So yesterday I did the touristy thing and took the Seattle Underground Tour. To be fair there's not that much to see but the history of the city was interesting. Seattle had always had problems with flooding and sewage and when a fire in 1889 burned down much of the business district it was decided to rebuild on top of the remains to raise the level substantially. The tour takes you to the now mostly unused subterranean passsages that were once shops, hotels and bars.
Another interesting fact was that before the fire Seattle, whose main population was male - predominantly loggers, legalised the local brothels so that they could tax them. Apparently the tax made up most of the city's income for many years.
The parochial attitude of some Americans was displayed at the beginning of the tour when we being given a lecture on how the tours started and some basic Seattle history. Our guide asked members of the audience to put their hands up if they thought they'd travelled the furthest to take the tour. Being a reserved Englishman I naturally didn't bother but a slew of hands went up around me. The first few people were actually from out of state! They sat back proudly until it transpired that there were people from as far away as the UK, Germany and Switzerland.
Today is the MVP Summit registration followed by an exhibition of some of the things going on at Microsoft and I'll be attending the EMEA regional party. In theory there is also another party after that but given that my sleeping pattern is a bit random so far I doubt whether I'll be up for that.