Seattle's Gross Gum Wall Gets Too Gross

Seattle's Gross Gum Wall Gets Too Gross

Who's idea was this in the first place?

Vendors around Pike Place aren't expecting to sell a lot of gum in the next week or so.

Seattle is hitting the restart button on one of the city's oddest and most popular tourist attractions in decades. The city is scraping 20 years’ worth of gum from the alley using cleaning crews armed with shovels and high temperature pressure washers. The brick wall is estimated to hold over one million pieces of sugary chewing gum. The strain on the 115-year old wall is said to be too much with an estimated (literal) ton of gum sticking to the surface.

The Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority plans to weigh the left overs of this disgusting tourist anomaly. The group’s intention is to preserve the buildings in the area covered by the gum. No plans are in place to prevent future gum patronage in the future.

The origins of this presumably unexplainable tradition is believed to have an explanation! Patrons waiting outside of an improv comedy club during the 90s were believed to have placed the first sacred wads of gum on the brick wall. Thus, the nasty trend started and several attempts were made to clean the wall off. After mentions of the wall circulated through tourist guidebooks and word-of-mouth, the city decided to leave it alone and let those tourist express their God-given right to smash chewing gum between ancient bricks.

Cascadian Building Maintenance is the group responsible for possibly the most disgusting job of their enitre careers. They’re careers are spent doing a lot of gross projects but this one probably takes the cake. They have set a containment system to collect the run-off water and molten goop. The pressure washers are using water above 250 degrees to blast the layers of gum from the alley. The cleaning, according to Seattle Times, is expected to cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $4,000.

The whole operation sounds like an industrial check up with your dentist. Imagine the smell of that alley during the cleaning. A nice medley of peppermint, fruit flavors, and a whole lot of mold.

The grimy tourist trap is likely only the second most revolting attraction in all the world. After visiting the Blarney Stone of Ireland, pilgrims of the monument are given complimentary antibiotics. Okay, not really but the Blarney Stone is a big rock that thousands of people, per week, literally kiss with their literal mouths. The only thing nastier than kissing an old rock (or touching a gum wall) is kissing the same rock everyone else in Ireland has kissed.

At least the Blarney Stone has some historical significance to it. People have been climbing their way up stone step to kiss that son of a gun for over 200 years. The origin of the stone is unknown. Theories range from it being a thrown for Irish kings of old, to the stone that gushed water when Moses struck it. And that stone somehow ended up in… Ireland?

Anyway, the gum alley of Seattle will surely be renewed in gooey fashion within months of its bi-decade checkup. In the mean time, go check out a bunch of dudes chucking frozen fish at each other in the market.

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5 Reasons To Travel in 2018

2018 is the year that you book that flight.

2018 is a year to explore, a year for change and a year of realization. This year you should be checking off the bucket list and doing spur of the moment adventures. This is the year to do what you've always wanted to do. The year especially to travel. I mean, who doesn't want to travel, it is most people's aspiration to travel but never do so because life gets in the way. This year move life aside and travel.

1. Why not?

Pairs is practically calling your name! Whether it's Paris or Switzerland, across the Atlantic is calling for you. Travel, explore what that part of the world you haven't before.

2. Experience new things

Traveling for the first time or trying new cuisines. Traveling is all about firsts, very good firsts. Food, alcohol, and art. It is so different from the States.

3. Relaxation

From sitting in Luxemburg Gardens drinking wine to laying out on the beach in Nice soaking up the sun and salty air from the Mediterranean Sea, relaxation will be on your mind. Travel, take a break, relax, make 2018 peaceful and serene.

4. Meet new people

The people you will meet can and will probably become one of your lifelong friends as the memories you make will last you a lifetime.

5. Just to travel

Set your heart on travel, let it lock (love lock bridge) in. Get your passport. Start somewhere. Fill it with stamps of different countries and adventures. Adventure is out there, just waiting for you.

Don't let the trials and tribulations of 2017 to hold you back from boarding that plane to the trip that you've always wanted to go on.

Cover Image Credit: Haiden VanDerlaske

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How To Travel As More Than Just A Tourist

My trip to India taught me how to truly experience a foreign country.

Traveling has always been my favorite thing to do with my family. I am lucky enough to have parents who love to take trips all over the world, exploring new places and cultures as often as we can. Traveling with them over the years has made me question what it really means to visit a foreign country. What do we mean when we say we have visited a country? How much of it are we really seeing?

This morning, I landed home after spending two and a half weeks in India with my family. Before I left for the trip, a few people asked me if I was ready for what I was about to experience, and if I was afraid of the culture shock. I even had a friend ask me why I would ever want to visit somewhere as intense as India and tell me that he would never want to go there.

As someone who loves to travel, I couldn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to explore somewhere so fascinating and different than their home country. At the same time, I couldn’t help but feel nervous to witness a world so different from my own.

I have to say that my trip to India was definitely intense and a lot to experience. Among the stunning temples and palaces I got to visit, I was also met with images that shocked me, ones that made me want to avert my eyes, and ones that reminded me of how far I was from a culture I knew and understood.

While I could see why some people couldn’t see the appeal of experiencing a world so different, to me, it was the whole point of going to India in the first place.

Even after returning from such a powerful trip, I am still asking myself how much of it I really got to experience. I spent a big portion of my time in India sitting inside cars or rickshaws, watching the world outside like I was watching a movie. Through my window, I saw women fetching water draped in colorful saris, a Hindu monk smoking a cigarette, a group of men in turbans sitting around a fire on the side of the highway, and the most extravagant wedding procession pouring through the streets.

I saw cows, elephants, monkeys, and camels meandering through traffic in the middle of a crowded road.

Though I was in the country, visiting its sites, speaking to locals, and eating local dishes, there was still a sense that I was completely removed from my surroundings. As I looked at miles and miles of villages and towns fly by as we drove past, I realized that being a tourist may have only let me scratch the surface of India and its rich culture.

My travels through India were not about the hotels we slept in and were certainly not about how much rest and relaxation we had during the vacation. But they were not only about the historical sites and opulent monuments we visited as tourists, either. The moments that had the deepest effect on me were the ones when I felt completely out of place.

When I think of my time in India, I think of getting lost in the middle of a bustling crowd, feeling totally overwhelmed by my surroundings, receiving stares from locals and wondering if I was intruding when entering temples, markets or monuments. I think of the moments when I got a glimpse into a world that tourists do not often get to see.

The raw and real side of India, the one that people once warned me about, is what makes me long to return and continue experiencing all of it.



Cover Image Credit: Julia Schulman

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