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The "Curse of Bellingham" Washington


A dissertation on the most anti-social place in the world


By Winston Wu

?Once you?ve lived in Bellingham, when you leave it, circumstances bring you back?

- The Bellingham curse as described to me by long-time residents


?Bellingham is like a black hole, drawing people in and sucking back those who try to get away?

- How I would describe Bellingham and its alleged curse


?The only constants in Bellingham are boredom, loneliness, and anti-sociality.  It is the only place I know of where flirting is vilified as a crime to the female population.?

- Me again



Table of Contents

Introduction - What is the curse?

Examples of the alleged curse

Explanations for the alleged curse

Bellingham?s major deficiencies

- Stagnation of mind and soul in a dead lifeless environment/vibe

- Dominant isolation mentality the norm in Washington

- The most anti-social closed people in the world

- Visual proof of anti-social WA public on ferry ride vs. opposite in Europe

* Interactive experiment you can do to verify my claims

- Validation from The Seattle Times that I?m right

- In Bellingham: going out alone = staying alone

* Results of internet mass mailing attempts

- The most stuck up girls in the world - anti-social, anti-stranger, anti-flirtatious, non-inclusive

- Probably the only place in the world where flirting is a crime

* Interactive experiment you can do to verify my claims

- 2 constants in Bellingham - boredom and loneliness

- ?Social life holocaust? worse than horror fiction

- $1000 offer to anyone who can prove me wrong

- No opportunity, repressed job market, deadbeats abound

- Why many who hate Bellingham or Washington don?t admit it

Is the problem me?

How I came to be in Bellingham and why I kept returning to it


- Suggestions and inspiration for leaving Bellingham

Reader Responses

Addendum: Opposing views from those who love Bellingham and my responses

Addendum:  Does Washington have a mysterious force that keeps people in it?

Addendum:  What people are saying about Bellingham on Craig?s List (I?m glad I?m not the only one that?s sane!)

Updates on my life after leaving Bellingham in June 2006 

- Awe-inspiring photographic proof that my life is infinitely better outside Bellingham and the USA



Note:  The claims I make in this essay are not intended to be scientific, but based on my years of meticulous observations and experiences in Bellingham.  Though others may have differing views and experiences (such as shown in the addendum of this article), so far no one has been able to prove my assertions wrong, and certainly not by the hands-on interactive experiments I offer readers to do to verify my claims*, such as the message board forum and shopping mall experiments.  I also don?t mean to overgeneralize in this essay either, but at the same time, one cannot deny that different PATTERNS do exist between regions and cultures.


Introduction ? What is the curse?

After being in and out of Bellingham, WA for 6 years, there are many words I would describe it with: 


closed, cliquish, anti-social, reclusive, secluded, isolating, trapped, remote, anti-stranger, uptight, stuck up, boring, dull, stagnating, suffocating, mind-numbing, a closed shell, a pain in the ass to drive to the nearest city to do anything, lonely, gloomy, dead, lifeless, devoid of any energy, passion, character, etc., devoid of EVERYTHING - social life, fun, jobs, dating scene, etc., depressing, anal-retentive, unapproachable girls with an anti-stranger femnazi ?all men are creeps? mentality, anti-men, the only place in the world where flirting is a crime, worst dating scene/nightmare for single men, the ?Hades of social life?, full of sadists and masochists who love loneliness and boredom, negative repressed vibe, energy vampire, energy/life force sucking, energy vacuum, black hole that sucks people in and those who try to leave, vortex that sucks the life force out of you and turns you into a vegetable, vibe/energy on a polarity opposite to mine, poison to my life force and aura, a TOTAL WASTE OF LIFE, a place where time just drags on and on with no purpose, a dead burial ground for your life, a place where people live and think with a narrow tunnel-vision and live in a tight ?box? isolated from the rest of the world, etc.


Many like to say that Bellingham is a nice place.  Sure, it might be a nice place if you have no sexual desires, don?t like to meet beautiful women, are anti-social, reclusive, isolationist, or a hermit.  If not, it can be a living nightmare.


Obviously, your next instinct would be to ask why I am here then.  Well that's what I ask myself everyday.  Of course I don?t want to be here and never did.  It is the topic I am trying to explore in this essay, but I will go over my story later of why I keep getting trapped in the worst place to live in the world.  What might surprise you though if you?ve never been here, is that in spite of how I described Bellingham above, almost everyone here LOVES it and never leaves!  That is so freaking odd to me, that everyday I feel like I?m in the ?Twilight Zone? here.


In fact, most people who have lived here one time or another, don't seem to ever leave, at least not permanently.  Many years after I arrived, I continue to see most of the same people working the same dead end jobs there. 


You see, in this town, there is a legendary "curse of Bellingham" where once you live here, you are destined (or doomed perhaps) to stay.  Those who attempt to leave are often brought back by a series of circumstances, sometimes against their own will.  It's a phenomenon so common and frequent among Bellingham residents, that it earned itself the reputation of being a ?curse.?  It?s not known how or why such an alleged curse works, only that its effects seem eerily real, as well as a noticeable pattern.

I?m not saying that no one has ever lived and left Bellingham for good of course, for some have.  But there is such an unusual high percentage of folks young and old, who come and never leave, or who leave and are brought back somehow, way above normal, that people can?t help but notice this pattern.  Other towns in the world that are of Bellingham?s size don?t usually have this reputation.  Even places with a foresty damp northern climate and environment similar to Bellingham do not have this odd phenomenon, but instead have a normal migration and de-migration rate.  That?s what makes Bellingham unique compared to areas similar to it in appearance, which defies rational explanation.


Therefore, this alleged curse wouldn?t apply to everyone, only certain people it chooses to put a stranglehold on.  Perhaps it has a mind of its own and selects those whom it chooses (kind of like how God in Calvinistic doctrine pre-selects those he wishes to become saved through predestination).  Who knows?  But whatever the case, life in Bellingham for many feels like an over-extended series of Gilligan?s Island episodes where the crew is never able to leave.


First though, before we continue, for those of you who don?t know where Bellingham is, it?s situated in the northwestern part of Washington state in the Pacific Northwest of America.  It?s located right off highway Interstate 5 (which runs through Washington, Oregon, and California) about 30 minutes below the Canadian border.  I would not call it a small town, for in a small town almost everyone knows each other and are very sociable toward one another, but Bellingham residents are anything but (which will be explained later).  And I would not say it?s a suburb either, as no major cities are near it, though it does have a suburban type environment and atmosphere.  Rather, I?d describe it as a remote isolated spread out town in the middle of nowhere, far and estranged from any interesting action.  Its terrain consists of forests, trees, lakes, and hills.  With a population of only about 67,000 (as of year 2000 census) the town is spread out over a vast area, giving it a larger land area than you might expect for its population.  And of course giving everyone a lot of privacy, seclusion and isolation (which certain type of people like in abundance).  You can see pictures of the Bellingham and Whatcom County area here: ,, and (Note: Don?t let the nice scenery fool you though; most of the time, it?s cloudy and gloomy, and the vibe is dead and depressing).


Now don?t get me wrong here.  The town is situated in pretty scenery.  However, like a hot airhead blonde girl, its beauty is only skin deep, totally devoid of any depth, substance, personality, energy, life, or anything of worth, which soon becomes apparent to any normal person.  Of course, no doubt the town is peaceful, but if peaceful is all you need in your simple life, and nothing else, then perhaps the town would suit you.  But for the ambitious, no frickin way!


I would say that Bellingham and Washington state in general is good for a week vacation, but that?s it.  Living there is suffocating to your mind, body, and soul, to the point of causing insanity and wasting years of your life.



Examples of the alleged curse


Now here are some examples of the workings of this alleged curse.


From a case that transpired in my life, back in 2001, I went to Virginia City, Nevada, a touristy Old West town near Reno.  For 6-7 months, I had a great time, a great job and girlfriend.  Suddenly, before my last month there, it all came down suddenly.  I lost it all and reached such a dead end, in conjunction with a faltering economy there, that I couldn?t even get a job at a 7-11 cause I had to be put on the waiting list for it!  With nowhere else to turn, I went home to Bellingham for Christmas, where my parents were.  While there, a good government job I applied for a year before suddenly became available and was offered to me.  Though I preferred to stay in Nevada, with a dead end there, I felt that the only door was back to Bellingham for that job.  So, conveniently, the doors closed and opened for me without my control, all the way to Bellingham (poo hooh).  Like a zombie, I followed the curse?s shaping of my destiny, back to my nemesis town of Bellingham!  So you see, this is an example from my own life of the way the curse works, causing ?circumstances to bring you back to Bellingham?. 


It seemed ominous how all the circumstances on both sides were exactly timed to bring me back to Bellingham.  It was as if God or the universe opened and closed doors in a way to bring me back to Bellingham


There are, I hear, many such stories from those who have tried to leave Bellingham before.


One guy I worked with at a temp job told me that he once moved away to San Diego to seek a better life, but after he was laid off, he described, ?I felt like I just had to leave San Diego for some reason!  But I?ve been miserable ever since I came back to Bellingham.? 


