Seattle, WA -- July 25 & 26, 2007

Seattle was cold. At least in the beginning of the day. After putting my bag in storage at the hotel I had to go back for my hat, scarf, gloves and jacket. I rolled down my jeans. I felt like I was back in San Francisco…though people have been saying the weather there has been beautiful.

I stayed at the Moore Hotel. It was pure luck that I got a cheap room just a few blocks from the Greyhound station. I'd called the city hotel hotline and was told the best they could do was $300 for a room in a neighboring city.

I have a confession to make. In the coffee capital of our country, I drank this: decaf from a Folger's tea bag. It was an accident. I don't know how it happened. I was at Turf, a dive where they expect you to pay before you eat and there are (rusty) perfume dispensers in the bathroom. I didn't understand how they worked and got a squirt in the eye.

Ever since I'd arrived in Seattle I was famished. At Turf I ate a steak and then had to order a cheeseburger, too. The night before, at twelve-thirty a.m. after checking into the hotel I'd had to wrestle with a cook at a Jamaican reggae bar to convince him to cook me something. We settled on curried goat. (The next day, I stopped a married couple from arguing about the two giant bags of frozen goat meat the husband had bought in Lake City. The wife was hitting him over the head with her purse. I interrupted and told them it wasn't bad.)

The beauty of Seattle wasn't in its coffee, or even in its food, it was this: Everyone had a book in their hand. The only difficulty was trying to decide who I should talk to.

In leaving Seattle, the bus was sold out. I squeezed in on standby, but this taught me something--get a ticket immediately after getting into town. Also, it's a good idea to have something that I can put in the lineup of bags (other than my bag with my laptop) at the departure door to reserve my spot. Greyhound passengers don't stand in line. They leave their bags in line, sometimes three hours or more before departure because, even among the ticketed passengers, there is no guarantee you'll get a seat and it’s those who are first in line who do. Greyhound is not always gracious enough to call out an extra bus and driver.

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