“To some extent, Seattle remains a frontier metropolis, a place where people can experiment with their lives, and change and grow and make things happen.” – Tom Robbins
When I had confirmation that I’d be living in Seattle I immediately set out to buy myself a pair of rainboots, that was right on top of my to-do list. The day after I landed in Seattle, I got a pair of rain boots for the sole purpose of wearing them at the farm where we got our pumpkins to carve for Halloween. I’ve used them one other time, the following year to pick out pumpkins again. In the year and a half I’ve lived here I’ve completely morphed into a Seattleite.
I find it completely hilarious when I speak to someone from South Africa and the first thing they ask is if I go to Starbucks every day or how do I manage my crazy long, thick hair in all the rain. Everyone fed me information about the rain in Seattle and their perception of this place almost made my beautiful city seem so terrifying.
Here’s a list of the Seattle I love:
PLEASE LEAVE THE UMBRELLA IN THE CAR:
Everyone is going to know you’re not from around here
THE RAIN WE SPEAK OF IS ACTUALLY A DRIZZLE:
New York gets more rain in a year than Seattle does, FYI. We might put on a lightweight raincoat for emergency purposes but mostly we go about our business and sometimes we don’t notice the tiny raindrops falling on our washed and straightened hair. We do get crazy showers and when we do, you kind of still just go about your business and completely ignore it.
YEAH, I’M WEARING THIS TO CHURCH:
Almost everyone in South Africa goes all out on a Sunday, it’s like a dinner party at 10am every Sunday back home. I loved going to my first church service in my dirty chucks and my jeans with holes in my knees – the best part was the pastor had on pretty much the same thing.
IT MAKES NO SENSE GOING UP THE SPACE NEEDLE:
Like New York has the empire state building, we have the space needle, the skyline is pointless without the space needle in the picture, and you have a 2 hour limit when having dinner at the top – save yourself the trouble and go up Columbia Center to the Sky View Observatory and you will be able to get the WHOLE city view with the Space Needle!
PIKE PLACE MARKET IS PRETTY COOL:
On like a Monday or Tuesday, when you don’t have to rub the shoulders of random strangers because it gets pretty crazy down there.
WE’RE FRIENDLY BUT WE DON’T WANT TO ACTUALLY BE YOUR FRIEND:
When I arrived in Seattle, every person I met had the friendliest personality. People talk to you on the bus and when you’re sitting at a cafe. After a while, you realize that they are JUST NICE and you shouldn’t expect anything else. I’ve never fit in more in one place than I have in Seattle. I will smile at every single person but honestly, I don’t want you to come over and be my best friend, I’m just naturally nice so just smile and go about your business – from a distance.
DON’T HATE ON OUR SPORTS TEAMS:
When I first attended a football game, I was clueless and confused but eventually I found myself doting over every game and yelling at the tv when I watched the boys play. Seattle has some of the best sports teams. 2011’s super bowl winners The Seahawks, our soccer team The Sounders and our baseball team The Mariners.
YOU DEFINITELY NEED TO KNOW HOW TO SWIM:
There is water EVERYWHERE. We’ve got Puget Sound on the west and Lake Washington on the east. The best part of the summers are the water activities available!
DON’T HESITATE WHEN THE LIGHT TELLS YOU IT’S SAFE TO CROSS THE STREET:
Seriously, this isn’t New York. When the light indicates that it’s time for pedestrians to walk, you can walk knowing you’ll make it to the other side alive and Seattle is so pedestrian friendly that you will find cars stopping in the middle of the street for you to walk across, we’re nice like that.
DIVERSITY IS ANOTHER WORD FOR UNITY:
My best friends are Japanese, Swedish and German, that pretty much sums up Seattle. Everyone interacts with everyone, we don’t have any little-segregated towns for your ‘kind’ to hang out like most cities. We have an international district and well, there really isn’t anything special about it. We don’t exclude up in the 206, really, though, we don’t.
WHO SHOPS AT WALMART!?
Walmart’s is great if you’re looking for a crazy laugh but we do our shopping at Fred Meyer and Target and we occasionally make a trip to Costco because we want to sample yummy food and buy a truckload of stuff and, honestly, Costco is just too fun not to go.
WE’RE ALWAYS CAFFEINATED:
Everyone in Seattle is on a caffeine buzz even though not everyone drinks coffee, like my host parents but you will see everyone guzzling down a can of coca cola, sometimes for breakfast – like Dave (host dad).
MUSIC IS SERIOUSLY, LIFE.
Legendary Jimi Hendrix and the beautiful Kurt Cobain are Seattleites but we are home to so many more musical talents and we hold some of the best musical events. There is always some band playing somewhere. There is literally no shortage of live music!
There is literally nothing better than Seattle summers, just the sight of the city with the sun rays kissing the skyline is the perfect day.
DOGS ARE SO LAST SEASON, GOATS ARE TOTALLY IN:
The first time I saw my neighbors walking their goats around the block I seriously thought I was hallucinating. Don’t drop your jaw when you meet a Seattleite complaining about Billy, his goat – there’s a joke in there, haha. Chicken coops are also totally normal so stay calm, some people like getting up and picking up their eggs from their backyard!
MOVIES ARE MADE HERE:
Ok, we aren’t just known for the psycho Mr. Grey and when I speak of the movies made here I am absolutely not even thinking of that one. One of my favorite movies was set here – 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU with the gorgeous Heath Ledger.
RECYCLE, ALWAYS RECYCLE.
Because you will get fined. When I went back to South Africa to visit I found it so difficult to not separate my compost from my garbage and to not throw my cans in a recycle bin. We have three types of disposals here and yes, you will get fined if you don’t put your junk in the correct place so get with the program!
WE HAVE THE MOST BIZARRE ATTRACTIONS:
Kind of like the gigantic troll (the Fremont troll) that lives under the north end of the George Washington Memorial Bridge and he’s holding an actual VW bug. It’s not such a huge spectacle but it’s so strange that you just have to see it for yourself or the gigantic wall of gum down at Post Alley! EW!
Seattle is definitely more than Starbucks and rain. This is one of the most beautiful cities and I’ve had the greatest opportunity to be acquainted with all she has to offer and she surely does cater for everyone. There is definitely no shortage of things you can do here, and if you do happen to run out of fun things to do there a plenty of surrounding areas in Washington State that has cool stuff to check out and I dare say Portland.