

  • 26th Jan, 2006 at 1:47 AM

Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

When I awoke in the morning, I noticed two things. The first was that the bed I was sleeping in was absolutely ginormous. It had six pillows upon it and was as wide as it was long—which was very. You could comfortably fit a family of four in it. The second thing I noticed was that the light switches were about 10cm below where I expected them to be.

You may ask why I couldn't locate them the night before. You see, I have discovered that the W Seattle not only has an annoying Flash website, but also caters to a very specific demographic. Namely twenty-something men who have too much money and too few morals. And to accomodate this, the hallways were very poorly lit so that girls coming up from the bar downstairs wouldn't be recognised. In the room, there was plenty of alcohol, the furnishings oozed luxury, and everything cost boatloads of money. A morning glass of orange juice would set you back $5 USD.

I went with spider88 to a supermarket, called QFC. Which stands for Quality Food Centers. So I may not be a marketting genius, but that's a really dumb name. We walked through this store, with the biggest frozen food section I have ever seen, to pick up some things. As we were about to walk out, I noted that they were running a sale on artesian water. If you thought the spring water fad was yuppie, this is even worse. When I got back to my hotel room, I discovered a small bottle of the stuff costs $8.

Mountains and clouds
Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

I walked about Seattle with only a T-shirt underneath my coat. It was wonderfully warm and the sky even humoured me with a couple of sunny breaks. A man driving a van labelled "Seattle Express" kept on accosting me, probably because I looked like a tourist.
        "You need a taxi? Where are you going?"
        "Twelve dollars!"
        "I swear to my god, it is twelve dollars!"
        "Ten dollars! Ten dollars, sir."
I decided to walk.

That night, stolen_tea came by my room with a pair of movies in hand. Both Spider and Stolen had planned to inflict these movies upon each other, and I was merely providing the appropriate venue for this perversion. What could be better than a swanky hotel room to screen movies about piercings, rape, drugs, and violence? We had a ball.

Spider and I went on an exciting roadtrip on Saturday. It rained and we were stuck in traffic. As we were locating the Portland Art Museum, we managed to see the best clothing sale ever! We figured that if you got a new coat, the protesters would spraypaint you as you walked out.

Estate sale
Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

The art museum was great. There was a brass sculpture that looked like a girl's back. I saw Hessian silverware that I would die to serve dinner upon. I marvelled at an armoire made in the early 1900s that looked like IKEA designed it. And I read a sign, in orange neon, that proclaimed FIVE WORDS IN ORANGE NEON. I wanted to take a photograph of it, but a security guard stopped me.

We all went to dinner at a fancy Thai restaurant called Typhoon! I started with ส้มตำ, a green papaya salad, which was absolutely fabulous. Then I got to indulge in a big bowl of duck curry with pineapple and cherry tomatoes and grapes. It was less savoury and more sweet, which was a pleasantly sticky surprise. A little more tart and a little less coconut cream and it would have been perfect!

I hung out with wealhtheow at a record store that was going out of business. Wealhþeow's theory is that their vinyl cost too much. But everything was on sale so I picked up two CDs, while she picked up one. Then we crossed the street to Powells, where I was doomed to buy too many books. I sat in the travel section for a while, when a couple came and asked to get to books on Canada. They pulled out a map and told me they were going to Victoria.
        "It's on an island," he said.
        "I know," I replied, "I'm Canadian."
They're going to get married there. I warned them about the rain.

Cruller chandelier of Life
Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

For dessert, we headed over to Voodoo Doughnut which was nestled in a nook between two clubs. I tried to get someone to marry me there, but nobody accepted my proposals. However, the night was enlivened by some grunge punks who came in from a show to buy some snacks. There was a brash lass who proudly displayed her cock and balls. I got her e-mail address.

Spider and I went to Wealhþeow's place, where we were supposed to watch I Huckabees. Instead, the two girls posted to LiveJournal. After they had their fix, we shared music with each other and I was the lucky recipient of a copy of How We Quit the Forest.

On the way back to Seattle, we stopped to have a cheap, tasty hamburger. Spider stopped at a real American diner by the side of the road, where we got out and each ordered deluxe burgers. They're deluxe because they have lettuce and tomato. I also got to say "small chocolate malt" which I haven't done in years. It came in a large cup.

Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

I got back in the air on Monday morning, where I was seated beside a husband and wife. This was vaguely unpleasant, as the wife was sitting in third-class when normally she flew first. Her husband seemed very nice and apologied for her brattiness. I expressed concern with my thirty-minute layover in Chicago, but he assured me that it was possible to run from one end of O'Hare to the other in six minutes. Then his wife mocked him.

I managed to run to my seat and sat beside a grandmother who seemed quite out of breath. It seems like she also ran to make her connecting flight from Denver. She flew a lot, so I asked her to help me clear customs, which she did. You know what the best thing about coming in Canada is? Seeing welcome signs that read "Arrivées/Arrivals".

It's nice to be home.


( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
26th Jan, 2006 07:24 (UTC)
You got back in the air Monday morning, you mean. :)

I love your photos.
26th Jan, 2006 07:27 (UTC)
Thank you!
26th Jan, 2006 07:43 (UTC)

Mon Dieu mais c'est vachement magnifique.

synikule and I passed by Mrs. Beesley's on our way up to Seattle today, and I recognised it from your photo! Now I want to stop there on our way back. :)
26th Jan, 2006 18:08 (UTC)
My meal was very tasty due to a confluence of factors:
1) The burger was authentic, cheap diner food.
2) The chocolate malt was a real chocolate malt. It was so thick it was impossible to drink!
3) Spider paid for my meal.