An actor and singer I met who calls himself by the pseudonym ?Johnny Midnite?, said that he liked staying in Bellingham because he liked being ?a big fish in a small pond?.  But later on, when he read my other essay detailing the deficiencies of Bellingham (an earlier version of this one), he said that what I wrote was true and should be published in the local papers here, which he promised to help do (but never did).  What?s odd here is that if he agreed with my extreme anti-Bellingham views, then why the heck would he be here still, especially since he?s divorced, jobless (when I met him), and therefore has no obligations here?  It makes no sense.


This ?curse of Bellingham? not only applies to mundane accounts, but to unusual ones as well.  For instance, I heard about this couple driving through Washington on their way to Alaska, when their car broke down while passing through Bellingham.  When they tried to get it fixed, a series of events happened to make them stay.  And years since, they?ve remained in Bellingham, never having made it to Alaska.  Such accounts are chilly and creepy, and attest to the unusual, perhaps supernatural nature of this ?curse of Bellingham?, whatever it is.


Similarly, two Finnish backpackers I know traveling the world ran out of funds and ended up in Bellingham, not at the same time though, about a week apart.  One of them I met through, a free accommodation site, whom I hosted in my home.  What?s uncanny is that they both ran out of money exactly as they approached Bellingham (apparently this curse has the power to drain funds as well?).  Ironically, their plan is to work there and save up money to continue their travels (which is how some permanently ended up there! <spooky music playing in the background>), and they somehow chose to do so in one of the towns with the least opportunity and worst job market in America!  Now isn?t that a bit fishy?  Of course, they will say that ?circumstances? seem to have timed it that way and brought it about like that.  Uh huh, now where have we heard that before?  The one that I hosted even tried to cross the border into Vancouver, Canada (which is a big city, so again it makes no sense why one would seek work in an economically repressed small town rather than a big city, which is eerie) but was rejected by the customs officials, who cited him as having too little cash to insure himself from becoming a homeless vagabond in their country.  So he was forced to turn around, back to you know where.  Creepy isn?t it? 


And to top it off, my Finnish friend got offered a rent-free room here to stay in for a few months, which is amazing and lucky, while he seeks work.  Though he may consider that to be a great blessing and helping hand from above, the way things go in this eerie Bellingham, who knows.  It could in fact, be the beginning of the Bellingham curse?s stranglehold on his life as well!  God only knows how long they will be forced to remain in Bellingham, the eternal black hole.


Later on, I met the other Finnish backpacker, and he too told me that after 2 weeks in Bellingham, he can understand how I feel about it.  He also described it as ?dead? and that rather than a town, it was more like a ?burial ground?.  And he advised that I leave the town or else my ?life will die?.  So you see, I?m not alone in my views, despite the opinion of the majority of Bellinghaminions.


So like I said, the Bellingham curse is like a bad but real life horror movie.


(Update:  At the end of December 2005, they finally left Bellingham and headed to South America.  I guess they got away.  Hurray!  More power to them!)



Explanations for the alleged curse

I would describe this phenomenon as a ?force?, ?energy? or ?disease? that possesses people there and makes them stay for no logical reason, or that sucks their energy or life force to the point where they have neither the will, motivation, or desire to leave, even if their life is totally stagnated there.  Either way, there is something unnatural about it. 


I am immune to the strange affliction of so many who want to stay here perpetually, that I often feel that I am in the Twilight Zone or the only uninhabited human in the old sci fi horror flick Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  Whatever the case, Bellinghammers, Washingtonians, and Northwest people in general are definitely the people on earth I least have a ?kindred spirit? with.  They are like from a different dimension or planet, devoid of passion, intensity, or extremes.  In social situations with them, I feel totally awkward and unnatural, not resonating with anyone. 


Various theories have been presented to try to explain this ?curse? in Bellingham.  Some say that a tragic accident over a century ago in which Chinese workers were killed in mining caves, left disembodied spirits roaming around the town who inhabit its residents and compel them to stay.  Another theory is that the Chinese coal workers were murdered by local white settlers, and that just before they died, they put a curse on Bellingham, condemning it with bad karma.  However, the latter theory doesn?t seem to make sense since murder victims have no motivation to create a curse to make people stay there forever; wouldn?t they prefer the area to repel people from the area instead?  But nevertheless, there could be more to it, such as the curse being an indirect effect of the victims? condemnation?


In any case, here is how one Bellingham resident described the Chinese coal workers story to me:


?So..... I didn't read your whole page, but thought it interesting since I was raised in Bellingham, went away for school, was not planning on coming back, then was planning on staying for 1 year, and now I've been here for 1.5 years and have wanted to leave the whole time. 
Have you heard about the ancient curse on
Bellingham. I have heard a few people over the years mention this ancient curse on Bellingham. Do with it what you want....... 
Goes something like this: 
A long time ago when the first out of area "settlers" came to the land that would later be called 'Bellingham' by ship, the land was so dense with trees that people had to cut trees down to land. It seemed a place of much opportunity and a huge abundance of natural resources. Logging, fishing, hunting, and mining. What more could you ask for? The word got around and
Bellingham began to grow. It became slightly more diverse. As the story goes, a group of people from China sailed to Bellingham to escape the imperialism of chinese dynasties. They were not met by friendly open minded people and did not get along well with them. Bellingham people were as you describe them.... anti-social, isolated, and uptight. Nevertheless, the scenery was beautiful and the sky was the limit. This group from China made good use of the land and worked in a mine in the lowlands of what is now Whatcom County for settlers who had landed before them. 
Life was well enough....... 
Until one day they went to work like they did everyday and the mine collapsed behind them. 15-20 Chinese workers were trapped. There was no instant worries since no one was injured and there was plenty of machinery near the mine to remove the rubble in their way. Much time went by and conditions worsened. They began to fear for their lives. Why would no one save them? 
After what they thought to be about 3 days they had given up and knew that they would perish in the pitch black cold, damp, humid cave. It was dark and no one had spoken a word for 24 hours. They were miserable, anti-social, lonely, and depressed because they were going to die. On this 3rd day one of people gathered the group together to say some last things. All felt betrayed by the people of '
Bellingham.' They knew that they could have been saved and these miserable fucks had decided not to for economic reasons. The mine had not been producing. Together these 15-20 Chinese people placed a curse in their last hours of life. The set a curse that apparently still lives on today. Through the powers of their ancestors and their gods they wished that none of these people in Bellingham would ever leave and would sit in this damp, humid, unfriendly place. That they could not leave and neither would their children as well as their children and so forth. Even if they did leave they would find themselves sucked back into this miserable place. The rain and clouds would drive the depression and no one would ever try to leave again. Their children would be so depressed that they would just sit around and think....'what's wrong with me'? While never mustering up enough energy to do anything about it. To live miserably like this Chinese group died.....When they didn't have to........... 
So here we are. The children of parents whose parents parents parents let these people die because it was not financially smart to save them. Stuck in this town wondering why we can't leave. It's not our choice it's the wish of people long before us who have more reason for us to stay than for us to go............... ?


And another girl related a similar version in a nutshell:


?I wanted to write to  talk about the curse because other than my long lost friend Beth who 
told me about it I have never met another person who's heard of it. The story I got was that the imported Chinese laborers (who weren't allowed to cross the line of demarcation into Fairhaven unless to go the mines) were striking for various reasons and (this is where it gets fuzzy) so scab workers were brought in and the original group were all mysteriously trapped in a mine when it collapsed and no one dug them out and so, they put a curse on Bellingham that no one would be able to truly leave the place until they had accomplished what they came for. The catch is that no body really knows what they came for and those of us who came for college, graduate and then dont leave have no explanation... we just.... stay. I tried leaving at least 4 times and every time it didnt work out and so I went back. Its strange, really truly strange and I support you in your impending escape, if and when it comes.?


Another theory is that the ancient Native Americans who lived in the region used the area that Bellingham is situated on as their sacred burial area.  So the settling of it caused a curse to be brought upon its inhabitants.


Others have a more down-to-earth explanation, which is that people simply love the area and want to stay.


You might think the last explanation is the most sensible.  However, there are several problems with it, for it doesn?t account for certain things.  First, as already mentioned, some who have left and returned to Bellingham, do so against their will and therefore do not fit the ?I simply love it? explanation.  And it includes those who hate it.  I?ve personally met such folks, which includes me too.  Second, Bellingham is deficient in many areas, and has nothing to offer, at least not that you couldn?t get anywhere else.  It has virtually NO opportunity or social scene/life, which will be elaborated on later.  Therefore, there is no logical reason to ?to love it?, especially not to give up your precious life for.  After all, how can one ?love? a town that is devoid of EVERYTHING - social life, culture, fun, jobs, dating scene, etc!?  Just WHY do people stay in such a place devoid of everything and claim that they love it?  It totally beats me.


Though many claim they love Bellingham, it?s possible they are just saying that due to the ?Emperor?s New Clothes? phenomenon, where no one admits to the truth out of fear of others thinking that there?s something wrong with them.  People don?t even look happy in Bellingham, but rather repressed and numb.  Also, understandably, if people hate where they live, they don?t usually admit it until after they?ve left; then they feel free to express their true feelings without the risk of offending others or causing a conflict.  For example, Californians who move out of California often talk about how fake, shallow, and plastic the people and culture were in California, something they dare not say out in the open until they?ve left. 


