Today is the first day it has rained since I’ve been here. And it really only rained for a couple of hours, just drizzle, nothing too serious. I take that to be a good sign. This week, other than being cold, was absolutely beautiful! We had quite a few sunny and clear days. Even in the winter, this city is beautiful. I live on a ridge, right smack in between the Cascade Mountains and the Olympic Mountains. On the clear days, when I’m walking the couple of blocks to my bus stop, I have a grand view of the snow capped mountains that surround me, and it is beyond breath taking. I keep thinking to myself, “How is this my life? How am I this lucky?”
After only two weeks in, I am already falling in love with this city. I have to admit that while I have loved every place I have lived, I have never loved a city. In the past, it has always been about the relationships formed, the experiences I’ve had in the various Southern states I’ve lived in. But here, before relationships have yet formed, I have already connected to this city. I can’t explain it properly. There is just a…spirit to this city that I’ve connected with. I don’t know any other way to describe it. I can’t lay my finger on what it is that make Seattle so wonderful.
Seattle is so many things that Hong Kong is not – in a good way. While I adored my time in Hong Kong, I DID NOT like the city itself. It was smelly, crowded, polluted, hot. Seattle smells like coffee and lavender. I don’t know yet what the population is here, but I have not once been pushed of the sidewalk or run into someone’s back because of the crowds. I can walk down the sidewalk and look around and breathe.
It would seem that everyone here has a dog! The majority of the people I see walking around my neighborhood are walking their dog(s). And every one smiles at each other, whether they know each other or not, as they pass by. When people get off the bus they thank the bus driver. And are sincere about it! It is Southern hospitality at it’s best! It is said that Seattle has the cleanest air in the country, and I believe it. I have not once blown my nose and it come out black (as it did nearly EVERY day in Hong Kong). It makes walking so much more enjoyable.
One thing that is similar between Hong Kong and Seattle though, which I am thankful for, is diversity. The women who come to the center range all ages, economic statuses, sexualities, races and religions. I can walk down two blocks and pass 5 restaurants from various ethnicities. And it isn’t just Chinese food here, they have Schezwan. It isn’t just Indian. It is Pakistani and Bangladesh. There is Santa Fe and then there is Mexican. And there is no lack of Greek restaurants. Where do I start?
I could go on and on (not just about the food, because I haven’t even started on the local foods!), but I just wanted to say that I’m comfortable here. I feel like I fit in. I honestly cannot say that I have ever felt this way about a location before. It makes me excited for the relationships that will surely come as I continue to settle in.