Three months ago Seattle was just a dream, scenes from a movie and a Windows theme. Now Seattle has become a welcoming city that feels like home to Pierce College’s NWCCI students. In September, students spent two days touring Seattle’s tourist highlights. They visited the Space Needle, took a harbor cruise, toured the Experience Music Project museum and explored Pike Place Market. They found many new things and were surprised to find some of their favorite things from home. Below Ishtiaq Aftab writes about his experiences in Seattle and shares reflections from his classmates. Ishtiaq Aftab is studying media on the Northwest Community College Initiative program at Pierce College.
605 feet above the ground, standing on the top floor of Space needle and having a look at Seattle city is an amazing experience. I remember my visit to Minar-e-Pakistan (Pakistan Tower) in Lahore city back in 2002. Although there is no comparison between the six hundred and two hundred foot towers, there are some similarities; both of them were constructed in 1960s and they are beautiful and strong enough to carry thousands of people every day.
I used to see a picture of Space Needle almost every day on my laptop’s Windows theme when I was in my country and finally now I am standing on the top of this tower. It is like a dream.
It is an amazing experience to explore a city which you have seen on screen only. Seattle is a city which I had only seen in the movie “Sleepless in Seattle.” I don’t have words to describe my experience but if you ask me to choose between Seattle visit and a cup of tea with Tom Hanks, I will prefer to visit this city again.
During the month of September, Pierce College NWCCI students had many tours to Seattle both as a group and individually. It was unique and different experience for every one of us to visit and discover a big city of the United States first time our lives. Here are some comments and expressions of students about first Seattle tour:
Grace Kalumata, a student from Indonesia, said that the most wonderful place in Seattle is EMP Museum. The display of guitars and audio video visuals on a big screen was amazing.
Brazilian student Amanda Shimizu and Sena Yumru from Turkey enjoyed their famous national cuisines in Seattle. Amanda found “Churrascaria” (Brazilian BBQ) in a Brazilian restaurant and Sena went to a Turkish restaurant to eat Gozleme and Dolma. Both of them liked the tour of Space Needle.
Habibi from Indonesia, Leon from South Africa and Huzefa Chickani from India liked the trip on Argosy cruise which is one of the best tourist attractions in the city. Leon told me that it was his first experience to go in water on a ship. Habibi and Huzefa saw many Hollywood movies which were filmed in Seattle before visiting Seattle.
Jessica Storrer from Brazil took her first cup of Starbucks during Seattle tour. She liked the view of Seattle city from Great wheel during a sunny day as compared to a foggy day visit of Space needle.
Ashwini from India appreciated the quick photograph facility on Argosy cruise. Salman from India was surprised to see the bubble gum wall in Seattle.
Rara, an Indonesian student compared Seattle and her city Jakarta and said that Seattle is a big city like Jakarta but it is more friendly and clean.
There are a lot of attractions in this city; The Seattle aquarium, The International Fountain, Seattle Center, EMP (Experience Music Project) Museum, Seattle Center Monorail, The towers of the Pacific Science Center, Parks and many other things which surprised us but we also surprised some people in Seattle. We were sixteen people from different countries in an elevator at Space Needle. The elevator staff was surprised to see us. One of staff member asked, “Where are you guys from?” and the answer was, “We are just internationals”. The elevator staff knew that it takes only 41 seconds to reach on the top floor and proper introduction will take half an hour. So, they gave us a short briefing about Space Needle and wished us good luck. This surprising phenomenon is not just confined to elevators. The government offices, departments, grocery stores, restaurants, wherever we go together, the staff at these places stop their routine activities and they entertain us first.
Seattle is an international city and so we are. Before going to visit Seattle, we marked some locations of our own traditional restaurants on Google maps. It was really good experience to talk with some people in our own native language and eat traditional food of our respective countries.
This exploration is just the beginning. Many of us are going to explore something new at every weekend in Seattle. We are also planning to visit some other wonderful cities of U.S in next academic break.