The thing is, if one merely loves the foresty alpine environment of Bellingham, there are many areas of the world with the same foresty alpine environment and terrain, yet with much better opportunity and social life.  I can think of many both in the US and Europe.  So it makes no sense to choose Bellingham over other similar-looking places that are better.


In fact, many who stay there have no careers or personal/social/love lives, yet they still stay and never leave for some reason, though they have nothing going for them.  It makes no sense and makes this alleged curse so odd and suspicious.


Thus, I fail to see what those who love Bellingham see exactly.  It?s as mysterious to me as like when you take the most boring and pointless movie you ever saw, and later find out that most movie critics loved it and raved about it, leaving you scratching your head in wonder.  Then you find out that these critics see so many wonderful subtleties in the movie that its makers probably never even intended, as if the critics are merely seeing what they wanna see, perhaps in themselves.  Speaking of movies, if you?ve ever seen the 2004 flick Lost in Translation, (which critics loved but I found boring and pointless) you might remember the bored dragging expression on Bill Murray and Charlotte?s face throughout the whole movie.  Well that?s exactly how I feel everyday in Bellingham.


Therefore, though I cannot rightly say that there must be a supernatural or paranormal cause to this curse, nevertheless the ?they love it? explanation seems insufficient as well, so I would at least consider it to be ?unexplained?.  And this is especially so when there is nothing to love about it and so much to hate about it, as described in the next few sections.



Bellingham?s major deficiencies


Stagnation of mind and soul in a dead lifeless environment/vibe


The first day I arrived in Bellingham back in 1998, I IMMEDIATELY felt DISLOCATED.  It was insular, empty, dull, and gloomy.  Its cold, damp, dead, lifeless, stagnating climate numbs and wilts the body, mind and soul.  I constantly felt tired, groggy and depressed.  And there was nothing to expand my mind or soul, but in fact impedes its growth and evolution. 


There?s no energy or synergy between me and its environment, people, vibe, etc.  Its vibe is on a polarity that conflicts with mine, draining me and making me feel the conflict between who I am, the very essence of my life force, and what Bellingham is (whatever it is).  Hence, meaningful synchronicities and coincidences don?t happen for me, as my wavelength and its wavelength are not in tune.  Nothing good or bad happens to me there; time just passes and life is wasted.  There is no energy there which allows me to grow, expand, or mature. 


In Bellingham, I feel weak, insecure, and somehow naked of my confidence, like how Superman feels near Kryptonite.  Bellingham, and Washington state in general are to me what Kryptonite is to Superman.  I don?t know why, perhaps my strength and confidence are a mismatch there?  Even when I am with others, most of the time I still feel lonely and estranged for some reason.  Thus, the DEFAULT conditional state for me there is one of isolation, estrangement and loneliness.  So it feels like a constant uphill struggle to overcome the feeling of alienation, isolation, or loneliness. 


In Bellingham, the natural growth and evolution of my mind, aura, soul and persona are completely FROZEN, HALTED and rendered INERT!  Time just drags on and on without any purpose.  The area is devoid of any energy, personality, passion, etc.


Even just a week in Russia/Europe matures, evolves and enriches me more than ten years in a place like BellinghamEvery time I?m in Bellingham, I have no love life, no social life, no opportunity, nothing.  So I don?t understand why a place like this exists. 


Bellingham people tend to have a tunnel vision mentality and think inside their little bubble.  You can feel it strongly in the vibe of the town, which to me feels negative and repressed.  Hence, even though I am outgoing and like to go out, I don't in Bellingham cause its negative repressed energy and feel doesn't bring out that part of me.


One of my best friends, who used to live in Bellingham, told me that on the freeway when she approached the town, as soon as she passed the ?Samish Way? exit she could immediately feel the negative vibe and energy of the town.


Not just Bellingham, but in the Northwest in general, I feel like the climate is poison to my body, and the social environment vibe is poison to my soul.


Dominant isolation mentality the norm in Washington


Without a doubt, everywhere you go in Washington state, not just in Bellingham, there is this dominant isolation mentality that is the norm.  In fact, even the Seattle Times even ran an article on it when they did a story about the "Seattle Freeze", which corroborates my claims and experiences:


There is this boundary and social contract that you don't talk to strangers or try to meet people.  Instead, you are expected by the collective unspoken law to mind your own business, leave everyone alone, keep to yourself, and remain reclusive.  You can feel this social contract all around in the air, vibe, and aura of people everywhere in Washington.  Ick!  It's very odd and unusual, since the rest of the world is not like that at all.  It's like you are supposed to love loneliness to fit into Washington state.  And if you don't then you are a freak.  So for a social person who thrives on meeting others, Washington state is like the ultimate Murphy's Law.  It's like an anti-matter universe where all the normal laws are reversed, a sort of "Twilight Zone".


But for Washingtonians, they act like this is the norm.  Thank God I'm not one of them.  Anyone who talks to strangers or tries to meet people is considered a freak, psycho, or creep because he/she is violating the social boundaries of the isolationism mentality and culture of the bizarre state.  All this makes me yearn to get back into the real world.


Even this pleasant looking fellow in Seattle noticed this.  He writes on a CouchSurfing Group forum:


?Re: Visual proof of anti-social WA public I shot on ferry ride vs. opposite in Europe
9 6:55 pm
Yes, unfortunately, you are right. The greater populous of
Washington State in and around the greater Puget Sound can definitively be described as social isolating. I live here and am also aware of it.

Within minutes, literally, of my visits to
Seattle total strangers have approached me and said, "You're not from around here, are you." - they speak it as a statment, not a question. And it is in response to my "non-isolationistic" behaviours, which in some cultures are simply called "friendly".

You are right, in my experience, that people are drowning in isolation here - but most of them will accept a "friendly hand forward" for those brave enough to do it - in fact, the people I meet, intentionally this way, are GLADDENNED when someone, ANYONE, is willing to acknowledge that they exist, and strike up a conversation with them.

Washington will never be Europe - however, we do have the power to break through people's isolationism, and many are eager for that to happen.



Even at parties and social events, where it is more socially acceptable to interact with strangers, while people converse there is still this distant tone and posture in their voice, as well as an overly plastic polite manner, as though the unnatural boundaries between people still apply.  It's as though you aren't allowed to really connect with others or get close to them, only humor them with distant communication and over-politeness.  Weird weird weird.


In fact, this might be extreme, but I get this feeling that Washingtonians, if they had their way, would erase the rest of the world to make Washington all that exists in the world.  Ick!  These people are sick creatures to me.


Bellingham is one of those towns in the US that likes to pay LIP SERVICE to being friendly, but doesn't show it in action/reality.  Its residents, like most towns of Washington, lies and tells the rest of the world that its inhabitants are "friendly", but in fact, the people are generally snobby, exclusive, anti-social, love isolation/being left alone, don't invite you places, and think you're a creep if you talk to them.  So much for their lies and lip service.  As we all know, actions speak louder than words, and this is one big hypocrisy on their part.


Or maybe Northwesterners just live in a different world and are their own species?


I've never felt any comfort zone interacting with Bellinghammers and Washingtonians in general.  But in fact, me being near them feels like two magnets that repel each other.  Even when I am just doing a simple transaction with a store/supermarket clerk, or post office clerk, it feels awkward and I sense an energy that repels us from each other.  I just don't fit into Washington at all, period, and I am baffled as to why God/the universe put me there for so many years.  Some things just make no sense.  (Such as why capitalists like to claim that Christianity supports their ideology when it clearly doesn't, as the Bible clearly condemns greed as sinful/leading to destruction while capitalism teaches that greed is good and leads to progress/a better life)


The most anti-social closed people in the world


Bellingham is 100 percent ANTI-SOCIAL and 100 percent BORING.  Literally.  There?s no reason to go out there, since no one wants to meet you, and people are extremely reclusive, unnaturally so. (Yuck!) Thus, I am forced to stay home mostly.  And that?s unacceptable and pure suffocation to someone like me who is action-oriented, fun-oriented, and hot babe-oriented.


Contrast that to what I have in other countries, like the Philippines, where I ALWAYS have ACTION going on ALL THE TIME everyday, where I?m never bored, and where I have SO MANY hot girls to choose from who constantly want to meet me, be with me, have fun with me, be wild with me, etc. that I don?t have time for them all!


The thing I hate about Bellingham is that it strongly feels ILLEGAL and inappropriate to talk to strangers.  I know it's not my imagination because out in public, people don't talk to strangers unless it's business-related.  You can see it anywhere you go there.


It is obvious that it is socially unacceptable to talk to strangers in public, unless you need directions or have an innocent question about something.  Anything else is seen as a violation of the boundaries, especially with women. 


As a world traveler who?s traveled in a dozen countries, lived in 4 US states, and met thousands of people (literally), I can say that Bellingham and Washington people are the MOST closed, cliquish, anti-social, and dull folks I?ve ever met.  To me, it literally has the WORST social and dating scene in the universe.  Nowhere on Earth are people so uptight and anti-social as in this area.  I am wild and intense, while Whatcom County folks are reserved and Puritanical.  It's a total mismatch and misfit.  Thus, I constantly feel suffocated.


