I have now been living in Seattle for a little over three weeks now. It's already been one hell of an experience and I really look forward to what is in store for me in the weeks to come. But I figured it would be fun to make a list of some of the things I've learned thus far in my walks around the city and hours spent trying to get my computer to connect to the library wifi.
So here goes nothing:
1) Always wear boots.
I guess this should be obvious, but I'm the kind of girl who likes my shoes to slip on an off. Call me a hobbit, but I don't like wearing shoes if it can be avoided and therefore resent the time spent lacing and unlacing them, not to mention the fact that I don't like tracking whatever might be clinging to them into the house.
However, I have quickly learned that my canvas shoes just will not do when you can expect it to rain at least once a day. It only took me two times of walking home in my own personal puddles to convince me that my canvas shoes will have to be retired to trips downstairs to get my mail or do laundry.
2) Walks are fun!
Exercise is generally not my thing, even if it's just taking a walk. I prefer to spend my free time reading and, back home, taking a walk meant walking uphill to see another boring set of houses in the suburbs. Every walk in Seattle is an adventure, at least to me. I find new things every day and love learning the layout of my neighborhood and the city as a whole.
3) When using revolving doors, keep it one person to a compartment unless you know the other person.
Okay, that should be common sense, but it is something I learned and it was a mortifying three seconds of my life. Chances are, the revolving door compartments are too small for more than one person to fit in comfortably. When in doubt, wait for it to revolve. If you, like me, find yourself in a too small revolving door compartment, stay as close to the back part of it as possible and just do your best not to let the other person realize you're behind them. Also, don't step on their shoes.
4) Wifi is essential.
I tried not to get it. I didn't want to pay for something I could get for free at the library a few blocks away. I wanted to wait at least until I paid my first rent check and all the other bills that are going to come along with it at the end of the month. However, I quickly realized how essential wifi is to my daily life. When the wifi at the library decided it wasn't too fond of my Mac, I gave in pretty quickly. It was either that, or pay $6 a day to get a coffee and mooch off the Starbucks wifi for a few hours.
5) Only tourists use umbrellas.
This sounds like a dumb generalization or pointless cultural standard when you first move here. After all, Seattle is known for being inherently rainy. However, the longer you stay here, the more you realize just why most locals wear hoods instead of carrying umbrellas: the wind.
It's pretty windy over here, especially since we're right off the water. Carrying an umbrella means battling with a stringless kite or having the umbrella turn inside out and make sure you get just as wet as if you weren't carrying one in the first place. Ditch it and deal with the rain. You'll be just as wet without expending unreasonable effort.
These weren't in any particular order and probably aren't very insightful, but they're just a bit of what I learned . . . that and the fact that the vending machine downstairs only takes nickels and quarters for some incomprehensible reason. I figured it wouldn't hurt to share it with you.
Who knows what I'll find out next.