First Time In Bellingham

Vincent, a friend from the Port Townsend Winter Shelter, and I drove up to Bellingham two days ago. We were only going to spend a day but it’s turning into three. Since he’s paying for our days at a Motel 6, I’m not complaining. Yesterday, while he was resting in the motel to rendezvous with his baby mama and daughter, I drove up to Aldergrove, Canada. They gave me grief at Customs because they don’t want any homeless people from America in Canada. Some nerve. I told the man it wasn’t my intention. After his thorough grilling, he let me in. I was so pissed that, when I got to Aldergrove, I went into a Pizza Hut, bought a small order of bread sticks, and drove straight back to the US. That was my 2nd time in Canada. I’d went to Montreal about 12 years ago. My experience was much more positive back then. I was even waiting in Customs with Parliament-Funkadelic while their backgrounds got clearance.

Bellingham is turning out to be a positive experience – lots of restaurants and shops, amicable people, night spots, gay-friendly joints, and various sites with incredible views of the city. I did notice some police activity, one even involving rifle-armed officers leaping out of their unmarked cars ordering the members of their target car to the ground. Vincent says these are rare sights; I’ll take his word for it. I did briefly think about relocating here so I gave a looksee into the Housing Authority. The regular apartments are expensive so, like Seattle or Port Townsend, I’d have to go the subsidized route. As it turns out, there are no studio or one bedroom vacancies; those waiting lists aren’t even open. And since I don’t qualify for a two or three bedroom abode, I’m SOL in the subsidized market. In other words, I’ll just keep my focus on PT for now, and that’s too bad because one of Bellingham’s selling point is their plethora of Asian restaurants, and the fact they even have a Punjabi lunch buffet bistro. What could be cooler than that?

Two things I did notice which leaves a bad taste in my mouth are the illogically laid-out roads and the stifling traffic throughout the city. From the outset, Bellingham seems crowded; it is full of college students, so I expect that. However, I’ve already ran into the occasional careless/aggressive/impatient driver. Some of the intersections leave a lot to be desired, too, as they seem confusing up close. Also, because of the large amount of construction going on, several detours around the city makes navigating through here a bigger challenge than it should be. At least I-5 is relatively accessible here. That makes driving around a bit easier.

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