My cellphone rang……………….it was HG. “I’m lost” he says. It was lunch time and he had spent his first morning at work but had decided to come home (our hotel) so that we could Uber into the Social Security office to get our social security numbers. The SS number is needed to open a bank account so that my shopping money (just kidding), HG’s wage can be paid. I walk to the corner of the street so he can see me and I spot him in the distance walking towards me coming from the opposite direction of his office! He had overshot our hotel by 10 minutes’ walk or so.
Without a doubt it will take us a while to get our bearings – there are so many trees here (4.35 million in fact) the roads are lined with them so one street looks much like another in our neck of the woods. It’s an urban forest. Most common are Red Alders, Big Leaf Maple, and Beaked Hazelnut – all natives so it’s very beautiful. Amazingly they take 725 metric tons of pollution from the atmosphere annually!
We had arrived in Seattle the night before and had got lost at the airport too. We soon got familiar with the place though after spending half an hour trying to find our Uber ride which we had booked to take us to the hotel. The driver said he was waiting on level 2 but all that was on level two where locked and parked cars – no pick up point. We ran between floors, over road walkways, through pick up points, up lifts, down lifts, and around taxi stands looking for our Uber driver. Eventually I spotted a bloke looking like he might be needing an Uber too and followed him – sure enough he walked not more than 200 metres from where we were to the Uber stand! By that stage I had managed to lose HG and he had no idea where I had gone – I could see him though way in the distance looking around for me, and after a few minutes of waving my arms about he spotted me and wandered over. I felt quite clever and knew then that my first shopping spree was to be well earned.
Breakfast on our first morning was a challenge. Having gotten to our hotel so late the night before our kitchen cupboards where bare – literally. Not only did we have no food (understandably) but we also had no jug, cutlery, bowls, pots, glasses, saucepans etc. – a quick visit to reception and hunter gatherer returned with the necessities. We did have though an iron board (but without a cover), an iron, a fridge, a microwave, and 4 coat hangers. We also had a few “extras”. A plastic bag which I found between the duvet and the sheet when I hoped into bed, a plastic bag which I found in the drawer I put my clothes in, and a hair stuck to the blow dryer in the bathroom. I’m guessing cleaning is not big on their priority list. So anyway being breakfast time we set off at 7.30am to find somewhere that sold coffee and toast, alas what we found instead was that cafes don’t open much before 10am. Trader Joes looked inviting though (it was freezing) so we popped in and luckily over in the corner was a staff member with pots of coffee – yay! Still feeling clever from the night before I went over, money at the ready and asked how to purchase coffee – do I pay at the counter, or up at the checkout etc. She was so lovely and said no this is just a coffee sampling table, but please help yourself to a coffee. We must have looked cold and slightly homeless because she insisted. It was really good coffee; I must buy that brand……………………when I get a coffee pot.