I highly recommend that you have Synikule pay for yours. It tastes way better that way!
26th Jan, 2006 08:14 (UTC)
I have "I heart Huckabees" on DVD somewhere around here, if you want to borrow it. Good movie.
26th Jan, 2006 18:12 (UTC)
That would be great! Thanks.
(Deleted comment)
26th Jan, 2006 18:09 (UTC)
No etch-a-sketches! That would have been great.

There's really no need for cocaine trays at this one. There's a glass surface wherever you look.
(Deleted comment)
26th Jan, 2006 18:29 (UTC)
Oh wait. There were trays! The yuppie water and the glasses sat on top of them.

If I ever fall into that kind of depravity, I'll remember you and your wonderful advice!
26th Jan, 2006 12:09 (UTC)
QFC = Quebec Fried Chicken? hehe....

Yeah, I get all chocked up (seriously!!) when I'm in the airport destined for Montreal and I hear people speaking french in the lobby. It's like, "*tear*, I'm coming home."

oh wow.. that thought has just made me want to go away for a very long time just so I can come back and get all genuinely teary eyed.
26th Jan, 2006 15:46 (UTC)
Oh boy. Yes. The time I found it struck me the most (it was jarring, but in a good way, if you know what I mean) was when I went to Norway for about 10 days a couple years ago. I had flown through Germany, which isn't so bad because I do speak some German. In Norway I was totally lost, but enough people there spoke English so it was OK. I also met hub_ there so I spent some time listening to relatively Parisian French.

But yeah, after a week and a half of that, I found myself lining up at the Air Canada gate in Frankfurt to fly home, and suddenly I heard Quebecois French being spoken all around me and I nearly fell down. But it was good. Funny that.
26th Jan, 2006 18:27 (UTC)
When I got on the plane in Chicago, all I heard was American. But when we arrived in Montréal, the passengers drowned out the crew with Québècois. I had to try very hard not to thank the pilot in French.
26th Jan, 2006 18:40 (UTC)
Ah, but you flew United, yes? Air Canada's pretty good about speaking the language when they're going someplace foreign. Not sure about United.
26th Jan, 2006 18:44 (UTC)
I did fly United. They were culturally insensitive. But they did have a nice new craft with wider seats and more legroom. It was almost comfortable!
26th Jan, 2006 18:16 (UTC)
It's glorious and exciting and exotic to go away; coming home, though, that's the best part.

You should take a trip. Why not?
27th Jan, 2006 01:29 (UTC)
QFC. We don't have them in Oregon but they are up in Washington State. Apparently pronounced KWIF-sea by locals.

I have been making enough travel to Victoria lately that I look forward to Overwaitea and RBC banks, and to Ottawa enough that I groove on the Byward market and even the immigration line with the seperate lines for non-residents and residents. And of course the handsome customs declaration forms in English on one side and French the other.
26th Jan, 2006 12:38 (UTC)
Chicago, customs and coming home
Chicago's a relatively nice airport. I usually recommend more than 30 minutes between gates not because of the time it takes to cross from one terminal to the other (Isn't that neon display between International and Domestic really cool?), but because of delays in the air. Chicago is so amazingly busy that it's not unheard of to spin in the air for 30minutes before getting landing clearance, by which time your gate is no longer free.

The airport there has pretty reasonably priced vegan snacks. And the top of each of the escalators in the United terminals are stands that sell dried fruit and nuts. Juice is easy to come by. It's among the best meals I've had in a US airport since going vegan. =)

I hear you about seeing the signs in English. Even when living in Vancouver, French is still everywhere - On the food, on postal trucks, etc.

I remember one particular trip where I'd had nothing but troubles. I'd had the border guards hassle me on the way down, had trouble with connections, got sick, yada yada. I went up to the Canadian officer and she just looked up at me, asked me the usual few questions, smiled and said "Welcome Home". It's always good to come back.

Jeff Bailey
26th Jan, 2006 18:33 (UTC)
Re: Chicago, customs and coming home
Chicago is so amazingly busy that it's not unheard of to spin in the air for 30minutes before getting landing clearance, by which time your gate is no longer free.

Lovely. I'm glad that I completely avoided that spectacle. In fact, even my luggage arrived! Albeit slightly tampered with. My stash of new CDs were all carefully unwrapped.

It's among the best meals I've had in a US airport since going vegan.

I've never had a meal in an aeroport and I hope never to resort to it. I'm unsure as to how I could get a good meal and I'm not vegan.
26th Jan, 2006 17:49 (UTC)
Yeah, It's always so nice to come home. I felt that way the day I got back from Paris.

Welcome Home...:)
26th Jan, 2006 18:11 (UTC)
That is my favourite thing to hear.
26th Jan, 2006 21:14 (UTC)
Ahh you're so sweet:)
26th Jan, 2006 21:18 (UTC)
That's my second favourite thing to hear!
27th Jan, 2006 18:11 (UTC)
Sorry that post saying you are so sweet was me, I forgot to log in:)
27th Jan, 2006 03:54 (UTC)
Dude. Don't be steppin' out in my turf again, unless you ask first... yo.

Seriously though, all those places are hold good memories for me... And if you get out there again, let me know, and I'll recommend a few choice venues and restaurants.
27th Jan, 2006 19:13 (UTC)
Man, you had your chance to object.

Do you have any haunts in San Francisco?
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )