72hours in Seattle

We are back after a quick 72 hour trip to Seattle. There was just one agenda – meet our friends. And we over achieved on that front. It was so nice to meet all of them, and plan our days around them.

Somehow every year, we end up having one such trip. Agam and I were reminded of our trip to NY in 2016 when all we did was meet friends, and eat delicious NY food. We need to go back to NY. Perhaps next year. Last year, it was  Singapore, and this year, Seattle.

There was also a side agenda for this trip – for Agam to see the Twin Peaks sites – the lodge, the diner and the falls. So we checked that box too. Saturday itinerary was crowd sourced from my ex-team. I don’t even recall why we ended up on a day long Hangout channel, but it was a riot. They recommended Rattlesnake Ridge and Lake, which was fun, and a tacos place called Taco Chuki’s which was quite awesome. We could not fit Vivaces on the itinerary 😦

On Friday, Tara met her first friend, M, whom she met at the day care when she was 4 months old. M and Tara grew up together, learning from each other, and running around each other. He has grown taller, and has turned out to be a fine young boy who runs around the field looking for wild flowers for his Mom. And then brings them to her, and then runs back in the field.  Tara also got a wild flower from him. M has lost touch with English since he goes to a Russian day care. But these two did not need a common language to communicate. They hit off, as if they had never parted. It was such a joy to watch them play, and also to meet M’s Mum and Dad. I wish they still lived in Bay Area.

Then we drove to D’s lovely house in North Seattle, and met her cat and a handsome dog, Winston. Over wine, and Ethiopian food, we talked about a broad range of topics. Such are conversations with D. We can talk about a wide variety of topics, with equal passion and plenty of dry humor sprinkled all over them. D was my first buddy at Google. She interviewed me and I finally ended up taking on her role. I was very sad for myself when she decided to move to Seattle. But I was super happy for her. She was doing the right thing. And within two years of moving to Seattle, she is a proud owner of a beautiful house 🙂 Well done D! You are the wise one.

And then we met N, Agam’s friend from IITD. We had such an amazing time in the company of his wife, whom we were meeting for the first time, and an adorable six month old daughter. I met N almost six years back when he and Agam put together our bed, in ours first house. He is a small town guy. Like me. We small town people are very similar – simple, joyful, content, and affectionate. Over Pav Bhaji and Chai, we enjoyed the gorgeous views of the lake, and spent an afternoon in their warm company. I wish we stayed closer to this lovely family.

And finally, after an AWESOME trip to Elliott Bay Book company, we met M for dinner at Soi, a pretty cool Thai place in Capitol Hill. I had only met M once before. But we know a lot about each other through a common friend. Dinner was delicious, and the company even better. M trumped me at paying the bill. Now that’s a first. I’ve never had that happen to me before 🙂

Now about the “Awesome” trip to the book shop. There are usual book shops, and there is Elliott Bay. I felt like the entire shop was curated to my taste. In every section, every aisle, I found an interesting book. Something that I was not expecting. Like a book on East Indian recipes in the cooking section, and most surprisingly, Moshi Moshi by Banana Yoshimoto in the staff recommendations sections. Who on earth reads Banana Yoshimoto in the US? The staff at Elliott Bay, and me 😀 I bought a copy. And I am half way done. I am sorry Murakami, Killing Commendatore is just tooooo fat of a book for me to take on a flight, or even hold and read in bed. I need to buy the kindle version for this one 😦

Moshi Moshi on the other hand, is written for me. What’s with these Japanese writers and me. I think I have some shape or form of a Japanese soul. Or a better explanation is that I share a certain value system with the Japanese. For example this phrase from the book is how I felt, walking on a road in Hari Nagar, less than five days after I lost my father.

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Elliott Bay Book company reminded me of my dream of Books by the bay. A dream that will most likely never come true. But if it did. I will definitely try to make it as warm and personal as EBB was.

Of course Rupi Kaur was also there, to rub salt on my wounds. I have no idea what I have against her. Just that what she publishes is not poetry.  You may ask, who am I to judge? But I am a reader and thus a critic, and I don’t approve of her genre. I don’t think anyone should pay $18 for her books. And no I will not keep that opinion just to myself. Because I want to understand where she gets the courage from, to publish her raw scribbles. And, where the hell do I fetch that courage from?! Enough said.

I also ran into a book that seemed cliched enough for me to pick it up. How to love by Thicht Nhat Hanh is a short book, with very short snippets on different forms of love. I ended up reading the entire book in one sitting. And there was this chapter that resonated with me a lot. Here’s a snippet –

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M recommended Storyville Coffee last night and we went there for breakfast this morning. I fell in love with the store at first sight. Something about drinking a cup of single origin coffee, and watching fall leaves dance their way to the ground. I bought some beans and I am looking forward to grinding them on the weekend.

Seattle is beautiful in fall. I fell in love with the city, all over again, for so many reasons. But then the weather this morning with 8 degrees celsius just put me off. I was delighted to land in 19 degrees celsius San Jose this afternoon. And although those houses on Magnolia Bluff looked beautiful and right in the Mountain View price range. I don’t think I am willing to wear a parka and gloves in October.

I love you Bay Area. You are as close to home as it can ever get. I just wish you were not this expensive, and we had not lost our friends to Seattle.

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