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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Coffee, Trolls, and Seattle Antics

The Space Needle as viewed from Volunteer Park.

Seattle is not the cheapest city to visit, and I'm trying to do this project on a budget. Fortunately I had friends I could rely on for transportation and a couch for sleeping.  They were also very cool about helping me run around and experience Seattle.

One of those friends raises alpacas!

I skipped the Space Needle since here are plenty of nice views available for free.  When the sky was clear, the colors were remarkably vibrant.  Crayola has nothing on Puget Sound.  I joked that I wanted it to rain during my visit or I wouldn't be getting the full Seattle experience.  When the rain finally came, it was accompanied by a wind storm that dropped giant trees on cars and left us without power for a day.  Others fared much worse.  Having survived the Ent Attack of 2015, I stopped joking about the rain.  I still felt completely free to mock the Fremont Troll, though.

It's a troll, eating a car, under a bridge.  Because of course it is.

Felicia Day was in town.  My friend's poor luck meant he wouldn't be using his tickets, so I got the chance to meet her.  It's hard for me to articulate why I like Felicia Day so much.  I find her work entertaining.  It doesn't hurt that she has built this online community based around what she loves, all without the benefit of a celebrity family or being born into money.  Nope, no reason at all why a novice blogger like myself might like Felicia Day. She kindly signed my... whatever you would call this thing.


When visiting Seattle it is almost required to go to a Starbucks, since that's where it all got started.  One of my English students in Korea, a girl by the name of Luna, gave me a Starbucks gift card on the last day of class.  It's certainly a thoughtful gift for any soon-to-be jet lagged recipient, and the Korean Starbucks assured me I could use it in America. This turned out not to be the case.  So instead, I just looked like a doofus in a Starbucks. Which, for someone whose usual order is "candy that you drink and it keeps you awake," that's not a particularly unusual condition.

"Yeah, I'm going to order.  I just gotta take a picture of my gift card in front of the other gift cards."

Even though I was trying to limit expenses wherever possible, I did splurge on a ticket to the EMP Museum.  It's a museum dedicated to music and science fiction.  Not music IN science fiction.  It's two separate things.  The giant screen playing Michael Jackson videos is next to the Star Wars costuming exhibit.  You could say the museum has a little bit of a personality disorder.  It was a lot of fun, but I learned the disheartening reality that my knowledge of sci-fi weapons is not what I thought it was.

I don't know about you, but I couldn't name very many of these.

Everyone told me I absolutely had to go to Pike Place Market.  They also said the main attraction was seeing people throw fish.  I saw plenty interesting shops selling everything from antiques to novelty puzzles to literally profanity-inducing fruit and even seafood, but I could not find a single projectile sea creature.  My legs were tired from exploring and I was ready to call it a day.  I looked over at my friend, who seemed to feel the same since he was no longer swearing about delicious peaches and was sitting down to rest.  I told him, "I don't think we're going to see any fish throwing.  I think it's a prank Seattle residents play on visitors.  They tell everyone to see the fish throwing just so the tourists go around looking like idiots."

Tourists do not need help looking like idiots.  We do it just fine on our own.

As soon as I said that, the workers in the fish shop behind me started tossing a fish around.  But I didn't get a picture!  I'm leaving it as an exercise to the reader to figure out if I actually did see fish throwing, or if I just decided to join the Seattle prank and help spread false rumors of aerial fishmongering.

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