You can easily test this by approaching any woman in public that you are attracted to.  Just say "excuse me" and she will automatically put up a "force field" toward strangers that says "you are only allowed to talk to me if you need directions or have an innocent question".  Few guys have the guts to do this though, not because they are cowards, but because they know that it's socially unacceptable and inappropriate to meet girls this way (though Hollywood sitcoms don't acknowledge this reality).


Instead, you are only allowed to meet people by introduction through friends, or participation of an organizational activity that allows interaction to take place between its members.  That's how people meet in America.


Other socially acceptable places are bars, nightclubs, and parties.  But even in those places, people are still reluctant and uncomfortable talking to new people, and you can feel it by the inhibition they show when interacting with them, as well as the "boundaries" they put up.


I?ve never had such a hard time anywhere meeting quality interesting sociable people as I do in Bellingham.  It?s hard to find anyone normal who is not reclusive and isolating.  The town?s vibe, atmosphere, and aura are dead too, deader than a cemetery even.  People are extremely reclusive, closed, cliquish, don?t like talking to strangers, and have a hermit mentality.  They humor others, even those they?ve known a long time, in social situations with fake contrived greetings and conversations.   They are locked in their cliques and routines, keep to themselves, and don?t like to meet new people or expand themselves.  How boring. 


One married mom in Ferndale, the town just north of Bellingham, even wrote to me:


?Yeah, I hear that. Can't tell you how many times I go through this crap on a daily basis here in Fernhell.

I'm originally from
California and living here has completely changed me. I have ONE real friend here who is from Nevada. The mothers at my kid's school are complete jerks, if you try to strike up conversation with ANYONE anywhere they look at you like you're an alien.

I'm sick of this shithole. And even more pissed at my husband for bringing us here. It would explain why he's not so outgoing, for sure (he grew up here).
Don't get me wrong, I know I shouldn't be harping on B'ham, it's a beautiful place. I love how outdoors it is, and how there is SO much you can do during the summer...but the people here leave a lot more to be desired, you know?

And god forbid you have a differing opinion on


When asked why she agreed to come here, she replied:


?I've had no choice. My husband is native to here and moved us up here, so I have had to try to make friends in an area full of isolationists. Being from California, I am/was an outgoing person, never had any trouble making friends. People there are not at all like people up here.?


The women of the area are extremely unapproachable, stuck up, hung up against talking to strangers and assume that every guy who tries to meet them must be a creep or pervert.  It?s so bad that you can?t even ask a girl out to coffee without feeling like a creep or pervert.  So a guy who has desires can't do anything to pursue them, fulfill them, or express them. 


This is all very apparent, unless you?ve never stepped outside Bellingham in your life or you are a closed reclusive uptight person yourself (after all, those of the same kind do not see abnormality in each other).


It gets to the point where I don?t even like to go out in Bellingham, though I usually love going out.  Yes there are clubs and activities to join in Bellingham, but the vibe doesn?t make me feel like going out.  It doesn?t bring the outgoingness in me.  After all, what?s the point of going out in a town where no one talks to strangers, and girls are unapproachable?  All that results is going home disappointed everyday.  What a pathetic waste. 


In Washington, I often feel like I am in that episode of the classic Twilight Zone "Eye of the Beholder" where we see a disfigured lady removes her head bandages to reveal that she looks perfectly normal while everyone else in the hospital look like monsters, who in turn see her as a monster.  Or like the sole person uninfested by aliens in Invasion of the Body Snatchers (which in this case the sole person uninfected by the anti-social disease of Bellingham).


Yet what?s odd is that most people there do not think others there are anti-social, but quite friendly.  I?ve never understood why until recently, when I realized that if you are closed and cliquish yourself, then you will not see anything wrong with others who are that way too.  That seems like a sensible explanation.  (After all, anti-social reclusive people don?t mind that others are that way, just like sharks don?t mind if other sharks kill people, lions don?t mind if other lions kill their prey, bacteria don?t mind if other bacteria spreads, etc.)  It would also be reasonable to assume that those that feel as I do, whose vibe also conflicts with the polarity of Bellingham, probably either converted or left, hence the few left who are alienated like me. 


What I?ve noticed though, is that it?s not only with Bellingham, but Northwest folks in general seem to be a different breed than the rest of the world.  There is something about them that makes them seem transparent, like they aren?t even there.  It?s hard to explain.  They just seem to lack any energy or qualities that most humans have.  A few others I talked to have noticed this too, but most Northwesterners probably don?t cause after all, transparent people aren?t going to notice anything wrong with other transparent people. 


An acquaintance of mine from Nevada once told me though that ?wetland? people are different from ?dry land? people, and that I?m probably a ?dry land? person.  That certainly seems to be true as I often feel that Northwest people have an alien soul to me.  They don?t relate to me and I don?t relate to them.  I don?t see what they see, and they don?t see what I see.


For most Bellinghaminions, a weird lot to me, ?friendliness? merely means smiling and waving hi to strangers and then ignoring them after that.  Those are some pretty damn low standards, if you ask me.  To me, being ?friendly? isn?t merely being polite, but being sociable in ways such as enjoying meeting new people, inviting them out to parties, places, events, etc. arranging to meet, exchanging contact info, spending time together, etc. not just walking by saying a quick fake contrived ?hi? then walking on and never seeing the person again!  Sheesh.


In fact, Bellingham?s energy-sucking environment makes me not even feeling like being social.  And with such closed cliquish people all around me that I don?t click with at all, why even bother to try being sociable?  The atmosphere there totally discourages it, sapping all my natural motivation, blocking the best in me from ever coming out.  Whenever I try to meet people, it feels awkward and inappropriate (especially with girls), as I?m violating some unofficial but very real rule against interacting with strangers.  Overwhelmingly, it seems that you are only allowed to talk to a stranger if you need directions, need help finding something from a staff in the store, or have a practical situation that needs help with.  Otherwise, it feels totally ?out of bounds? which is awkward because 95 percent of the world is NOT like that at all, yet most Bellinghammers in their own little isolated insular box would never know or care about that.


Unlike most of the world, it seems that in areas like Bellingham (and much of the USA), meeting people is strictly limited to organized social gatherings ? parties, churches, school, work, group friend outings, etc. (unlike most of the world?s social scene which isn?t as limited).  But even then, people in those situations tend to be overly proper, distant, and communication is contrived and artificial.  I don?t usually do well in such scenes, as the girls all tell me about their boyfriends/husbands, or that they are too busy to see me on any type of personal level.  In school or work situations, people just come, do their thing, and leave.  So social scenes in the US are usually dead-end for me.  And besides, trying to connect with people who live in a tight box and have no inner life is awkward, as if I have to lower myself to be on their level and fit their flow. 


Even those who seem talkative and outgoing do so on a ?different wavelength? than those of the ?normal world? (95 percent of it that is); the way they talk and express themselves seem very contrived, insincere and fake, so that truly outgoing people like me do not feel like being outgoing ?their way?. 


The only way I can fathom someone thinking that Bellingham has a good social scene is if they have never been anywhere else in their life.  Otherwise, those accustomed to the social scene in Italy, Spain, Mexico, Latin America, Russia, Ukraine, etc. then they will find the social scene in Bellingham to be Hades by their standards.  Suffice to say, this may surprise you, but I have heard of people living in the remote woods in cabins along the path toward Mt. Baker, east of Bellingham, who are in their 30?s and have never once left Whatcom County even once in their life! (Perhaps ignorance is bliss?)


Though being closed to strangers and cliquish is prevalent in much of America, it is at its worst in Bellingham, in my experience.  In general, as in most of the world, people in northern cold climate areas tend to be more reserved and quiet, while those in the southern warmer climates tend to be more open, sociable, outgoing, lively, expressive, etc.  However, those in northern Europe (e.g. Sweden, Finland, Norway, etc.) are merely reserved in their nature, for once they get to know you, they are very talkative and social.  And in addition, they have a rich inner life to balance their outer life, something most American young folks, especially in Bellingham, are devoid of.  But in Bellingham, people aren?t just reserved, but have this negative anti-social energy about them as well, which makes me feel ?icky?.  Even when I get to know people, I still don?t feel close to them, but like an acquaintance that merely humors each other once in a while.  Hence, the everlasting perpetual loneliness of Bellingham and Washington state.


In Bellingham, even the immigrant populations are closed, cliquish, and uptight whereas the people in their home countries are the exact opposite.  Take the Ukrainian/Russian Pentecostals or the Dutch in Lynden (a small town north of Bellingham) for example.  Russians are among the friendliest, liveliest, most relaxed and sociable people to strangers in the world.  Yet the ones in Bellingham are 100 percent different than in Russia, except for the language.  They are not free-spirited, lively, sociable, and don?t invite me out like they do in Russia.  And it?s not just cause I?m not a novelty to them in Bellingham either, cause many Russians in Russia who have traveled to the USA many times, whom I am not a novelty to, invite me out and are interested in spending time with me.  (And plus keep in mind that the behavior of Americans, especially Bellinghaminions, are NOT the default standard by which the world?s peoples must be like, so just because a woman is not stuck up and unapproachable like in the US, does NOT mean that she must have ulterior motives; no way.  People can be different geographically without having ulterior motives.)  Likewise, I?ve met many Dutch people around the world, and none of them are as stuck up, closed, and uptight in their own world like the religious reclusive small Dutch community in Lynden.  It seems as though immigrants come to Whatcom County so they can be closed and uptight.  Go figure.  Not my lot at all.


