UW Out-Of-State Student Finally Adjusts to Seattle Freeze, Goes on Hike, Is Socially Overwhelmed
by SOPHIE AANERUD
Published: June 23, 2018
Created by Kevin Gladwell, Courtesy of talmida via logout.hu
University of Washington sophomore and Seattle transplant Peter Singh is suing the Washington Trails Association (WTA) after suffering severe emotional distress on a local hike last Tuesday. Singh was confronted with two years’ worth of social interaction in one afternoon, and having adjusted to the notorious “Seattle Freeze,” the UW student was left wholly unprepared for the hike, rated “easy to moderate” on the WTA page. Singh claims that in fact, the hike ought to either be rated “difficult” or have warnings listed to inform potential hikers of social injuries which could befall them.
In his deposition, Singh recounted his jarring experience on Kendall Katwalk.
Singh was forced to make many adjustments to his lifestyle when the New Jersey native moved across the country to attend college in Seattle.
“Where I come from, people smile at you,” explained Singh of his time in New Jersey. “I came here and would try saying ‘hi’ to strangers, making conversation with baristas -- the usual stuff-- and people would look at me like I was crazy . . . If they looked at all.”
Singh had come face-to-averted-face with the pervasive “Seattle Freeze,” a phenomenon which is typically characterized by the polite refusal of individuals to acknowledge the relevance or existence of strangers and passersby.
It took “a good two years” for Singh to adjust to the Freeze.
“I perfected the art of eye-aversion and convinced myself that any attempt at greeting a stranger is fake and therefore in fact rude,” Singh explained.
Last Tuesday, after finally and officially acclimating to the true Seattleite’s icy demeanor, and noting a surprising change in the weather, Singh agreed to hike the popular Kendall Katwalk with some friends. Knowing that the Katwalk is a local hike frequented by Seattle’s outdoor enthusiasts, Singh felt mentally prepared for the venture.
“I knew I would encounter Seattleites on the trail, so I spent a couple hours mapping out how best to avoid physical and social contact on a narrow path,” recalled Singh. “I thought I was ready. I was wrong.”
Singh was “shaken to the bone.” Not only did other hikers recognize him as human during last Tuesday’s jarring ordeal, but they even made efforts to say “hello” and engage in brief conversations.
While Singh made attempts to pull acceptable responses to the unexpected friendliness deep from his New Jersey roots, he found himself, more often than not, releasing a robotic slur of weather-related adjectives and salivating heavily.
Singh is currently recuperating from the overwhelming experience and intends to “stick to the city,” where he is safe from the newly discovered yet truly devastating threats of social interaction. He encourages others to do the same, hoping to avoid more trail incidents like his own. “If you really have to get out into nature, remember to bring the most essential piece of hiking equipment,” Singh cautioned. “Your headphones.”