Seattle, on business

Pier 59

  • There’s a girl sitting at a table stirring her tan-colored iced coffee drink continuously so that the ice cubes rattle against the glass. Her friends arrive, and she gets up to talk to them, the ice cubes and glass continue to rattle as she continues stirring. Her friends head in different directions to find seats and coffees, and she sets the glass back down on her table, letting go of her stirring spoon. An ice cube leaps from the glass as if it were escaping.
  • One tourist tells another what there is to do in Seattle. Each of his suggestions involve leaving: Spend a day in Vancouver. Drive east for two or three hours until you’re tired of driving, then get out of the car and look around.

    He verifies that I’m a local and tells me, “You live in a wonderful city. Over the years, I’ve probably spent twelve days total in Seattle, on business; . . .” (He always qualifies the word “Seattle” by appending “on business.”) ” . . . and I’ve seen it rain maybe once.”

  • I misremembered this. The anecdote at the beginning wasn’t Fiona’s, it was Tracy’s. The rest of it happened just as I wrote. Tracy pointed it out a couple of weeks ago and I have only just remembered to correct it.
  • Many restaurants in Seattle have simplified their menus by eliminating one soft drink size. At most places, you can only order a medium or a large soda. The Fifth Avenue Cafe is an exception, they discontinued the large size, and now offer only small or medium sodas.
  • The waitress offers fresh ground pepper and I accept. She grinds the pepper over the plate. I watch the pepper’s progress closely, but it’s only an affectation. I stop her when I think that enough time has passed.

Pier 62/63

One thought on “Seattle, on business

  1. Great anecdotes.

    I always feel self-conscious when a server is grinding pepper for me; I like a lot of fresh-ground pepper on my soups and salads, but as the server stands there, grinding and grinding, I can’t help but think I should have just used the stale pepper from the shaker on the table.

    Also: some restaurants down here in the Portland area haved three sizes but they call them medium, large, and extra large. In places like this I sometimes order a small. “We don’t have a small,” the server tells me. Then we play a fun semantic game in which I am the inevitable victor.

    I don’t do this often though. Only when I feel like being an asshole.

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