It seems as though the anti-social disease of Bellingham has one benefit.  It seems to cure its residents of loneliness and the need for human companionship (except for me of course).  Virtually no one else there complains about loneliness or the anti-social people and vibe here, which is odd since companionship and love are supposed basic human needs.  Hence, again Bellingham defies explanation.  (Or perhaps these are sadistic people who love being lonely?)  In fact, many seem to like being alone and not bothered.  But that?s the norm in Bellingham, you don?t bother people and they don?t bother you.  That?s ok if you don?t want a social life and want to be a hermit, but not if you?re a social person like me.


Since the anti-socialness and immunity to loneliness in the Northwest has always been a mystery to me, I asked around about it, and one of my foreign contacts who used to live here in the Northwest (not Bellingham) offered this explanation:


?Well most people are content to remain within 50 miles of their birthplace so most people don't understand how outside of their "world" people function differently. I think the weather and local cliques are probably the cause. People just prefer to stay home because of the weather and don't go out as much, if they do its with people they are familiar with. Warmer area places usually always have friendlier people because everyone is out doing stuff and more people run into each other, plus nice weather makes people friendlier and in better moods to communicate with friends, or strangers.

I grew up in New England and we are not much friendlier then the north west, but a bit louder. However during the summer months people are friendlier and more talkative.  If you were to visit the southern states where it is warmer you would notice a difference, you have heard of southern hospitality?  Well its actually true, southern states are typically friendlier then northern states.

If you want to have a better social life and want to remain in the united states i suggest moving to any of the following states:

Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida,
Georgia, Hawaii, Puerto Rico (actually this would be a good location for a girl friend, the girls are more open and friendly, latin decent, and technically American Citizens)

If you ever travel to a tropical, desert or semi-desert type climate, people are more friendly,
Thats why so many people love the carribean, Mexico, central America, SE Asia, South America, Mediterranean area, Even Arabs are quite nice and polite even though our media portrays them as hating Americans, I never had a problem there if you don't act like an idiot and disrespect them.?


Now, don't get me wrong.  I need privacy too, but not to the point where I am left with little or no social interaction.


Simply put, Washington doesn't provide as much social interaction as I need.  Its people (other than progressive/eccentric/freespirit folks) generally prefer isolation/privacy/being left alone over social interaction, and being workaholics over having fun.  I am the opposite of all that and don't fit in.  I just don't understand why most there are like this.  It's like they have become a different species than me and other freespirits.


In suburban apartment complexes, it sickens me to see how cold and non-existent neighbors are to each other.  They rarely interact other than to say a quick polite artificial contrived "hi".  What makes them like this, I wonder?  Is it mere imaginary paranoia, a love of loneliness?  Or are they just a different species from me and other freespirited folks, or what?


Visual proof of anti-social WA public on ferry ride vs. opposite in Europe

Here are some interesting real life photos I took to illustrate my point about the anti-social isolated reclusive Washingtonian public.

While I was on a ferry ride between Seattle and Bremerton, I took these pictures of passengers inside the ferry. As you can see, it's an obvious example of how reclusive people are in public (well at least in the Northwest). No one talks to strangers, and the passengers ignore everyone around them as though they didn't exist. Instead, they prefer loneliness and isolation, which depresses people like me who thrive on lively inclusive environments. Though the scenery outside was nice, inside the atmosphere was gloomy and anti-social. So lively and festive isn't it?


At the link above, contrast those with the photos below them, that I took during a ferry ride in Riga, Latvia (in Eastern Europe).  Even though the ride was in the late afternoon, people still knew how to party and dance.  You will see a mini-disco lounge on board the ferry being enjoyed by the passengers even on this short routine ride!  See what I mean?!


* Interactive experiment you can do to verify my claims


In fact, if you want to try an experiment right now that will prove my claims, go to the Bellingham internet community message board at (click on ?chatterbox?).  There, introduce yourself, say you are new in town, and need some help or people to show you around.  You will find that people will give you info, but no one will offer to show you around.  Many newbies have done just that there, and received no offers to be shown around.  Since I?m immune to the anti-social disease of Bellingham of course, I?ve offered to show the newbies around, but they don?t take me up on my offer and contact me.  Perhaps these newbies were already affected by the Bellingham anti-social disease already?  I don?t know.  I only know that Bellingham makes no sense at all.  In addition, I?ve suggested on the Bellingham message board about ten times that we have an in person get together, and no one even bothered to respond to that idea.  How weird.  In most of the world, where people love meeting strangers, it would not be like that, I guarantee you.  In Bellingham, meeting people seems to be ?out of bounds?.


Validation from The Seattle Times that I?m right


Finally, here is validation from Seattle?s primary newspaper media that Seattle is very anti-social and noninclusive in its social scene and general vibe, with commentary from psychologists, sociologists, and university researchers.  I was right all along!  See the story below.


In Bellingham: going out alone = staying alone


In Bellingham, if you go out alone, you are almost guaranteed to be alone, unless you get really lucky.  It's not the kind of place or society where you can go out by yourself and meet people "just because" to hang out with.  That's why people in Bellingham are so adamant about having friends to go out with because deep down, they know that if they go out alone, they will stay alone.  And they fear that being alone will bring a feeling of detachment and alienation, that leads to insecurity.  That's just how it is here. 

The social norms here dictate that people in public stay with the company they are with.  These are the unspoken but real rules and customs of the social scene and public life in
Bellingham.  No one needs to mention it, because it's just how people normally are out in public and socially.  It's a mutual understanding of the collective in Bellingham, one that we grow up with and assume is the norm.  Though it's far different from how other countries are, (which do not have the inherent isolation mentality that Bellingham does) most Bellinghamminions don't know it, because the rest of the world is not part of "their world".

Anyone can go out in public and see that this is so - those that are out alone, stay alone (and strangely enough, they want to stay alone, especially if they're female), and those that are out with their friends/family, stay hanging around them.  You can see this in any public place - cafes, restaurants, Starbucks, grocery stores, parks, bus stops, malls, and even bars and nightclubs.  Attempting to violate this rule or change it is awkward and against the flow, making you feel like a lone ant trying to change the social rules of the whole ant colony. 

Bellingham, the bars are scant with few women and mostly men.  But even if you go to a crowded nightclub in town where there are many hot college girls, where it is more socially acceptable to meet people (at least in concept), the girls there only want to talk to their friends, rather than meet any new people.  And sadly, you can still feel the strong vibe that most of the girls there don't want to talk to you.  So even there, if you go alone, you are likely to be alone.  Either way, you lose.  And if you try to break that hard "ice" by saying hi to girls there that you don't know to introduce yourself, you will feel guilty for violating "the boundaries" and, unless there is something really special about you, they will either look at you like you're a freak, ignore you, or say hi quickly and then leave.  I've always said, North America is the only part of the world where you can be in a room or area full of gorgeous women who are all "unapproachable" (for various reasons).  In other countries, that is virtually impossible.  I can personally attest to this.

Anyone who tries to deny this collective social contract is either lying, deluded, or religiously against generalizing (the politically correct crowd) that they will always play devil's advocate to anyone who makes observations about people, no matter how true.  It's just way too obvious, as obvious as the big obesity epidemic is in
America.  So much so that I would only need 5 - 10 minutes out in public to show someone all this in person.  People out in public just don't approach people, so demonstrating that first hand would be way too easy.  In fact, it's easier to demonstrate than shooting fish in a barrel.  Surprisingly, even though I could prove all this in 5 minutes, there are still those out there who try to deny that this is true!

On the other hand, in most of the world, not just in Europe/Russia, one can easily go out alone without having to be alone.  It is easy and natural to meet people, find company to hang out with, someone interesting to spend your time with, or even get a nice date with the opposite sex that same day or night, if you just chat them up sincerely.  Or sometimes of course, they may chat you up as well.  So in a sense, you don't even have to "break the ice" because there is no "ice" to begin with!  You can see ample evidence of this, enough to convince anyone, in my Photojounals.  And even if you remain alone, you still know deep down in your intuition, soul, and gut instinct that you don't have to be alone, because the vibe all around you in public is far more inclusive and warm, which is inherently exclusive in its nature, form, collective mentality and public behavior.


All this I can guarantee 100 percent beyond any doubt, and I give my word to it.


And even in nations which are somewhat cliquish, such as Britain, France, Germany or Japan, it is still easier to meet people when you go out alone (at least for those like me), comparatively speaking, than it is here.


* Results of internet mass mailing attempts


Also, regarding internet communication, here?s an interesting update.  A few times recently, I sent form letters about myself to people in town with AOL profiles, founds based on keywording some common interests in the member directory.  The thing is, back in 1998 when I did this here, SOME people responded and were helpful or friendly.  Now though, virtually NO ONE in Bellingham responds to emails from strangers anymore.  It appears that Bellinghaminions are more anti-social now than ever before.  Some of my mass mailings were to hundreds of recipients, and I got ZERO responses.  Occasionally, I get one short brief response from someone that was never wrote back again.  Now how?s that for the wonderful social life of Bellingham that its supporters boast of?


