For the first time ever, I’ve grown to like a place. I like it so much, it’s almost ‘home’, a term that I’ve never wanted to use for any place before, ever. Ironically, I’ve only spent one year here – the least amount of time in any place I’ve lived.
Maybe it’s because it’s such a perfect mix of the best things of every other place. The weather is like Coimbatore, but better (almost Ooty-like). I like in a super quirky part of town that feels just like Berkeley. There are so many lakes, they are a great beach-substitute, so I don’t miss Madras. There’s always something or the other happening, especially in the summer, and that reminds me of Bombay. There is also nothing that reminds me of Gurgaon, which is more a positive than anything else.
Maybe it’s all of the above, or maybe it’s some of it. I don’t know why, but I really like Seattle. I didn’t even realize it, and I fell for it. It’s super ironic that I realize this today, when I’ve just finished selling most of my stuff and I’m getting ready to relocate in 9 days.
I’ve lived in many places before, but nothing ever got under my skin like this. Seattle, I will miss you.
I was talking to someone at work (in India) and he was giving me an example which involved Cafe Coffee Day. Before I could say anything, he says, “Oh, so just so you know, CCD, Cafe Coffee Day is like Starbucks in India. They have cafes across the country and people can go there for coffee, snacks etc.” I would’ve interrupted if I could but by that point I was just shocked.
I’ve been in the US for all of 3 years. I spent my entire teens and early 20s in India. I was once the person who drove my friends so we could go to the grand opening of CCD in Coimbatore (and caused a giant traffic jam in the middle of RS Puram, but that’s a whole other story). And yet, I have now been abroad long enough that people naturally assume I won’t even know what that is.
I feel like a true NRI now.
Today, Seattle decided it was time to live up to its reputation of being rainy. It’s been drizzling through the evening. The first thing that made me feel like Gurgaon again was that buses were delayed, and the roads were packed. My regular bus home refused to take on more passengers because it was filled with people. The next bus that came by was relatively empty, so I hopped on. As always, I was busy reading when I suddenly heard people exclaim in surprise. Turns out the bus driver was super confused and he’d turned instead of going straight. This turn, was uphill. And the bus in question was one of those two buses for the price of one contraptions, with the rubber joint in the middle. At the risk of sounding click-baity, you will not believe what happened next.
The bus driver convinced traffic on the corner behind to stop. Then he attempted to reverse back into the road he came from, all accompanied by running commentary from the people sitting at the back. He nearly missed banging a car parked to the side of the road because his angle of turn was slightly off. And then he managed to go back onto the road he was supposed to be on. If you told me I’d see the day a jumbo bus reversed from a wrong uphill turn, I would’ve bet my life it would be a Gurgaon thing. Except, it just happened on Capitol Hill, in Seattle.
It almost makes me miss Gurgaon. Almost.
…you open your balcony doors, and the smell of pot wafts in. Gives a whole new meaning to the term ‘fresh air’!