Updates

SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE.

(check out how pop-cultural I am being~)

Anyway, um. It’s around 4.36 PM in Seattle at the moment, and I’m sitting on my bed in a room at the Holiday Inn Renton. It’s still Thursday here; it’s pretty cool because I got on the plane Thursday morning and nearly 16, 17 hours later, I arrive in Seattle and it’s still Thursday morning (: I’m stopping over in Seattle because there was no direct or stopover flight from Singapore to Victoria or Vancouver when I ordered, and we’re staying here for a few days to buy my winter wear and look around a bit, I guess, before we take a ferry to Vancouver Island and rent a car to drive down to my school.

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On to the more exciting things!

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Two very drunk people & me (: ♥ Both of them were quite ridiculous and high and sleepy –  heard my parents speaking to me in Chinese and she proceeded to ask me you speak Cantonese to your parents? how cool! so  and I ceaselessly made fun of her subsequently whenever she spoke Chinese by going omg Ruifen you speak Cantonese so well! and it’s a testament to how sleepy we all were that we found that uproariously funny even after the first time.

(My eyes are obviously uneven in size here.)

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And here you can’t see my eyes at all. My parents \o/ My sweater has utterly lost shape.

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THIS! Is the safety video narrator. She’s hilarious. Her face is utterly unrealistic.

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This is another one of the funny people in the safety video. I find Delta Airlines infinitely more charming than SIA’s entirely too put-together veneer. These are real people! (Well, maybe not plastic-woman there, but the air stewardesses were all chatty and friendly and barely professional.)

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I’m somehow intrigued by the mention of ‘federal regulations’. This concept of governance – I mean, we debate government systems and all, but that actual execution is a lot more nuanced and widely impactful than we realize, I think. There’s a lot of emphasis on personal responsibility, underpinned by the assumption, I think, that people are basally intelligent and deserve to make their own choices.

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I quite like the inclusion of that phrase “You do not have to explain why.” Preemptive disclaiming of legal responsibility by the airline or assertion of individual rights, it’s – telling, the fact that they choose to state it explicitly.

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THIS, lol. Gosh, such a felony. I’m not sure, I was reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers on the plane and Singapore was mentioned a few times, which is funny; I’ve always felt like I gained more knowledge about Singapore from external references to it. In any case, an impression that I’ve somehow gotten and am still trying to verify is that many countries, including / especially America, is actually stricter and more inflexible with their laws and rules than Singapore, in reality. I’m not really sure why I think that way either, but. The fact that they actually emphasized that too.

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Um. This – I felt like I should take a photo to remember, I guess. After the flight, I started reading the last of my letters and my face basically crumpled while the plane’s engines gunned on the incline upwards and thank god the lights were switched off for take-off, though you can’t tell from the photo.

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\o/ This is the guy I sat next to on the plane. EXCITED FACE but it’s quite a lousy photo; nerves. Somehow, my seat was shifted from the original one I was assigned to and I ended up sitting in those seats next to the emergency exits, with this guy (no, I don’t actually know his name; we never got around to exchanging them, oops) and we exchanged some words of greetings at the beginning but I think I missed whatever cue it was at the beginning to start a non-committal conversation because I was still a bit like :l Then we both started Doing Other Things so there was no chance but I was like IF I DON’T START NOW I’M NEVER GOING TO ): and I took advantage of the brief period after inflight entertainment was turned off and before we actually landed to ask (well, oh yeah, I was only more intrigued because he told the flight attendant he’s Canadian so I was like :D instead of merely :) and I really wanted to ask where he was from.