In contrast, I tried the same thing for other states like Arizona and Nevada, and got a lot of wonderful interesting responses, from both sexes, of quality fascinating people I had common interests and passions with.


The most stuck up girls in the world - anti-social, anti-stranger, anti-flirtatious, non-inclusive


Bellingham has the most stuck up girls I?ve ever met in the world.  They are less sociable and approachable than even in California or New York, areas notorious for stuck up uppity women.  The young women of Whatcom County seem to live in a socially closed insular shell, and are very defensive toward strangers.  Trying to meet girls there is a lose-lose situation for the most part - 1) They don't like talking to strangers, and 2) if you try to meet them anyway, they think you're a creep.  Thus, it's a no-win situation most of the time.


EVERYWHERE in Bellingham that I meet girls ? bars, clubs, churches, libraries, coffee shops, streets, bus stops, etc. they turn out to be the same.  They are strongly stuck up, anti-social, anti-stranger, paranoid, anti-flirtatious, etc. in high rigid levels.  And they project this cold, asexual, sterile vibe at me personally.  Ick.  I can?t seem to find exceptions!  It?s a town of extremes in the worst way, making it the ?Hades of social/dating life? for single men.


I've approached THOUSANDS of girls (literally), and when I greet them, they immediately put up this force field that says ?unless you need directions or have an innocent question?, you shouldn?t be talking to me ? those are the social boundaries.  When I violate those boundaries, virtually all of them tell me they have a boyfriend/husband or that they don't talk to strangers.  And they do so with a scaredy-cat defensive posture.  Or they make lame ass small talk for a short while and leave, keeping a distant vibe in the process.  Others give me their number and screen out my calls, never returning my messages (I now have over 50 numbers where this is the case).  Or they give me a fake number.  Extensive replication has proven this time and time again.  In most of the world, almost no girls are ever stuck up like that, even if they look like models.  What a difference. 


It gets to the point where there's no point in going out in Bellingham anymore, because what's the point of wasting time, money, and gas going out in a town where girls are so stuck up and unapproachable?  That's just the kind of shit social scene that this Bellingham offers. 


In fact, I?d say I have a better chance of walking on water like Jesus, than of getting a date in Bellingham.  But in Russia, I was able to get a date everyday if I wanted to.  That?s a huge difference, and just one of countless examples I could give that debunks the ?people are the same everywhere? ignorant line of thought. 


To see exactly what I mean, view any of my 9 Photojournals or my Photo Collage.  They contain thousands of images that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, that women in other parts of the world are much more comfortable, inclusive and unparanoid about meeting strangers and getting ?hit on? by guys, something vilified by the collective mentality of Washington state.  Ick.  You can also view videos of my flirtations abroad in my Foreign Female Encounters videos.  In addition, The difference is greater than you can imagine.


Even if you have friends/acquaintances among Bellingham women that can introduce you to them, they still put up very strict and overly proper boundaries, making you feel like asking them out or flirting with them is ?crossing the line?.  They have all the power and call all the shots, and you are not allowed to hit on them, flirt with them, or try to satisfy your desires around them, or else you are a creep, villain, or bad person.  Those are the Bellingham social rules, which are unnatural and not to my advantage because if I?m not attractive by the culture standards here, then nothing will happen for me unless I try to make things happen, but in Bellingham I am not even allowed to try to make things happen.  Hence, a lose-lose situation.


Everywhere you go in WA, 99 percent of the women walk around as if they don?t need anything or anybody.  I don?t see how you are supposed to impress them, gain their interest, or even connect with them, as they have no use for you, and act as if they hold all the cards and call all the shots.  And if you try to meet them or approach them, they think you?re a creep.  What is a normal single romeo guy supposed to do?  It?s a no-win situation.


For some reason, Washingtonian girls, like in much of America nowadays, are never lonely or need men or companionship.  Perhaps Bellingham?s anti-social hermit disease has cured them of the need for human companionship.  Who knows. 


They are a strange breed different from the rest of the world.  In one sense, they are strong because they are independent, liberated (by their definition that is) from traditional feminine roles and qualities, and do not need a man to function or be happy.  But in another way they are weak because they are uncomfortable talking to strangers, have a paranoid mentality, and get "creeped out" way too easily, sometimes over trivial things.  And they are insecure about traveling alone or going alone to a movie, restaurant, or party.  European and Russian women don't share such weaknesses, for example.


I have no idea why Bellingham women are like this, so cold and sterile, when 95 percent of the world?s women are not.  So again, Bellingham is a very weird place (but not weird in a good way).


Perhaps my personality, attitude, approach and style is incompatible or badly mismatched with that of Bellingham women.  As mentioned before, some things don?t mix, such as oil and water.  After all, two people could be totally outgoing, expressive, and passionate, yet be so in different ways, having nothing in common.  Put together, they can be like oil and water, rubbing each other in all the wrong ways, their natural styles badly mismatched, and unintentionally stepping on each other?s toes.  That?s just how it is sometimes.


They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so let me give you some real life visual examples from out in the field that demonstrate and typify (the next best thing to being abroad in person or viewing my video footage) how girls in non-US environments look at total strangers, especially men who are ?hitting on them? (something which is vilified by many American women).  Here are links to images of girls I randomly approached on the street (I did NOT know them beforehand I promise you) in Russia and Europe.  They are photos and digital stills I made from my video footage, which I can attest are representative of how girls react in Russia/Europe when approached.  Remember, these are NOT girls that I had any PRIOR acquaintance with.  They are total strangers to me and I to them.


They say ?the eyes are the window to the soul? which is very true.  As you can see in the images from their eyes, gaze, and expression, they have a relaxed, enthusiastic, curious look about them, even though I?m a total stranger flirting with them and trying to ?pick them up?. 


At the link above are many more examples of girls in Europe/Russia that I just met or was newly acquainted with.  Notice how unspoiled and modest they look in their gaze, not just toward me, but in their general aura.  They are shy, sweet, relaxed, natural, modest, down-to-earth and WITHOUT the ?men are creeps? attitude instilled in them! 


You see how unlike in the US (and especially in WA), they do not have a PARANOID look of FEAR, defensive posture, force field vibe, and the ?men are creeps? attitude toward strangers (something so apparent that I immediately notice it whenever I arrive in a US airport from Russia).  Take a close look again at the images above, and see if you can spot any stranger-paranoia or fear in these women at all!  And in addition, you can see a rich inner life and inner happiness in them that is at peace and ease, rather than the contrived fleeting feigned posture of America?s young women.  The difference is like fire and ice.  And these examples are by no means exceptions either, but in fact very TYPICAL.


Now, contrast that with the photos of typical American girls at the link above.  Notice how conceited, flighty, and empty they are in their eyes and gaze, as if all they live for was yelling at parties ?Whooooooo!?.  Also note their contrived artificial smiles and spoiled souls.


Rather than getting offended by "pick up" attempts by guys like American women tend to do, foreign women are usually amused by them, and sometimes are flattered so much by it that it tickles their "funny bone".  What a refreshing difference indeed.


I would even venture to say that perhaps the extreme paranoia of American women might be a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy, where they actually draw and attract that which they fear most.


Even with so called ?friendly? girls in the US, the look they would give is of a contrived, artificial, polite but very distant smile.  They have nowhere near the relaxed posture that the girls do in the links above have, as you can easily see.  The total approachability of chicks in foreign countries makes one feel very comfortable in meeting them, rather than emasculated like how American chicks make one feel.


Such striking differences make me wonder why most in the US don?t know about them, but as one commentator of mine explained to me:


?Oh, yes, in the US women are sociopathic for the most part. US men also never travel and they think that women all over the world must be the same. It is called seeing the world through the prism of your culture. Plus many think the US is the world and inside of every ____ (put a nationality there) there is an American waiting to get out.?


Probably the only place in the world where flirting is a crime


Not just in Bellingham, but Washington state is the only place I've ever been to in the world where women freak when you flirt with them or hit on them, as if a crime were about to be committed on them.  Even in California or New York, where the women tend to be snobby, they do not view flirting or "hitting on them" as a crime or violation; instead they know how to play the game and accept it as a normal part of life.  Sheesh.  But Washingtonian women seem to have the least social skills in the world, or at least in the country.  Perhaps the isolationist mentality of the state contributes to this, as well as the overall paranoia of the people.  Either way, it's the worst place in the world for a "player" or even a simple newcomer.


Washingtonian females harbor the most hatred and animosity toward pick up artists and pick up lines that I?ve ever seen.  In the rest of the world, it is acceptable to TRY to flirt with them or hit on them.  Even if they blow you off, it is PERMISSIBLE to try at least.  But Washingtonian females vilify such attempts.  And they will even call the police or security on guys who flirt or "hit on" them.  In a sense, they are saying that it is illegal for men to have desires.  What the @#$%?!  That?s just weak.


It?s no wonder that in Washington, you rarely if ever see any guys approach women they don?t know.  It?s just not allowed here, and not the norm.  So guys, even the confident ones, are afraid to do so.  They know that such behaviors are forbidden and are socially conditioned by the repressed Washington culture to fear repercussion.


