I would say I went through two rude awakenings today. I stayed at David Trang's house on the day prior to the trip, and let me tell you: i was freezing on his couch. To make things even better, at 4:00 in the morning, I got woken up abruptly oblivious to my surroundings and I get urged out of the house. Great start to the day.
The airplane ride, I would say, went extremely well until I encountered my second rude awakening. I slept through a majority of the plane ride, though I was somewhat conscious during the descent. Still, I managed to fall asleep and I was starting to enter the dream world when suddenly: BOOM. Until then, I have never been asleep during landing and it is not pleasant. At all.
Sleep is good for you friends.
I must say, we entered Seattle on a good day. Their transit system seemed to be going through renovation, and the 97 shuttle bus was deployed as a temporary band-aid. Great news for us—it was free and got us, for the most part, where we needed to go. Our first destination is none other than the Chinatown-International District, home to the spectacular Wing Luke museum.
We were given a tour of the museum by John, a rather upbeat fellow that lifted up my mood. Seattle's I.D. Is surprisingly similar to SF's Chinatown. Many of the struggles that we faced have also been faced at one point by Seattle's I.D. Discrimination against both communities led to the formation of Family Associations as a defense mechanism. I'm not too sure about the prevalence of I.D's Family Associations today though, especially in comparison to SF's.
There's a lot of other similarities between the I.D. and SF's Chinatown but before I get carried away, I must note that the I.D. represents a huge array of races and ethnicities. The majority of the population is Chinese, but there is also a significant Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Filipino, White, and Black population. International District is truly an "International District."
What struck me the most during the tour is Yick Fung Co, an import/export shop created with the purpose of benefiting the Asian-Canadian people. Many Canadian immigrants were left in bad condition after their journey, as tickets were awfully expensive. Effectively, Yick Fung Co. worked as a Steamship agent.
There are many other parts of the tour, but I can't talk about all of them for a plethora of reasons. From what I have seen, SF's Chinatown seems extremely similar to ID in terms of historic struggles, but the outcome of these struggles are quite different. Just take a look at both of them at 10:00am, the difference is unreal(I'll gradually explain this in my future blogs).
Anyway, the rest of the day was smooth sailing. We visited the Seattle Space Needle and the view is beyond spectacular. That's all I have for today.
McDonalds count - 4