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Last night, 34 hours after we left the comfort of our Auckland home, including two hours in a stationary plane on the tarmac in LA, we reached Seattle, the first city in our itinerary. Our hosts are cousin Prabhu and his wife Carol. They are shy of social media and I shall try to keep them out of this post. This is not easy to do; I will fail, but not for want of trying. After the breakfast Qantas served before 6:00 a.m. we had not had anything to eat all day, but you did not need to be starving like that to know that Carol’s typical South-Indian meal of Keerai parupu and rice with fried salmon, beetroot, papadam, and ginger pickle was the stuff of good Indian dreams.

Today turned out to be a wet one, but after a splendid breakfast of toast and frittata, which is something between an omelette and a quiche, Prabhu took us for a drive to the city. Because he works from home, he was not really familiar with the city and relied on the GPS. Of course, we got lost a little, but made it to Columbia Center finally.

Downtown Seattle seemed to me to be like downtown Auckland, high-rise buildings, oneway streets, and the waterfront. Their Space Needle building is about half the size of our Sky Tower, standing at 605 ft to Sky Tower’s 1076 ft. But the Columbia Center, which we visited is 967 ft tall and is the tallest building on the West Coast of the United States.

It was not the best day for photographs.


But we managed to take some good ones.

🙂  Here you can see that we have the Space Needle building between us, although you might have to look for it like the proverbial needle in the . . . Zooming into the photo helps.


We meant to go to the aquarium but got a bit hungry and then got distracted and ended up in Pike Place Market.

Wikepedia says: Pike Place Market is a public market overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront in Seattle, Washington, United States. The Market opened August 17, 1907, and is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers’ markets in the United States.

I enjoyed this market experience immensely.

Unlike anything in Auckland, this market reminded me of other market experiences from my past: Lake Market and Gariahat Market in Calcutta and Russel Market in Bangalore. This place called you to take photos.

Fresh produce: fruits and vegetables



Fresh sea food


Prabhu got some warm apple cider for all of us. It was great and just what we needed on a cool wet evening.

The market had shops selling jams and vinegars, and they encouraged visitors to taste tiny samples of their wares. Some shops sold handicrafts. The only thing that I bought was a leather barrette for my hair. The lady who sold it was the one who made it; it’s been a family business since the 1970s. I got her to autograph it for me, and she kindly did.

clip_outside clip_autographed

This picture was taken outside the market.


Philip bought an inexpensive phone in Target, which is like The Warehouse or Kmart in New Zealand. It’s cool that for 30 USD, you can get a phone and 140 minutes of talktime and 120 texts. This is more than sufficient for our purposes this month. I randomly asked the salesman if he knew who the All Blacks were. He did’nt! I told him that they were the greatest Rugby team in the world. He then turned and asked his colleague, “Do you know who the All Blacks are?” The other man looked at him astonished, but only said, “What are you even talking about?” Sigh.

We did not remember where we had parked our car but managed to find it, because we are quite intelligent. And then we drove back home.

Dinner was another culinary masterpiece by Carol’s, this time a Thai meal followed by dessert of mochi icecream and banana slices.


Good conversation completes a good day. Philip and I retire to bed thankful to God for this pleasant phase in our lives. I wonder what we’ll do tomorrow.