I had two motivations for going to Seattle. One, because flights from there to Asia are cheaper and more direct than those from Minnesota. Second, but with more weight, I have friends there!
I met C while I was living in the countryside of Japan. Tokushima is near to both of our hearts. The day I arrived in Seattle she was returning from a 2 week trip around Europe. 5 cities in 14 days. Ambitious and exhausting, yet she still met me for church the next day. I sat in the pew that morning with anticipation. It had been a year and a half since we last saw each other. I marveled over how all our steps during that time were leading us right back together again.
We spent the whole day together. Her church offered scrumptious brunch after the service, where we began the long process of catching up. Emails can only tell so much. Next we walked over to U-Village, a cute shopping center near the University of Washington. I was assured that she hadn’t changed when we stopped in to several stores just to try their samples. We settled on Starbucks and used it for a good chat.
In the afternoon we met a friend of hers for dessert. T is a Japanese man who came to Seattle a year ago to try farming on Whidbey Island. He couldn’t have chosen a more pictureesque place. He’s since moved on to the Japanese Tea Company, also based in Seattle, and dreams of starting an agri-tourism business someday.
We went for shaved ice at in Chinatown. Harnessing our Japanese spirits, we came up with plenty of ways to defer the honor of choosing a flavor. I finally jumped back into American mode and said we should eat what we came for: their famous Japanese style with green tea shaved ice, red beans, and mochi. Its fame was well backed by taste.
The restaurant itself was a little drafty, so we found a Vietnamese restaurant featuring Pho for dinner. The warm broth and noodles were a nice backdrop to the cross-cultural conversations that followed. T kindly dropped us off that night so there would be no more wrong bus routes.