After hunkering down in the apartment for a few hours with the rain still pouring down, I decided to gear up and go out in it. Rain is what Seattle is known for and I was too stir crazy to stay inside any longer. The rain definitely had heavier and lighter bouts, so I waited until a lighter one started, wrapped my boot in two layers of trash bags, grabbed an umbrella, and set out.
I took short steps and walked slowly, especially down the steep hills here to keep myself from falling. Just about everyone was staring at my trash bag (as to be expected – I look around and take note of unusual things, too), and I just gave them a smile and continued on. Coming to the bottom of the hill between George and Jessi’s apartment and Pike Place, I heard a shout. “Quite a fashion statement you got there,” a man standing outside a fish stand wearing a big apron and rain boots called out. “I’m jealous. I might have to get myself some of that style.” I laughed and agreed, and continued on my way.
Taking in all the hustle and bustle around me, I walked the length of the market before reaching my destination: the crepe place. I had this spot in mind because I knew it had a sit down area, and because crepes are delicious! The owner saw my Penn State credit card and struck up conversation. He suggested a few sights to see before handing me my huge nutella and strawberry stuffed crepe. I spent about an hour there eating, people watching, and listening to my audiobook.
By this time, the rain had died down again and I ventured out to a park overlooking the water. I took some pictures and took in the view before heading back toward the market. As I passed the very first starbucks store, I decided to stop in and grab a drink. The line is always suuuuper long, and I don’t even like coffee, so this wasn’t on my list of things I wanted to do. Still, I figured while I was just wandering around, it might be a fun thing to have done.
Heading back down the street again, hot chocolate in hand, I heard another yell. “There she is! Still at it I see.” I looked over and had to laugh. The same guy was calling out again. “I’m going to have to match you tomorrow!” I cracked up and kept walking. I really had been walking up and down the same street for a few hours now.
I saw some signs for public seating inside the market, so I followed them out to some stools overlooking the water. I sat next to an interesting couple discussing the pros and cons of getting married. The woman did not seem very into it, but the poor guy was trying to convince her. Man, I could people-watch all day.
I decided it was time to head back and rest my aching foot, so I started back down the center of the market toward George and Jessi’s street. “You sure are a trooper.” Looking up (and realizing I’m not as observant as I always think), I smiled to see the same guy walking toward me. We talked for a bit, and I learned that he’s buying the fish market that he had been standing in front of all day. He told me we should hang out before I leave and see where things go from there, and I couldn’t help but laugh as I walked away. Life is funny, and relationships with people are really the best of life. This guy entertained me all day, and I’d like to think our days were better because of our small interaction with each other.
These relationships and interactions are happening all the time, but I’m even more aware of them while traveling. I have plans to travel solo in my future, and I’m definitely interested to see how that works out. As much as I like some down time to recharge, I definitely thrive while interacting with others. Today’s walk up and down the same street for 3 hours is certainly a small view of what a solo traveling day would be like (even though I’ve done it before), but it was also a reassurance that strangers can be a great source of relationships while exploring.
To the people out there that I’ll come in contact with in the future, and to the ones who will make my days a little brighter, I can’t wait to meet you all!