In April / 2018 I made my first trip to the United States. I went to take a course called Intelligent Cloud Architect Bootcamp, for employees of Microsoft and partner companies. The course was in Bellevue, a district very close to Seattle and Microsoft's Redmond headquarters. I knew I wouldn't have much time to get to know the city during the course, so I tried to make the most of my free Sunday there.
I had never made such a long trip. It's really cool to see the transformation of landscapes through the airplane window ...
I arrived in Seattle on Sunday the 15th at 8 am. I took a taxi to the hotel, and I already had my first culture shock there. I chatted, as I would here in Brazil, and when I asked if he had any recommendations on places to visit in the city, I heard this gem: “What do I recommend to you? Well… me! You're hot, I'm hot, so maybe we could cool each others down ... ”I couldn't believe what I had just heard, and I wondered how this guy would be slaughtered if he released one of these in Brazil. I always had the vision that the United States was more evolved in several aspects ... well, from what I went through during this trip, I understood that in the harassment aspect they are well behind. In Washington at least I didn't feel threatened at any time, but it is worth the tip for women traveling alone to prepare themselves psychologically - everywhere, cafeteria, taxi, airport, street, shopping, course, I heard some inconvenient comment. A feather.
We arrived at the hotel. I left my bags at the reception, because it was too early to check in. I took a city tour guide and started taking a tour 🙂 I went to downtown Seattle, bought a voucher from City Pass, which entitles you to tickets to some of the main sights, such as Space Needle and Museum of Pop Culture. That was when I had my second culture shock, this time positive: I needed to print the voucher to exchange for tickets, and I couldn't find any place to do the printing. I stopped at a hotel reception to ask for information, and the receptionist wanted to print it for me at no cost. It was something that marked me, because kindness exists here, but there it seems to be institutionalized. I had all the help I needed, and still with a smile on my face, from those who are happy to help, and not just out of obligation.
I started with the Argosy Cruises Harbor tour, an hour-long boat ride that showed the city from Seattle's bays. Like any guided tour, the information complemented the view, and it was cool. I saw a sea lion, and I learned that he was a loser - at the time of mating, sea lions fight among themselves to decide who stays with the females, and those who lose swim to the cold coast of Washington to eat salmon until they can't take it more, get stronger and come back to try again 🙂
Then I passed by Pike Place Market and I had fun with the shopkeepers, sometimes throwing fish into the air, sometimes talking to the fish, and Aquarium. It's beautiful, no more than Rio's, but you could see some animals that I had never seen before, like Lontras and Pinguins.
I stopped for lunch and ate the best pasta of my life, in Vons 1000 Spirits. I took advantage that it was close and went on Seattle Art Museum. I don't usually give museums much chance, but it was worth it - there was this exhibition of paintings from historical moments being rewritten with black people called Figuring History, in addition to several other interesting ones.
I went to the next museum, the MoPOP, extremely fun. It had an exhibition of Star Treck, vintage games, Nirvanna, Jimmy Hendrix, horror films, films with medieval themes, and other attractions. It passes away from a conventional museum.
Then I went to Space Needle, symbol of the city and one of the main attractions, well penalized because of the renovation. Then I went to Chihuly Garden and Glass, a kind of art museum with glass and flowers, and I left there in love. It's amazing how these two things combine so much.
Finally, I returned to the hotel, my feet hurting from walking. In summary, I thought the City Pass was well worth it. I was lucky to catch a day that was only cloudy, not rainy - it usually rains a lot in the region. I was amazed by the beauty, cleanliness and organization of the city, in addition to the kindness and hospitality of people in general.