So I did, at the end, and it was exciting because well, he’s from Toronto (EMBARRASSINGLY I MISPRONOUNCED THIS THE FIRST TIME I TRIED, WTF. MY ENGLISH BASICALLY DIES IN SHAME HERE, BECAUSE EVERYONE IS SO PRETTY AND SPEAKS SUCH PRETTY ENGLISH I’M LIKE … WHAT DO I EVEN SAY AND I GET NERVOUS AND EVERYTHING COMES OUT ENUNCIATED WRONGLY AND I AM JUST D< D: /o\ but I guess. I’ll get used to it. And hopefully improve to stop failing. One of my worst memories in London was telling this guy at a B&B there that I lived there instead of stayed and I caught the guy asking the reception, she lives here? in this puzzled tone and OMG ): )  In any case, it got pretty cool after that because I asked him what he was doing after, if he was still schooling (he looked young enough! but he’s actually 27) and then he said no, and he came from a month’s long kayaking trip in Thailand, so my face went even more :DD and then i asked if he was working, and then he said well – I’m actually a professional kayakist \o/ \o/ \o/ \o/ HOW EXCITING IS THAT. He’s been to so many cool places like Chile and New Zealand and he only picked up kayaking at 17. I can’t imagine what it’s like to know so certainly what you want to do with your life, and be able to settle simply for what makes you happy (: He has a lovely, casual accent WOW LOOK AT ME, FANGIRLING OVER RANDOM GUY ON PLANE. My mom asked if I had his number and I was like UM N?! YOU DO NOT GO AROUND ASKING FOR PEOPLE’S NUMBERS IN AMERICA, I THINK? Unless you actually intend to do something about it. Okay (: (: This was simultaneously a nerve-wracking experience and not really, because I wasn’t stumbling over my words and being all awkward but I was nervous about just randomly having some conversation with Stranger #1 but I think on airplanes you get some sort of allowance; it comes with the lingering impressions of voyages and also a sense of camaraderie from being squished into adjacent seats for extended periods.

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I just realized this is so not in chronological order. Stopover at Narita Airport in Tokyo, massage chairs for rental.

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My luggage! It doesn’t look quite that bad, does it? Considering the big box is just food, and the small one toiletries, and the other one stationery, and just a big luggage with all my clothes.

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My first Seattle imagery. Seattle feels oddly peaceful and town-ish and forested; I did not picture it like this. I saw more a crammed, shiny space packed with skyscrapers, but I guess I’ve not been downtown yet so it could still be like this. It does seem like a really pretty place, though, all the coniferous trees and the low buildings slipped across the landscape and the wide, open roads under an impossibly close sky. It’s very vehicle-reliant, though. The service staff have mostly been amazingly friendly and pleasant.

The weather is gorgeous – the breezy wind, the comfortable chill, and I like the slight overcast feeling.

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Even the first common bird I saw looked plumper and more vital than the ones I remember in Singapore.

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I’m not entirely sure what this is, but it looks like a needle-disposal area? It was in the Seattle airport toilets.

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I looked at a copy of the Seattle freesheet, and the ads are both more prominent and more amusing (there’s also a lot more of them) BUT YEAH, OKAY. LEGAL MARIJUANA.

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THIS WAS JUST STUNNINGLY BLATANT.

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This was very \o/ \o/ I wouldn’t mind turning up for one.

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And then gosh, all the live music! !! ): It’s kind of stupid how Victoria is almost as unhappening as Singapore, in a sense – less so than American cities and Vancouver and Toronto, at least. I hope we still get good bands and I can go watch!

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Aptly named FUNTIME.

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The lasagna was really, really, really good. Food in American is really good. The portions are also huge. This probably explains why so man Americans are obese ): (but not why so many of them are so pretty) D:

(I was just telling  about this tiny episode today at the mall – which was huge – where I was walking around and there was this cute boy sitting at a bench and we looked at each other for a moment and I really wanted to go sit on a bench but it would have been weird, so I just paced around and looked at him, a bit. And then suddenly he wasn’t there anymore so I went to sit and then I turned and he reappeared in front of the bench looking in my direction so I was like HOLY /o\ because he probably thought I was this massive creeper.

That’s about it regarding updates for now! (: I’m staying two nights in Seattle before taking a ferry to Victoria. Tomorrow I’m going to the Pike Market here which is one of Seattle’s highlights! (Starbucks apparently originated from here? And the original Starbucks is there.) They sell all kind of things there and I’m looking forward to buying fruits by the crate.

In a way, I sort of wish I’m doing this with friends, a few, at least, because in all honesty, I do feel like I’m alone (WHICH IS NOT QUITE LONELINESS but close) but – that’s okay. I mean, there are moments when I feel on top of the world and fearless and then there are moments when I’m not quite sure what I’m doing and I’m afraid I might die any moment in a foreign land (though the odd thing is coming to America is kind of like going back to a familiar place, given all the cultural osmosis and TV) but most of the time it’s somewhere in between, and being occupied by new sights sort of takes up a lot of your focus \o/ It’s – okay, though (:

I hope all of you are alright, and ♥

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