15 May 2009

Finally, Seattle

It's 24 hours since I got up this morning, but I am finally on the last leg of my journey (not counting the walk from where the airport shuttle drops me to the Pensione). It has been a gruelling experience, but I succeeded in sleeping through most of it.

I feel as if I am on familiar territory already - it's nearly 20 years since I first drove up I-5 past King County airport, which I've just seen to my left. And now the towers of the downtown area are in sight, and soon we'll pass the railway station. Have I been here since the Kingdome went?

The coach driver seems a miserable individual: he was profoundly unhelpful at the airport and managed to take an inordinate time to load bags, collect fares and start driving. One fellow passenger gets thoroughly disenchanted with him. But after a couple of stops at downtown hotels he reveals that it's his birthday, unfortunately only after his disenchanted passenger had already left the bus. The remaining passengers sing happy birthday to him, and he becomes much more cheerful

Pensione Nichols, a few blocks from where I alight from the bus, is all that I remember: that feeling of familiarity is stronger and stronger. Now it offers wifi too - last time I was here that would have been unknown! I let myself in from the street using the numeric keypad and a key is lying on the deserted reception desk with a note: "Peter Groves, Rm #6". Perfect. I could use a bed after 24 hours travelling.

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