The first hitch
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Where I stayed
Imagine Sunday morning, and imagine how excited I am to get traveling. I mean, I sometimes wet my trousers just thinking about my next meal, so this off the scale. Remember, I’ve just had a heavy night of debate with the elderlys mentioned above so my eyes are dropping off and the shot of espresso is having no effect on helping me stand up. But the adrenaline is rushing through my… blood stream? Is that biologically correct? …and I force myself to get out of bed at 9.30am. Excitement is contagious, and so I have already recruited my first disciple, Jess, the girl I was staying with. Mission: cross the border, and get to Seattle for under $10, preferably for free. We manage to get to the boarder- two and a half hour journey on public transport, whereby the driver was kind enough to let us on for free. I tell you what, if you ask enough questions these bus drivers think they are a tour guide and forget to collect the cash! True story! Anyway, we get to the boarder and Jess gives me one instruction. Approach before being approached. By that she means the American boarder agency are known for being, well, lets say, horrible. They approach you and try and intimate you to tears, if not suicide. But they cannot deal with extreme friendliness before they start this interrogation. It totally throws them off. So I was happy to engage in pointless convocations on, let’s say, the role of the boarder agency in preventing drug trafficking across the Mexican border, for example- and see how awkward can we make the officer feel. Take away their power and you take away their dignity. But I digress.
So we venture across the border, and after inflating a huge story about how we plan to catch a coach at the next town to Seattle, I stick a sign on my bag saying 'Anywhere toward Seattle please’ and start walking toward the motorway. Within two minutes of passing a service station, and without yet having to stick out my thumb, I have an idea. I remember my mum, at Manchester airport, reminding me to always ask for things you think will never get. I mean, when she said it, it was beyond embarrassing because it was said just after a short firm healthy debate with the flight company to get me a free upgrade- which she failed to achieve- and probably meant I got possibly the worst seat on the plane and spit in my meal. So, I walk up to a man in his truck, noticing he has his wife, child, mother and mother in law in the back, and I say ‘You can totally say no, but if you’re heading to Seattle could my friend and I get a lift?’ But there’s one thing that I have realized and it’s the key to my success in this traveling game. Americans can’t say no to your face! It’s seriously true, and so, just as I predicted ‘Yes, sure… as long as your not a terrorist’. A terrorist? This is direct quote! Apparently the blond hair gives it all away. Well, besides this the family were extremely lovely and had their head screwed on. They talked all the way about their religion- Bahai- and it made a lot of sense, so we had a good discussion. Only one problem. This truck didn’t have opening windows, and no air-con. Oh, did I add it was 89 degress Fahrenheit- sorry I’ve no idea what that means but all I know is that even the air tasted hot. But it was ok, I got over it after the second hour.
So the only expense of the trip was when I got dropped off at a park and ride outside Seattle- on the Microsoft campus- and the bus to downtown was $2.50. $2.50 guys!! We did well!! Not pleased I’ve set the bar so high though, I’m not sure the rest of the travels will go this well.
So whilst in Seattle I’ve gone to Marshill church which was good. Good preach by Pastor Mark Discoll, maybe a bit long on reflection. Different music, not very in touch with the crowd but it sounded good. The smoothest part was the way they change the lighting during prayers so no one notices. It was like one surprise after another when you open your eyes! Then I met a homeless guy on the street, maybe around age 17, so I was surprised to see him looking so rough. But were hopefully having lunch tomorrow so I’ll give you an update on the history of that one. And now I’m with Spencer Rothwell, my second host. Very good so far, I feel very settled in.
So a catch up on itinerary- I am in down town Seattle until Wednesday and then in the sticks (a small town outside of Seattle) for a week after that. I was challenged in church today, and so I might also report on a bit of that sometime soon. We’ll see how much internet access I get over the next few days.