Even though it was a chilly 40 degrees this morning after we landed, we drove with wide open windows enjoying the clean, crisp air in Seattle. AHHHHHH….I will never ever take for granted those basic life necessities like air, water, food, land, etc. that are not regulated in China and thus toxic as hell. Bitch all you want about regulations and laws here but it works to protect the citizens from really bad stuff. Other than all that, there are so many other differences between our new and old homes that we notice when we return to the U.S. Spitting and peeing in the streets–not so much here. Thank goodness-I need a break from that smell.
Running over to the grocery to get my beloved Sunday NY Times, drivers actually stopped, and not even at crosswalks, to let me cross the street. WHAT! If someone did that in China, chaos would ensue and there would be fatal accidents. No one stops for anyone or anything for any reason–dodge it or die. Thom and I both noticed the absence of honking horns too–Seattlites are far too polite to lay on the horns. Again, if the China drivers didn’t do that, there would be even more fatalities. A horn in China means, “Watch out, I’m not stopping so you better get the F*&K out of my way”. Seriously.
We are staying in Bellevue, the ridiculously orderly and clean suburb of Seattle. We would prefer staying downtown Seattle but all the rooms were sold out due to conventions like the Sakura-Con anime craziness that was going on this week. We saw some crazy ass costumed convention goers enjoying the fine Seattle weather. Large polka dot tails seemed to be the costume of choice. Didn’t ask why and don’t really want to know.
After picking up James at Seattle U and forcing him to take a walk with his parents along the Seattle waterfront that was a wonderful home to us for awhile, we settled in for Easter dinner at Paddy O’Coynes Irish Pub because nothing says Easter like meatloaf and Shepherd’s Pie. Safe meat cannot be overrated. We noticed so many birds and small animals like squirrels as we walked in the park whereas in China, these small critters are dinner. Rat meatloaf anyone? The dogs were out in force with their proud owners strutting their stuff. I was so incredibly sad in missing my Izaak and our daily walks and cuddles. Living without him has been quite frankly awful. That being said, we know it would be a crazy hard journey for him to join us in Shanghai and with all the travel we are doing, it just wouldn’t work. I just have to look forward to the day we can be together again and know he is keeping my Hannah and soon Mia, safe and happy. I’ll get to hug him tight when we visit the kids and wait for Mia to come out and play in May.
After dropping off James at his apartment off campus, we enjoyed the beautiful vista of the snow capped mountains and lush green foliage everywhere. Living in Seattle is like living in a rain forest. You just have to embrace the rain and learn to love it. While I have no idea if we will eventually return here, I do envy the Seattlites who get to enjoy this cool place every day. I signed up for the adventure in China and don’t regret it but it is terribly far away from the ones we love and it is most certainly affecting our health-CT scan of my lungs on tap this week for me. I believe we will both look back on our time in China and be glad we did it but, in the meantime, there will be moments of doubt and wishing to be “normal” and “ordinary”.
With all the terrible pollution, spitting citizens and other craziness, I will still miss my home in Shanghai while we are here in the U.S. I hope that our plants manage to survive with Pink’s care and it’s not too terribly hot when we get back in June. In the meantime, I need to soak up the clean air, blue skies, visits with friends and family and enjoy the incredible journey that we get to live daily. On this Easter Sunday, I realize just how blessed I am to be able to see and experience this amazing world.