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Seattle Part 1: Arrival and preparations - By Jules Frints

Seattle, September 26, 2016

As the first of us already arrived in Seattle on the 26 th of September, and we left on the 4th of October, Shanghai and Seattle are the cities we stayed the longest. This blog post gives a short overview of our experience in Seattle.

September 26 th, we left Shanghai, and after a 2 hour flight to Seoul, a 6 hour transfer and another 10 hours in the airplane, we arrived in Seattle only a few hours after we took off from Shanghai. We not only moved through some time zones again, we now crossed a datum border as well! So the time and date we were in Seoul were exactly the same as the moment we picked up our rental cars in Seattle.

Rental cars? Yes, rental cars. We left our dear vans in Shanghai, for transport by boat to our homeland. Therefore, in the USA we use some rental cars, and two small trucks as convoy vehicles. The rental cars we picked up at the airport, and the next day we fetched the rental trucks and took them to the wrapper, for a full STORM-look. There we also got stickers for the cars. As you know, we have a lot of partners, which implies we had to put on a lot of stickers as well, taking some days actually before completion.

That first day, we arrived with a group of seven team members, the second day another shift arrived, so they had to be picked up from the airport. Together, we had to prepare for the USA part of the tour, while the part of group in Shanghai finished the last things there. In Seattle, the trucks had to be prepared: we mounted a nice workbench and built in mounting points for charging stations and cargo. The motorcycles arrived by airfreight, so they had to be taken from the airport and insured! Planning for the coming days and arrangements for the USA-part had to be taken care of as well. The shipment batteries we sent before we left by ship from the Netherlands arrived as well, so we had to open all these to set the switch in ON-position, and out of transportation mode. Unfortunately, the major part of the cargo from Shanghai was released by customs not before Monday 3 October.

Working on our preparations in Seattle was different than before, luckily. We stayed in a house in the city of Federal Way, just south from Seattle. The view from the house was great, we were back in a more western culture and the air quality was just so good! Although China was great, this really felt as a relief. We worked, but at a different pace.

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