18 September 2008
Seattle - Tacoma
Here we enjoyed some nice hot weather and geared up for friend Sean's (nee Xiao) wedding, which was of a decidedly relaxed nature. To wit:
“What if we don't get the dress for the second flower girl?”
“Oh, we'll just tell her she's not in the wedding.” (The dress arrived on time.)
I also had a rude reintroduction to driving (by proxy – the DC DMV wouldn't renew my license). We stayed at a hotel further from town, only to spend the savings on petrol, while missing at least half the turns and on-ramps we should have taken. This theme reached its nadir when we made an interminably slow 5 hour journey to Vancouver (again, traffic and routes colluded against us), spent 1½ hours there (it's pretty), and drove back. It was my highest ratio of journey time to destination stay since my star-crossed boat ride to Timbuktu. At least the en route dim sum and tea beat seven days of rice & fish and river water.
I was reunited with Fatou Jallow in Tacoma, which is not highly regarded in Seattle. We visited the “bridge of glass” (actually a bridge with some glass features above it), the Park Way (one of two Tacoma bars on Esquire's list of America's top 50 bars) and met with a bumper sticker saying “I pray. Get use [sic] to it.”
In Fatou's cute little African coffee table book of I came across a woefully mis-captioned picture:
“Senegalese street vendors sell fruit in front of striking ocher-painted buildings.”
At most these men were holding down the fort while the female vendor was off attending to another task. They are probably just chewing the fat.
In Seattle we went on an interesting tour of the underground – I had not realised that the city was built on top of old structures and streets that were not sufficiently above the flood/tide plane/plain. I also led Vic and Adam on what Adam described as a “rattan death march”, as is my wont when visiting new cities.
The wedding was a nice outdoor affair, although outboard motors obscured the vows. The ring bearer was a little discombobulated, the legacy perhaps of being lifted through a chandelier by his new uncle (though X had the scar to show for it).
I've forgotten the lovely couple's song, but the DJ made some curious selections during the sit-down portion of the reception. These included “White Flag” (about unrequited love) and “Hotel California” (as one of our friends at the high school table noted, “You can check in any time you like, but you can never leave.”). We had a fun time dancing (aside from Xiao's dad, Ning's mum and a random couple we were the only ones on the floor) until I had to catch my flight east to begin my journey back to Edinburgh.