Seattle’s one of those cities which you somehow feel its friendliness genuinely coming through to you. I know it isn’t exactly fair to judge a book by its cover, but the first train ride I got on from Seattle airport made me like Seattle already. The kind of place that you could possibly feel at home, even as a visitor.

On the first day I was here I stumbled upon this restaurant at Pike Place that serves insanely fresh seafood and looked over the pier. I liked the place so much that I went back for dinner on the second day (merit of staying near Pike Market) to grab another dose of fresh food. Seriously deprived of such tasty stuff. Anyway, on the second visit I got exclusive customer service cos I was their last customer of the day and the boss (presumably) came by when I was done to ask me how was the dining experience. Old guy, ah-gong sort of age, been running the place for eons. He was asking me that if I were to compare, would I choose New York or Seattle. And I found no hesitation at all to say Seattle.

I kinda understand why people move here, it’s one of those places that gives you the homey vibe. You feel safe walking down the streets and people greet you with the kind of sincerity that comes from within. It was fun just standing and watching the guys throw fish at Pike Place Market. I don’t know for sure if they really enjoy their job or if it’s an act for all we know, but it’s really quite admirable that people lead their lives with such zest. And I guess it would be tough to put on an act every day; even acting every day ought to get some of that positiveness rubbed into you. That’s the difference between the US and back home. I envy that people actually enjoy what they do everyday on their job. It’s like the holy grail in Singapore (and many parts of Asia).

The transport system here is awesome. Their light rail trains are like miniature Singapore MRTs, plus a lot more stylish. Saw one today entirely covered with colored ads, like it’s been candy wrapped. For a US city, you’ll really appreciate that you can actually get accessible transportation that takes you to most places. Well maintained and not the sluggish kind (think Pittsburgh). Bravo, really.

There’s seriously a huge number of homeless people in the US. I think if you were to put them all together in one place, you’d probably have enough to form a country on its own. Typically they camp around the suburbs and out-of-town regions, but oddly in Seattle you see them mostly downtown. And that’s because of the free-ride region in downtown area which you can basically hop on any public transport for free. Who says free lunches don’t exist?

I think I will miss Seattle. It’s a lot more cheery than I thought and I seriously think that its gloomy reputation doesn’t do this city justice. Hopefully, this won’t be my first and last time here.

Merry Christmas.