* Interactive experiment you can do to verify my claims


Here?s another interactive experiment you can try.  If you are in Bellingham, you can go to the shopping mall, Bellis Fair, or a crowded park like Boulevard Park.  There, try to meet girls.  In the mall, you will find that the only girls who will talk to you are the ones working there who are paid to help you find what you want to buy.  The rest will ignore you in a stuck up manner, acting as though it were against the social rules to try to meet them.  Even if you find girls sitting by themselves in the food court, they will tell you that they prefer to be alone, if you try to join them.  How sadistically reclusive!  Who likes to be alone while they eat?!  In the park, when you greet them, they will put up a strong distant and defensive vibe toward you.  They may humor you for a while, or talk to you if you have something in common, but they will cut the conversation short and make an excuse to withdraw and get back to their own business, which doesn?t include you.  After a while, it becomes pointless to even try anymore.


Heck, if you?re not gutsy enough to talk to girls you don?t know (such is the ill effect of being raised in America) then I would be glad to do it for you while you witness the results. 


The only place there where it?s slightly a bit more socially acceptable to approach girls is in the bar/club scene.  But there it?s still so cliquish that it will feel awkward and out of line to try to meet girls.  Plus the men tend to way outnumber the women, leaving the few women there surrounded by many men vying for her attention.  What am I supposed to do with that?!


The Western college campus is a conventional spot for meeting people.  But even then, the vibe there doesn?t fit mine and doesn?t connect with my wavelength or allow me to thrive, so I?m hardly in a condition to be sociable since it doesn?t bring out the best in me. 


2 constants in Bellingham - boredom and loneliness


Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying that there are only two constants in life, death and taxes.  Likewise, I would say that in Bellingham, the only two constants that never change are BOREDOM and LONELINESS.


Since Bellingham women are all (nearly 100 percent, no joke) totally stuck up, anti-stranger, anti-social, anti-men, anti-flirt, etc. and make me feel like a creep, criminal or violator whenever I try to initiate contact with them, how can I not be bored and lonely here?  It?s simply inevitable and inescapable.  Everywhere here it's the same.  I keep looking for exceptions rigorously but can?t find any!  It's inescapable, and no one here seems to have any solution.  It?s a dead end lose-lose situation.


It seems loneliness is the norm in Bellingham.  You have to like loneliness to like Bellingham.  And if I try to do anything about it, then I am seen as an inappropriate creep.  That is one f***ed up situation alright.


?Social life holocaust? worse than horror fiction


Therefore, I'd say a place like this is worst than anything in fiction.  At least in fiction, when the good guy is cornered by foes and obstacles, there is always a way around it all in the end.  But in Bellingham, there is no way out of boredom and loneliness, no matter where I look or how hard I try, I am doomed to.  Therefore, Bellingham is like a "social life holocaust" for me with no escape or remedy, worst than any horror story fiction.


$1000 offer to anyone who can prove me wrong


In fact, I would like to offer anyone $1000 who can prove my claims about Bellingham women wrong, by showing or demonstrating to me that in any public place, at least 10% of the girls are approachable, non-paranoid, and comfortable interacting with strangers for non-business related purposes.  But first though, the challenger should watch some of my video footage of my meetings and flirtations with women in Europe and Russia, to get an idea of what I mean by ?non-paranoid true friendliness and approachability? of women, so they can get an idea of my standards of ?un-stuck up?.  If you wish to accept this $1000 challenge, email me to negotiate the terms and conditions, at


So far, no one who claims that Bellingham is friendly and has a good social life has been able to produce.  When it comes time to demonstrate that they can approach women who are unparanoid and won?t put up a ?force field? that says it is inappropriate to talk to me unless you need directions or help, they chicken out, knowing full well that there are some real boundaries here regarding talking to strangers.  Unlike some, I always put my money where my mouth is.  However, I could easily meet this challenge in Russia, where the social environment in general is very open and inclusive, and people are very comfortable and unparanoid about talking to strangers. 


No opportunity, repressed job market, deadbeats abound


Bellingham is definitely not for those who have ambition.  It has no opportunity in virtually any area.  Its unemployment rate is among the highest in Washington state.  And its job market consists mostly of dead end low paying jobs in retail, manual labor, production line work, office work, etc. that go nowhere.  As a consequence, most of the young workers in the town job hop for years, cause the jobs aren?t worth keeping (yet strangely enough, they stay and don?t leave, or leave and come back).  Thus, most of these young job hoppers who stay here end up having lives that go nowhere, wasting years of their life, all for nothing.  It?s a sad state of affairs, and you have to wonder how many of them are suffering silently inside. 


As is apparent on the quiet streets of downtown Bellingham, many of these youngsters sit around doing drugs and pretending to be hippies, when they are merely deadbeat punks and bums with no culture or style in their dress or mannerisms, other than the low-class grunge style.  To me, it seems many of them have somehow lost their will, passion, and personality, as though something were possessing them or has zapped them of their ?life force?.   From my well-traveled vantage point, they seem different from normal human beings, having a different vibe and behavior that I don?t resonate with at all.  That?s why in social gatherings, I often feel awkward and unnatural trying to fit in, trying to pretend that I?m as closed and dull as them to try to connect with them on their level, when there?s nothing to try to connect with anyway, degrading myself in the process, and feeling estranged, alienated and lonely in the end.  After all, what would I have in common with grungy punks and bums?  I would hate to have to lower myself to try to fit their flow, and try to be something I?m not.


According to one source, Bellingham seems to have a high suicide rate (not surprisingly):

"If I remember correctly, a young woman committed suicide recently - 2
weeks ago in
Bellingham. I read about it in the papers. She purposely
drove the wrong way on the expressway to try and get herself killed. She
didn't kill anybody, but she did flip the car over or crash and killed
herself. Several months ago, she did the same thing and killed her
infant son.

It is interesting that if I do a google search of suicide and
Bellingham, ALOT of hiits get returned.
Pretty amazing for a city of only 67,000 people

My friend Katrina was pretty shaken up by it all.
The car crash happened in front of her."


Why many who hate Bellingham or Washington don?t admit it


Now, I would even venture to say that probably many here don?t really like it, even though they will publicly say they do.  After all, people don?t exactly look alive and happy here, not just in Bellingham, but in the Northwest in general.  So, either 1) they have never lived anywhere else so they have nothing to compare it to, or 2) deep down they feel miserable, repressed, and suffocated here, but are afraid to admit it in public because a) they do not wish to appear negative but positive instead, b) they are afraid that if they admit it, others will think there is something wrong with them, c) it will make them seem like losers if they don?t like where they live, d) they are afraid of offending others who like it here, and e) since humans are conformists by nature, they naturally try to fit in with the party line and are afraid to go against the crowd, (unlike me) regardless of how they feel deep down.  Instead, they merely tolerate it.


So perhaps it?s a case of ?The Emperor?s New Clothes?, with many being afraid of admitting how they feel due to the fear of others thinking that there?s something wrong with them.  Conformity reduces such fears, but at the same time, it can feel imprisoning too.


In addition, it's too easy to develop a "comfort zone" where you live, so it's often difficult to change your situation or location, even if you hate it.  It's human nature to prefer inertia and inaction rather than to take risks to change an undesirable situation.


Of course, the lone dissident often faces an uphill battle all the way, even if he speaks the truth, as the ancient story of Socrates goes.  And often, our plight seems futile, as a local boy wrote me:


"I've enjoyed your postings and have just posted one of my own.  I think we might have a lot in common - especially, perhaps, our experiences in the former Soviet union.  The mistake you make is however assuming you can get through to people who have only experienced one variety of life and who are entrenched in hippsterdom. See, the hipster has a scene.  The scene dictates the ideology, and individuality is frowned upon.


It's amazing to me how old knowledge about the human race rings true. The individualist always goes against the group and is often right about important things where the group is usually wrong.  This is how
it has always been, but I, like you, often make these attempts at
getting through to others who have usually large social support networks that are too powerful to negate.
There are lots of pretty girls here too but perhaps they aren't for
people like you and I.  They are into their careers, their small town lives, and don't ask for more.  It's painful for me to know that I have nothing on that jackass frat boy at the next table, but I have learned to observe.  Perhaps observation and irony can make life in Bellingham tolerable.  Living in small towns in the states is, however, just as confining as small towns in the former Soviet Union. Confining in a different ideologically based way, but the hippy ideology is, as you say, just as delusional."



Is the problem me?


There are some who will try to claim that if most people in Bellingham do not feel as I do about it, then the problem must be me.  It?s a typical reaction from those with a ?victim-blaming? mentality, who derive their self-worth foundation from identification with the majority.  However, there are several problems with this.


1)  If the problem was just with me, then I would have this problem everywhere.  But I don?t, as I mentioned before.  In Europe/Russia, women were always approachable to me, people who non-cliquish, open and sociable to me, and liked to invite me out and introduce me to others.  I?ve even dated models and beauty queens, just by merely asking.  For extensive proof, see ,, and for more descriptive detail about it all, see my ebook


2)  This ?victim-blaming? mentality is based on the fallacy that the majority is always right.  History rarely records cases where the majority were right, and if anything, the majority rarely rules; it?s those in power who really rule and set the propaganda and social mores.


