Road Trip II Day 5

These are getting boring, huh? I’ll try to wrap it up. I don’t really have any new reflections, just stuff we did so it shouldn’t take that long.

Thursday we went back down to Seattle from Vancouver. It took significantly longer to cross the border going to the U.S. Part of it was the time of day (we entered Canada quite late at night). But they seemed a little more strict also, although not for us. There’s some interesting stuff at the border, like flags on each side made of flowers for each country. Also some sculpture like thingy that had interesting stuff on it. If I recall correctly, it was Biblical, stuff about brotherhood and such. We also got some choice footage where half of us in the car are in Canada and half of us are in the U.S.

Henry wanted to take pictures so we went to a random Sears in Seattle. The pictures were all right but one was hilarious. We took a “fun” picture, and as you know, these picture tend to not be fun. But this was. Andrew’s holding a big #1 thing and looking grim, Henry has I think a birthday cake? Not sure. Basically we’re all holding random props they had there and I’m decked out in a cap and gown. It’s absolutely hilarious.

While in Sears me and Dave both had to take a dump so we went to the bathroom. I don’t know if you’ve had this experience but sometimes you can hold a #2 for a pretty long time, but then when you feel like you’re close to being able to release it gets way more urgent in a hurry.

That happened to us. We went up to the bathroom and there was but one stall that was occupied. I was dying. I contemplated going to the women’s bathroom but decided against it. Anyway, the guy finished and Dave somehow maintained control enough to let me go first. So I did.

I should mention that I was constipated for a lot of the trip. I don’t really know why, but I was. This was, I think, about the first real dump I had on the trip. And it was nowhere near satisfying. I had way more to go but it would have taken a good half hour to get everything right so I just did enough to stem the tide.

But apparently I was killing Dave. I took a while to begin with. The thing is, I wipe a lot. Don’t ask me why, I just do. So, when Dave heard me reach for the paper, he was relieved – his time was imminent. But then he heard me go for a second. And then a third. And then I don’t know how much more and he was apparently dying.

Then finally I flushed. But apparently I wasn’t coming out fast enough or something, because Dave starts talking to me, “stop tucking in your shirt!” I guess he had reached close to the point of no return and it seemed like I was taking my time zipping up, buckling, and grooming myself while he was writhing outside in agony. But yeah, I thought it was pretty funny.

Anyway, John had to leave early so we went to the Seattle-Tacoma airport to drop him off. John is just about the busiest man in the world so don’t try to schedule stuff with him. He won’t have time. Both road trips he had to go back early for something or other. I dunno, it was a little sad because as soon as he left, the flavor of everything changed a bit. It was still fun of course, but it would have been nice to have John there the whole time.

After we dropped John off we went to Bruce Lee’s grave. Andrew had gotten info about this apparently from some Brandon Lee website. I had all these plans to take pictures in various kung-fu (and/or jeet kune do) poses. But when we got there, I dunno, it was weird. It was a cemetery, you know? It just felt a bit more solemn and sad.

The gravestone was interesting, just like the one in Dragon but a different picture. Brandon’s stone was right next to it and this one was incredible. Just, a very expensive, fancy stone. It wasn’t in a particularly special place so it took a little bit of time to find it but we did, and I believe three other groups of people also came when we did.

If you think about it, that’s a lot of people for a random Thursday. What is it about Bruce Lee that attracts so many people? Only one other group was Asian; one was white, the other was Indian. I don’t know, it’s very interesting. I honestly didn’t know quite what to do. Do I pray? Meditate? Pay homage in some way? I dunno. I was really excited to go there and had all these plans but being there just felt solemn and a bit strange and that’s the feeling I left with. Growing up in America, I just don’t think I know how to deal with non-Christian death.

After that we saw Seattle. I personally had a great time in Seattle. A blast. I could easily imagine myself living there, and I’ve continued to think about it since then. I’m still thinking about it. It was clean, nice, stuff to do, great weather, great outdoorsy type stuff, just ideal. Like I mentioned, if you could mix Seattle with Richmond, that’s the most perfect place I know.

First stop: Space Needle. Here’s a random fact by the way. The Space Needle, like a lot of places, had Seattle Mariners gear. What was random was that like a lot of places we saw, it had team gear, and the only individual gear it had was for Ichiro. I guess for the Asian tourists? I’m not sure. But yeah, very frequently, The only individual player’s stuff they’d have was Ichiro’s. I thought that was interesting.

