March 20th, 2008

What's So Different About Washington State (Olympia, Seattle)

1. Cars respect pedestrians, sometimes waiting, standing still, for them to cross so that they can go- the same game pedestrians usually play with cars in the East.
2. Biking everywhere and bussing everywhere is the norm. Some busses have bike racks built into the front.
3. "All natural" is the norm. Organic, local, and Oregon-grown are only slightly atypical.
4. Strong Native American influence in art, names, racial make-up of populace.
5. Boys are hotter. Punk and goth are alive and kicking because they do not care if it's "over." Therefore, boys are hotter. Much fist-biting and awkward looking away over here.
6. Grunge is still thought of as an old hero, even though everyone knows it's "dead."
7. Giant fucking volcano nearby, you know? Yeah, that one.
8. Most wage-slaves don't act it. They generally are friendly or at least neutral, as opposed to the absolutely miserable people who seem like they would rather die than do any more work at those wages. Min wage here is $8.15/hour.
9. Strangers get into conversations more.
10. These conversations are more likely to pass racial boundaries (almost never see this in the East.)
11. If these conversations are mean, they are a tempered mean: angry shouts of insults for five seconds, then walk on past. In NYC, a fist fight or a racial slur fest might start. Here, it's a rolling of the eyes and a walking away instead.
12. Sarcasm, not ironic what-which-way-is-real, is the norm.
13. All the plants are fucking GREEEEEEEN.
14. Lichen covers a lot of plants, moss covers a lot of roofs.
15. Did I mention boys are hotter?
16. Hobos friendlier. Sometimes a little too friendly, this can get annoying and awkward, really.

I am definitely going to live here some day. Maybe for undergrad, maybe for grad, maybe for career. But someday, this will be my residence.

Written on a computer at the Green Tortoise Hostel in Seattle, right by Pike's Place market...
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