Saturday, July 26, 2008

Getting Back to "Normal"

We've been home since Tuesday afternoon and things are finally starting to go back to "normal." I also realized that Seattle is now the place that I call "home" and I'm happy to be living here.

We moved here a little more than 2 years ago from north Jersey. My husband used to work for a translation company in NYC. His company got sold and the new company offered him a job in the Seattle suburbs. He wanted to continue being employed so we moved. We have no family here (our nearest relative is my sister in Detroit). For so long I still felt like the East coast was "home" and Seattle is just where we were living, kinda like when you go to college and your parents' house is still "home" even though you live in a dorm many miles away.

So for the first year, I was constantly getting lost out here. I couldn't find any stores I needed to go to, I had no idea where the DMV was (and yes, I did find out that it's no longer called the DMV). I had to find all new doctors, dentists, bars restaurants, preschools, parks etc... I also had to get used to the idea that soda is now "pop" (although you'll still never hear me say that!). I had to learn the difference between Huskies and Cougs. I had to remember that you drive west to get to the ocean (how bizarre!). And the 3 hour time difference makes it hard to keep in touch with friends "back east." I also had to overcome the East Coast "snob" stereotype that Seattlites have. I had to accept that there was a Starbucks, QFC, WaMu, Teriyaki restaurant, and Rite Aid in every shopping center but not a single dunkin donuts to be found. Oh, and I had to learn a whole new way to recycle!

There really should be some kind of tutorial for people moving to Seattle. I mean how would else would I know that Fred Meyer sells groceries and Fishing Licenses. Or that you can buy beer at the gas station?! And the first time I ordered a "plain" slice of pizza at the mall food court, it took about 10 minutes for the person to understand that I didn't really want it plain, I still wanted cheese and sauce.

So now 2.5 years later, I can finally call Seattle "home." And after being on the East coast for 8 days, it feels good to be back home where people don't jaywalk, everything gets recycled, it rarely gets about 80 degrees in the summer, there is almost no humidity or mosquitoes (although plenty of slugs!) and the sun stays up till 10pm in July :)


Michelle said...

You list exactly the reasons that I could so find myself at home in Seattle. But married to a teacher, it won't happen, and that's ok! A good friend lives there, and we visit periodically. You forgot how MANY shades of green there are in Seattle that you just don't see elsewhere. That's what always impresses me.

And thank you for explaining where I got calling cheese pizza plain! I do that and never knew why -- it was the three years I spent in CT!

Cookie said...

Michelle, I think your problem is that you are calling plain pizza "cheese" pizza ;)
Sorry, couldn't resist!

Angela said...

Glad your feeling at home now. I moved from Baltimore, MD to a tiny town in the mtns of NC. I had the hardest time understand why people actually said "hello" to one another on the road. I don't visit Baltimore much anymore, when I do I feel like I am in a very strange place.

Elizabeth said...

Hi, Where did you live in Jersey?
I grew up in Central NJ, Manasquan to be exact...I'm not sure how I would feel moving so far away, but my sister moved to Illinois years ago and her family is doing just great!
Blessings, E

PS, did you say NO HUMIDITY???
I may have to visit!