For some reason I remember the banter thing Dave was talking about differently. We did it at the Space Needle first as I recall. We were asking about discounts, like AAA discounts (because Grouse Mountain did have such a discount, as did the suspension bridge). I can’t remember who asked, I think it was me, but someone asked if there was a discount for being good looking.

The response (to me) was priceless. She did a quick laugh but then quickly turned serious again and said “no”. Dunno if Dave read it this way but I could tell exactly what she was thinking: “Even if there was a ‘good-looking’ discount, you guys wouldn’t get it.” I thought it was funny.

Anyway, the Space Needle was pretty cool, a nice way to get introduced to the city of Seattle. We’re all pretty cheap so since we spent all that money to get up there, we all wanted to get our money’s worth. So, I read every single thing there, all the stuff on the wall, and all the maps and stuff like that which match up pictures with locations pointed out to the view outside. Andrew spent a good half hour filming views of Seattle from every part of the needle.

Also saw some random stuff there. Like, there was a wedding while we were there. Also, saw another couple renew their vows. I listened for a bit and it was interesting. They were from Fremont, an Asian guy and a Caucasian woman, and had apparently been married 3 years ago. What they were doing apparently was renewing their vows in a different state each year. I think they had done Grand Canyon last year, and this year was Space Needle. Henry thought it was lame, but I thought it was kind of nice. Dave worried about when they started having to hit the dry states like West Virginia.

Seattle has a monorail, which connects where the Space Needle is to this area more in the downtown area. There’s this great Simpsons episode where this huckster comes in and sells Springfield on the idea of a monorail to solve all their municipal worries. There’s a great song to it. So of course I wanted to ride the monorail. As it turned out, there was good reason to and we ended up riding it roundtrip twice.

So from the Space Needle we went I think downtown. We headed toward I think Pike street, the Pike Place market area, where the first Starbucks was. That was also interesting. It was closed at the time, but what caught me was the logo. It’s nothing like the logo you see on Starbucks now. It’s a lot more vulgar than that. It’s a topless mermaid holding something or other. It’s not clear what it is, but some of us (not me) thought it looked like she was spreading her legs. Whatever it is, it’s weird.

Check it out for yourself:

Of course, they’ve cleaned up the logo considerably:

I thought that was interesting. How the heck did this one random coffee shop become the international juggernaut it is today? I’ll have to read about it sometime.

We ate at some oyster place down by there that was quite good. Me and Dave had an oyster each. Can you remember the first time you had a raw oyster? I think I do. Now that I think of it, it was a random collection of people. Jonathan Ha, Andrea Kim, Esther Seo, and myself. Random.

Seafood in general is maybe an acquired taste. I dunno. I used to hate it growing up, except for shrimp, salmon and some other fish. I’m talking mostly shellfish I used to hate. But now I love it. The turnaround for me was a summer in Portugal. We were forced to eat a lot of seafood for a few meals and we were trained to accept everything gladly. And in truth, it was all really good. Anyway, I’m digressing.

I forgot to mention something that irked me. We had originally decided on some other restaurant, but when we went up there we saw that it was Mexican food. Or so I remarked. And then this woman who was walking down the stairs says to me, in the most pretentious, obnoxious manner imaginable, “It’s not Mexican food. It’s South American food.” Something like that. Maybe Salvadorenan food? Can’t remember. But she said it like I was some uneducated uncouth caveman who had just learned to walk upright. Is the Northwest all that pretentious? I was literally stunned.

That night we watched Rush Hour 2.

OK, maybe I’m a snob or whatever, but I don’t know. I just don’t get what people find so funny a lot of the time. In Rush Hour 2, people were laughing like mad. It was amusing, sometimes. But a lot of the time I had no idea what they were laughing about. Maybe it’s just me.

Anyway, I really didn’t like Rush Hour 2, and the more I think about it, the less I like it. Part of it was, it was a terrible theater. The picture wasn’t great and the sound was horrible. That was a big part of it, I think. But yeah, the movie wasn’t that funny for me. And there was not a single good fight scene. I’m willing to overlook a lot with Jackie Chan movies (I saw a truly horrible one last night, Master With Cracked Fingers, made in 1971, where they spliced together random unused footage from some Chan movies with scenes with random actors to make an 80 minute movie. Dubbed, with picture quality worse than VHS. Truly terrible. But, they had a few cool fight scenes so it was OK.) as long as it has good fight scenes. This had none, and the ones it did have were shot horrendously. I really disliked this movie.


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