I am writing tonight from a space far lovelier than all of Tukwila. We are staying over at our friends K and C, at their farmhouse outside of Tumwater. There’s a window in front of me, and when I look up I see the blue green outline of pine trees. There’s a window to the left of me, and when I look out I see pine trees lit up full by the light of the bedroom next door. Whether in shadow or crisp detail I got pine trees in all eyes and I am so happy.
K and C are my age, but have their shit together so calmly and confidently that their home feels like a grandparent’s house. Chickens and goats are sleeping outside, their baby is sleeping next door, they are softly talking in the kitchen as they do their evening chores. All the food is from their farm or a farm nearby, and tonight they served us a Georgian dish called Kachapuri (made in the Adjarian style), which is essentially a dilly and eggy cheese dip served inside a boat of bread. We are in a warm office with a pull out couch, bust just in case it gets cold in the night, we were told there’s a closet filled with blankets right outside our door.
You do not get a closet of blankets by accident. Blankets are not just given away. At some point you have to point to a space and say “No one should be cold, we will fill this space with tools for warmth.” It is a good type of person who is young and has a closet of blankets.
Tonight was so nice, today was a grand meh. We set out from our hotel at noon to catch the bus to Olympia. The city is only 60 miles away, but the trip took us 5.5 hours and the majority of it was spent in and around the Tacoma mall. I’m setting this up like it’s an interesting story, but it’s really not: I had to go pee, this state has no public bathrooms, and I made us miss the bus because I had to walk to a best buy and back to pee. The bathroom sitch has been a culture shock for me, coming from New Zealand. In NZ, I always know I can go pee, and it seems to come from a larger trust and caring from the people there. At the Tacoma park and ride there was a building clearly holding bathrooms inside, but every door was locked and accessible only to bus drivers. So the park and ride designers knew this area would be one in which folks needed to pee, they wanted to make sure only the employees could.
On the bright side we got to hang out in the mall for a bit, and watch all the beautiful people trying their best to be better than this day. That’s the other culture shock for me so far–is that everyone seems to be struggling with a headache all the time. It’s like the whole country is a pair of fingers pinching the bridge of its nose and sighing. Which just makes this evening at a friends all the sweeter. I’m chatting with my friend R back in NY while I listen to Geotic and the house settles into quiet around me. I’m trying this new thing where I give friends initials instad of their names, so I feel better writing about them. I don’t know why i’m shy, since i’m always saying nice things, but it feels polite.
This is a true blue diary entry. no real shape, no real purpose, a couple of good feelings and a flash of annoyance that settles back into good feelings as the writing calms the heart, and then bed.