Hello, Seattle!

July 15th, 2011

We are in beautiful Washington State enjoying the lush landscape—evergreens, mountains and lakes (so opposite from Dubai!) We are stuffing ourselves with fresh local raspberries, blueberries and nectarines. And I am even enjoying the rain (sort of).

Yesterday we went to Pike Place Market, which always reminds me of a Middle Eastern souk. Along with a million other tourists, we admired the crab legs, craft stalls, and colorful produce. We bought the usual trinkets and t-shirts, and for lunch, we ate halibut and salmon. (Oh! how I’ve missed this food!) We visited the Middle Eastern grocery store and showed the kids the first Starbucks. Finally, I went to Sur la Table, a gourmet cooking store, and I bought a couscousiere that I’ve had my eye on for years. Afterward, we went to the waterfront, where we took in the salty air, ate fudge and visited the Pirate Shop.


So far, I’m enjoying our trip, especially meals with family and long talks with old friends. I’m noticing so many weird things here, like people covered in tattoos and new stuff at the grocery store—single serving microwave popcorn, round bread that is not pita and all those dog magazines. Americans seem to be going nuts over their pets. We visited a dog beach, busy with dogs and their care-givers. (Apparently the new word for “owner”)

It seems Americans are getting fatter, but more health conscious, too.  I’m finding calorie counts everywhere. I discovered that the desert I was about to order at the Cheesecake Factory was 1,800 calories. OMG!

Here in Washington State, the folks are dressed as casual as ever, as though they are on their way to do some gardening. (They probably are.) Meanwhile, the blues are bluer and the greens greener.

Oh, and the trees are taller.

  1. Jeannie Neely
    July 15th, 2011 at 06:23 | #1

    Oh Holly,

    Your descriptions are right on, and how I vicariously enjoyed the taste of the fresh fruit and imagined seeing the sights you’re seeing. Looking forward to seeing you this fall. The writing’s excellent in this blog!

  2. Vickie Al hazineh
    July 15th, 2011 at 10:20 | #2

    Looks like “GOOD TIMES ” Holly. Every year I go home it’s AMAZING how many new food products the USA has to offer. I seen the single serving Popcorn last time in LIME flavor too. Go figure. The seafood looks great there. I remember my trip to Seattle it was cold & rainy, but a nice time. After being over here and then back to the USA it’s culture shock all over again. Everything is much brighter in color and the GREEN is more intense. I sooo wanna move back to the USA. Just gettin older and missing my culture and the laid back way. Hope all ur travels are good ones. Sample all the beautiful things the US has to offer us. Take in the colors there!! 😉 Smiles to ya.

  3. barb.
    July 15th, 2011 at 16:50 | #3

    After the dust and the semi-arid plant life found in Jordan, I always find the natural richness of the USA that much more beautiful. I think the things you are noticing — the tattoos, the dogs, the casual lifestyle — are not new or particularly different, but are in fact more obvious to you now that you’re used to life in the Middle East. Americans have always been nuts about their pets, for example. I remember the first time I came back after a year away: I was overwhelmed by everything. The clothes, the diversity of people, the choices in the grocery store, what I could watch on TV. A proper Internet connection. Yellow school buses. The tsunami of plant life.

  4. Holly S. Warah
    Holly S. Warah
    July 15th, 2011 at 20:00 | #4

    @barb. So true! Living overseas changes one’s perceptions of their home country. After ten years in Dubai, that city has become my “norm.” Meanwhile, Seattle is still familiar … but it’s foreign, too.

  5. Holly S. Warah
    Holly S. Warah
    July 15th, 2011 at 20:04 | #5

    @Jeannie Neely I thought of you, Jeannie, when I was in Pike Place Market! I think it’s my favorite place in Seattle.

    @Vickie Al hazineh I hope you get back to the US soon. You’ll appreciate it more than ever after being away for so long… But at least they have Starbucks in Jordan now! 😉

  6. Danielle
    July 16th, 2011 at 17:25 | #6

    sounds so good, Holly! I love Seattle, such an alive city, if that makes sense! And the northwest…last time I was in BC, my eyes just craved the green, it was like they were drinking it. Enjoy your time there, and enjoy all the yummy food — two more weeks to Ramadan 🙂

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