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Seattle Part 2: First impressions of the USA - By Jules Frints

Seattle, September 30, 2016

The American people also were very friendly. The longer we stayed, the more attention we attracted due to our stickers, wrapping and trucks, so every day another neighbor came to talk to us and were really interested.

The neighbor that really stood out from the rest was Barb, a woman from one street further: her garden touched ours. The first night, she came to bring us some fruits from her own garden, and she invited us for a barbecue on the next day. Of course this was an offer we couldn't refuse, and the third day we were at her house, where she made lasagne, and she and her husband, Larry, told us many stories. She then even offered us more: the rest of the group wouldn't fit in our rented house, so they could stay in her house, even for free! Again, we were in a country of great hospitality.

In the entire trip so far, from Eindhoven to Shanghai, through Iranian and Chinese traffic, we experienced chaotic traffic and many strange situations on the road. We had only one accident, though, which was Wave kissing a taxi in Iran. In the US, we were back in a culture where traffic rules were more important again. Driving seemed easy and safe here. Of course, that couldn't be less true: in the first few days a woman backed her truck into one of our fresh rental cars. Fortunately, the dent was small, and it is no obstacle.

Besides these impressions we got just working and living in and around our house in Federal Way, we also did a tiny bit of sightseeing. We took one evening to have dinner in the city and go to the most famous attraction in Seattle: the Space Needle. Not as high as the Shanghai Tower of course, but still a great view over the city, with all its airports and boats travelling tranquilly over the water. Some members of the group also grabbed the opportunity to add one more country to our passports: we went to Vancouver, Canada. A nice walk in Stanley Park and through downtown Vancouver, we headed back, unfortunately running into a more than one hour wait before the US border. That made the border crossing Canada-USA a longer one than Kyrgyzstan-Kazachstan! Of course, the time at the actual customs officer was much shorter.

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