Sleepless in Seattle

There, I did it.  A crap joke about the fact that I'm in Seattle and awake at a stupid time in the morning.  I arrived here on Saturday, and applied my usual technique of "staying awake until a normal time on the first night, then going to bed really tired".  It's a technique which has always worked in the past for snapping me into the new timezone.

However, this room has a real flame fire.  It's rather nice.  A little switch by the bed puts the fire on for a timed hour, meaning that you can fall asleep by the light of a roaring fire, and then it'll turn itself off afterwards.  The problem is, though, that a roaring fire makes the room warm.  And a warm room makes for a sleepy room.  And so yesterday afternoon, when I put the fire on to stave off the rain pouring outside, I found myself waking up quite a few hours later thinking "oh, bugger!".  And true enough, despite getting to bed at a sensible time last night, I woke up at 5.30am today.  "Bugger" indeed.

And so here I am, looking out of the window at a sleeping Seattle, with the occasional (well actually rather frequent - and really ridiculously long) freight train rumbling past.  I find it weird the way the train line isn't segregated from the pavewalk (or do I mean sidement?)  in the way we would in the UK.  There are barriers and warning lights for cars and people, but the train line is pretty much open - no fence to stop people wandering onto it.  I guess they just rely on the fact that people won't wander into the path of a train...

Believe it or not, despite having been to a few far-flung places, this is the first time I've been to the USA.  Strange but true - I've made it to the age of 37 without crossing the Atlantic. Until now.  Working at Symbian for so many years meant that my business travel was always in other direction - to Japan, China, Sweden and - erm - Manchester.  Despite the horror stories about US immigration and how many hours can be spent being grilled about the exact nature of your visit; it was under an hour from the plane touching down to when I was in cab heading to the hotel.

I spent yesterday being a bit of a tourist.  "Original branch of Starbucks" - check!  Most of the day was spent wandering around the aquarium.  Then wandering around it again when I realised that I had my camera on the wrong setting and hence all the photos had come out blurred-but-not-blurred-enough-that-you-notice-it-on-the-little-screen-on-the-camera-itself.  Got plenty of photos of sea otters, though.  They are SO cute, it's untrue. Look...

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