I don’t think I am Seattle anymore, Dorthy.


I come from Seattle.  This is where there are 3 foot rules on the road for drivers approaching cyclists.  This is where things known as bike boxes exist.  This is where we do not set our trash out in the bike lanes.  This is where cyclists are in danger, but not as much as in Central California.

I come from a place that recycles everything under the sun, we also compost.  My trash weekly was around a gallon jug size.  I come from a place where I can get fresh produce at a year round farmers market.  I come from a place where I can go to a co-op and refill my oil containers, my vinegars, my tamari and reuse my egg cartons to refill with local fresh eggs that are cage free.  I come from,,,, well heaven if you really want to know the truth.

I have always wanted to live elsewhere, but I had never imagined it would be so drastically different.  Don’t get me wrong, I do like the change.  I love the weather, I love having a pool.  I love not having to worry about rain ruining my bike rides.  It is also strange that I am eating a little bit of meat a couple of times a week, to get ready for Africa.  I know I will eat mostly veggies cooked with small chunks of meat over there.  Having not eaten meat in over 10 years it is hard to get used to.

I am convinced that here in Sacramento County the food of the area is Waffles.  Seriously, I have never seen waffles advertised so much in my whole life.  I wish I still loved waffles, but alas they are too heavy for me.  Too much bread makes me feel blah.  This is my first week here, as of tomorrow we will have been in our new apartment for exactly a week.  I only have 21 days until I depart, that is starting to sink in.  I spent the first two days unpacking, and still a few boxes left, but they are things that we need shelving to put them up.  We also have to hang some paintings and pictures.  I discovered a co-op/farmer’s market, but really it is Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods bastard child.  It is better than most grocery stores, but still not quite what I was hoping for.

I did take 40 mile bike ride this week.  I found the American River Trail and followed that to an aquatic center/fish hatchery.  I turned around and followed it to a street I knew went to Sacramento.  I rode all the way to East Sacramento and Sacramento University.  It was on the hottest day this week.  I also came home and got into the pool for the first time.  Oh the pool is awesome. I have been there twice to read and swim.  Both times I was alone.  Today I was reading, then took a swim and went back to reading and suddenly everyone in the complex it seemed was at the pool.

The bike ride was actually very good, until about 3 miles from home, since there is no 3 foot rule and we leave our trash cans in the bike lane, I ended up nearly breaking my left ring finger slamming it against a garbage can at about 17 mph.  I did not have time to slow down and thought I could maneuver  around it and miscalculated.  My finger is not broken but it hurts like hell and is all swollen and black and blue.  Seriously irritated by that.

sacramento river

I have biked a bit more and walked to places, since I am without a vehicle.  My sole purpose is to help set up the household and to help him feel more comfortable.  I hope to introduce him to a couple of my friends that live not far from here.  He did find a charity bike ride that looks fun, I hope he really wants to do it.

The cable was set up, but the equipment is faulty, so I have been screaming at tech people for 3 days now.  I know it is not their fault, but if they would just give the ok to return it all would be well.  So weird I have one box that turns off randomly and another box that absolutely will not do anything, include turn off.  I seriously have to pull the plug to get it to turn off, with the remote or manually.

richard with bikes

I don’t feel like such a badass here, but I do feel way smarter.  From what I have seen I am very sad at the state of education in this area. I am all for smoking a bowl, and I love tattoos and piercings, but you must at least sound intelligent.  The conversations I have overheard were so high school, and I concede that a few of these girls were young, but the rest of them covered in tattoos have to be at least over 18, right?  I am by no means judging on the tattoos, I have many and I have facial piercings, but I want to know that for the rest of my life I am not going to be subjected to thug attitude.  No really there is more in life than the “thug life” trust me on that!

The real problem is that I have been spoiled.  I have been living in a haven of hippie goodness and social do-gooders.  The whole shopping and selfish attitude is completely at a whole different level here.  If ever you consider where you live, and think elsewhere is better, it really is not.  Every place has a special shining point.  Every place has its uniqueness.  I have only been here a week, and I am certain I will find things I love.  I already have, the weather the pool and the bike trails.  I even found a town with chickens running around the park.  There is home in every single place, you just have to search for it.  Even though this is not quite home yet, it could be.  My ex-coworker, who moved to Texas a few years ago gave me some sage advice.  “You need to let go of expecting to find Seattle here, it is not Seattle, I had the same problem in Texas, once I let go it got better.”  So to you Carlos, I lift a toast.

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