Last weekend, Mindy and I went to Seattle (or “the Coast” in local vernacular) to pick up a load of stuff and visit family. I grew up on the west side of the state. I identify strongly as a west-sider. And we just moved from Seattle only three months ago. But apparently, it didn’t take me long to grow acclimated to a slower lifestyle out here — enough so that a quick trip to Seattle showed me how much I’d changed.
Things I noticed that I had taken for granted when living on the west side that riled me up last weekend:
- Once you hit about Ellensburg, everyone starts passing you on the right. Don’t do this! It’s dangerous!
- Parking is routinely >$10. Or, what’s more absurd — you have to pay to leave your car somewhere. Or, if you do find cheap/free parking, you will walk half an hour to wherever it is you wanted to go in the first place.
- Money disappears awfully fast. Probably partly because of the parking issue. Also the fact that coffee costs $3.00 and up. And it’s so dark all the time that you always need coffee.
- The PACE. I used to live in this, thrive in it even … I don’t know how to describe it. It’s just this feeling that you should always be on the move, there’s always someplace to be, time is wasting, go go go. Feels a lot like an organizer’s life, but writ large. This also fuels the need for coffee and energy drinks.
Don’t get me wrong, I know this sounds like a lot of complaining. It’s exactly the kind of thing I would have mocked when I lived in Seattle. But going back to Seattle was a little bit like reverse culture shock for me. I do think part of it has to do with the fact that it was a holiday weekend, we had an agenda, and time was limited. And I’m sure that after some time to acclimate, I’d do fine in Seattle again. I did before.
I’m glad to be out in the country though. I like the slower lifestyle. It just feels right for me at this point in my life.
Even if I don’t get to do this in the country:
One thought on “Thoughts After Visiting “The Coast””
Wow, that was an eye opener for both of you, and from reading, for me too. I sat and thought about what you said. Agreeing, yes, it was a holiday weekend and the last weekend of “real” summer so everyone is trying to get all their fun things for the last of the year. If I remember, it was nice and sunny, so you would have lots of people out enjoying all the things to do. I understand what you are saying, I just don’t have the benefit of seeing it through your eyes. Maybe I will at some point in time. I am glad that you noticed the change, I think it makes you a real “Eastern-side” person now. Wait ’till you start your new job, and get even more into what the people are doing, seeing, and thinking. The world is full of many wonderful people. Remember that, and if some day you find yourself standing still while everyone is running around you, remember that in that crowd there are one or two couples wishing for the life you and Mindy share now.