July 11 2008


space needleI’ve made it to Seattle for Summer Mash Seattle, and no, I can’t see the Space Needle from my room.  (I can see an office building, but everyone seems to assume I can see the Needle)

I was up at 6:15 AM, which for me is unheard of.  The only time I ever see 6:15 is when I’m heading to bed, but see it I did.  The flight wasn’t as awful as I feared as they took pity on me and put me in an exit row, but that’s where it got a bit odd.

As you know, to sit in an exit row, you have to be willing to open the door in case of an emergency.  Well, the person closest to the door was a tiny Asian woman who couldn’t have weighed more than 90 lbs.  The door weighs 49 lbs… you do the math.  The stewaress talked to her about if she was comfortable with this:

Stewardess: The door weights 49 lbs, are you sure you can lift it?

Woman: … yes.

Stewardess:  It’s pretty heavy.

Woman: … yes.

Stewardess: You’re sure you understand your responsabilities?

Woman: … yes.

Stewardess: You’re sure you can lift that door, we can move you, but if you’re sure you can lift it, we’ll leave you.

Woman: … yes.

Stewardess said “Okay”, and walked on.  Um… she didn’t answer the last question correctly!  The guy behind me and I both asked if she was sure the woman understood her.  “Well, she answered ‘yes’.”  Guy behind me and I informed the stewardess that, yes, she answered “yes”, but that proved nothing.  She went on her merry way.  So the guy asks me, “Are you sure you can lift a 49 lbs door while shoving aside a 60 lbs woman?”  Iinform him he should be ready to catch her as I fling her over the seat.

I have nothing against the woman, but it was pretty clear her English wasn’t that good, and the Stewardess should have made sure the woman could actually speak English before deciding a bunch of “yes” answers qualified her for the exit row.  Luckily nothing happened, but I wasn’t really looking forward to flinging a little woman over the seats.

In short, I’m in Seattle, I like it here, though I’m still forming my final opinions.  It seems to be full of contradictions between the old andthe new, the mainstream vs. the non-mainstream.  Very interesting place.

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