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1 week: Redmond vs Austin

It’s been a full week since I moved into my own apartment. It’s starting to feel more like I’m grounded now instead of being on four vacations for the past five weeks. Pretty much everything is put away or tossed in the bed-less bedroom. I’m trying hard not to buy all new furnishings from IKEA, but I tell myself the stuff I buy isn’t /that/ obvious or tacky.

I also got internets through Verizon DSL on Wednesday, so I’ve been working from here since. It feels beneath me to get my internet through a pair of copper, but it’ll have to do until FiOS is available. My work seating has upgraded from a foam Thermarest pad, to a pair of milk crates, now to a stack of Pelican cases.

I’ve built up a small list of things that I’ve already noticed that are different than what I’m used to compared to Texas that really stood out so far:

  • Everything is so close together. It feels like a big small town. The grocery store and Trader Joe’s is two blocks away. I don’t even have to venture outside to get to my truck, check my mail, or take out the trash.
  • It’s also quiet and dark in downtown Redmond at night, not much going on. The streetlights seem to only be in places where they’re necessary such as corners and crossings. I realized the other night that there’s virtually no stars at night from the cloud cover. And, there’s no giant mega car lots that pollute the horizon with light.  There’s also no “party street”. I haven’t decided if I like this or not, that maybe I’m missing the scene in Seattle. Then again, parking is easy on the eastside.
  • Iced tea is hit or miss. Many places sell tea made from Nestea mix, but will usually at least warn me first.
  • I’ve already had more unique visitors here in the past week than I have the past 2 years in Austin.
  • I-5 and I-405 are usually congested so I have to re-adjust what “only 15 miles” means to me. In Austin I thought nothing of driving 15 miles to Homeslice Pizza because I could drive fast on MoPac. Here that can turn into a 45 minute trip.
  • There’s a surprising amount of Mexican (what I would consider as Tex-Mex) in Redmond.
  • The homeless are hardcore here. The other day I saw a guy with super long, greying hair, in denim shirt + pants, soaking wet and shivering from the rain, holding up a waterlogged cardboard sign that was falling apart. They is also no shortage of loud obnoxious ones in downtown Seattle.
  • Even going to IKEA is weird. They have two giant warehouses converted into indoor parking lots.
  • Lack of central head & air is weird. Each room is a different temperature, the air can get stuffy, and mold is a real risk here.
  • I no longer have to subtract 2 hours when I think about people on the west coast. Now I have to add 2 hours when thinking about Oklahoma or Texas.
  • Peet’s Coffee is here, so delicious. I’ve always bought my tea online from them, it was complete accident that I found their store.
  • Fred Meyer is huge. I can’t comprehend it in order to describe to somebody else. It feels like an uppity Target with the food section from a Wal-Mart Supercenter, but not quite.
  • Trader Joes is here too, I love buying food here and look forward to trying more.
  • Rent is a bit more expensive, food is a couple dollars more, gas is way more, groceries seem the same.
  • When I’m indoors I don’t notice the weather. It’s usually not until I go outside I realize it is raining or cloudy.
  • So far there’s been quite a bit of sun here. Everyone has been taunting me to enjoy it while it lasts.

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