3)  Even if one believes in the opinion of the majority, the question becomes what to do when the majority of different areas or regions don?t agree.  For example, most people in France consider the US to be cultureless, bland, barbaric, primitive, and without style or taste.  However, most in the US consider their country to be the land of opportunity and freedom, and to be the greatest country in the world.  So who is right then, in such situations?  In different regions, people are different and have different standards.


4)  Not everything is meant to mix or fit together.  For example, ketchup and milk mixed together tastes bad, but ketchup and fries mixed together, or milk and cereal put together, are good mixtures.  Therefore, just because some things don?t mix well together doesn?t mean that one of them is ?the problem?.  Only the intellectually lazy and ignorant like to point to one side as ?the problem?.  Some things put together simply have bad chemistry or synergy, but with other things might have better chemistry or synergy.   


Therefore, those with such ?victim-blaming? mantras do not take these into account and do not see the broader picture.  And since I have been to 10 countries and know or met about 3000 people, I have a very broad range of reference to compare Bellingham and its people to, to make these claims.



How I came to be in Bellingham and why I kept returning to it


Now to answer the question you?ve probably been wondering:  ?Why are you in Bellingham then?  I don?t get it.?  Well, to be honest, I don?t get it either.  Here?s my story and situation.


I came to Bellingham in 1998 from California, with my ex-girlfriend who was from another part of the state.  She was going to college there, and we were a new couple.  As I didn?t have a girlfriend for almost two years before I met her, I didn?t want to not move there and break our relationship, which possibly meant waiting another few years to have a girlfriend again.  I didn?t want the loneliness and deprivation of desires again, which to me is extreme suffering.  So I reluctantly moved to Bellingham with her, a town I knew nothing about, only heard that it was pretty but with no much opportunity (but I had no idea back then how horrible it would be, wasting so many precious years of my life).  Right on the first day, I immediately felt dislocated, and never felt at home there since. 


After we broke up a few years later, my parents had retired and moved to Bellingham too (they were drawn and infested by the Bellingham disease or curse), so I had no place to go back to in California though I preferred to be there than in Bellingham. 


When I was finally free to leave the town, I first went to Virginia City, Nevada, where I had a lot of fun and opportunity for 7-8 months.  People there were much more friendly, open, and natural, and I had a hot girlfriend too.  But eventually, things dried up for me, and a job opened up for me in Bellingham, so those circumstances brought me back.  Hence, the ?curse of Bellingham?, as described earlier, seemed to be at work in my life.


After that job ended, I began taking trips to Russia and Europe in search of love and opportunity.  I spent a lot of time there, about half a year for a few years, and I was never bored, but my results were mostly short term for one reason or another.  During each trip though, I eventually became depleted of resources or exhausted, which threw me back to Bellingham again to try to work dead end temp jobs to try to replenish my funds, boring me to death again in the process, putting me with the least compatible environment and people again.


So you see, I have left Bellingham a few times, during my trips and search for opportunity, but circumstances one way or another threw me back each time.  Hence, the ?curse of Bellingham? as mentioned before. 


In addition to all this, as mentioned before, there is also something in Bellingham that sucks up my energy, motivation, and will to leave, as if a magnet is holding me there.  It?s difficult to explain, and a bit bizarre, but very real nonetheless.  It?s as if every will, desire, plan and intention I try to muster to leave Bellingham and get on with my life is somehow subdued or quelled by ?something?!  It?s like though I may think I have free will here, I don?t.  (Perhaps it has to do with something of another dimension connected to the Bellingham region?  We can?t completely rule it out of course, as there is much we still don?t know about time, space, dimensions, and quantum physics)  Hence given the oddity and absurdity of all this, I consider Bellingham to be a bad horror movie or a sort of ?Twilight Zone?.


The absurdity is that within a few months of arriving in Bellingham in 1998, I already knew that it was the wrong place for me, and I wanted out so I could be free to pursue my career aspirations again.  Yet here I am back again.  And believe me, coming back to Bellingham again and again, and hating it again and again, has been like beating a dead horse for 5-6 years, which is frustrating as hell as well as humiliating.  It?s gotten to the point where my hatred of Bellingham has brought me to near insanity, and to where the mere sound of ?Bellingham? or ?Whatcom County? fills me with utter hatred and resentment beyond comprehension.  I would even go on to say that after years of hatred buildup, I now hate Bellingham as much as the Jews hate the Nazis.


Bellingham, I would say, is the kind of place you can be stuck in and eventually die of boredom or hatred.  It?s just that bad, to be honest.


But I won?t ever give up trying to leave Bellingham.  I am very strong willed, and refuse to waste my life there, as there are so many other things I want to do with my life.  I want to try to be an actor in Hollywood, and explore more of Europe, as well as other countries where women are easy to meet and get, not waste my life in Bellingham.


For my next attempt to leave Bellingham soon, I am planning to go to the Southwest USA, an area I love and resonate with, for a while to see how it works out.  Whatever happens, I will never give up trying to be free of this ?curse of Bellingham? which has leeched so much of my life.  I refuse to let this unknown ?force?, ?phenomenon? or whatever it is, continue to control me, possess me, and make me stay.  I am intent on taking control of my life and destiny again.





The simple bottom line is:  Bellingham has NOTHING going for it ? social life, love life, dating field, opportunity, fun, etc. (at least if you have normal standards) Living there is simply a COMPLETE WASTE OF LIFE.


To sum it up, the reasons I don't like Bellingham are:

1)  It has the worst social and dating scene I've ever seen or experienced.
2)  There is a dominant isolation mentality.  People don't talk to strangers unless its business related, and girls are unapproachable.  Any violation of these boundaries and you are considered a freak or creep.
3)  The Northwest climate and humidity make me feel icky and unhealthy.
4)  The local job market is repressed, with nothing but dead end jobs to offer, and sometimes, it?s hard to even get that.


By the way, to anyone who thinks that I am a negative person, let me say that I am not.  The reason my comments and attitude toward Bellingham and Washington state are so negative, is because I feel nothing but negative repressed vibes and energy from Bellingham and Washington.  From the very first day I entered Bellingham, I sensed a repressed negative vibe there.  Simply put, I give back and express what I receive or feel.  If the area gave me positive vibes like Lithuania does, then my attitude and comments would be positive.  It's that simple.


I realize that some might think that my claims about the ?curse? or ?force? of Bellingham to be the mere silly, superstitious mumbo jumbo of a whiner.  However, one must keep an open mind without dismissing or discounting what doesn?t fit into our world view.  I am not some fool who jumps to irrational conclusions.  Consider how little we know about the nature of reality.  Many credible people have experienced ESP, ghosts, UFO?s, Alien Abductions, Bigfoot, etc. and string theory in quantum physics has opened the doors for 11 or more dimensions to exist, all suggesting inexplicable possibilities that there may be more dimensions to reality than we ever though.  After all, there are so many unexplained mysteries that our current understanding of the world can?t explain.  An open-minded skeptic should take all this into consideration.


Perhaps this ?curse?, ?force?, ?jinx?, ?phenomenon?, whatever it is, is something of a nature that does not fit anything we can understand, something beyond our comprehension.  It?s easy to dismiss it all, take the easy way out, and just simply say ?People stay in Bellingham because they love it.?  But as I said, that does not explain many things, and there seems to be more to it than that.


Also, a chilling thought is that this ?curse? or ?power? that compels people to irrationally stay in Bellingham does so by making them think it is their own free will that is choosing to stay there.  If it has the power to give people such an illusion that their own free will is at work, then this ?curse? or ?power? is invincible, for those people could never see anything wrong with it. 


I know that to a scientific mind, I have not made a convincing case that there is something of a supernatural or paranormal nature to this alleged ?curse of Bellingham?, and I don?t claim to either.  The logical rational part of my mind knows this.  Even if I presented many more examples similar to the ones above (which I could easily obtain), it would still not prove a paranormal element to all this.  However, taken as a whole, I hope that everything presented so far might make you raise and eyebrow and think ?maybe?.  Though I myself am reluctant to ascribe any supernatural or paranormal cause to the Bellingham curse, I would at least put it in the realm of ?The Unexplained.? (Don?t we love mysteries?)


I just know what I myself have experienced, which I am reporting honestly.  And that is that when I have left Bellingham before, God or the universe has a way of opening and closing doors in such a sequence as to draw me back here, for whatever reason I don?t know.  I know that this conflicts with our popular belief that we create our own destiny and are the masters of our fate, but of course, popular views are not always correct.


In spite of all that I?ve said, there are many in Bellingham who claim to be happy there, which I can never understand.  I guess if you are a person with few needs, no ambitions, and no need for social stimulation and fun, reclusive and closed, perhaps Bellingham suits you.  But not me.  No way.  Like they say, ?different strokes for different folks?.  In my experience, I?ve noticed that those who are intense, ambitious or have extreme emotions, tend to dislike living in Bellingham, finding it suffocating, while those who are laid back and nonchalant are the ones that tend to have an affinity for it.


My departure from Bellingham has been years overdue, and hence a lot of baggage has built up inside me cause of it.  I decided Bellingham wasn?t for me, feeling immediately dislocated on the first day, and wanted to leave after my first month there back in 1998.  Yet here we are in 2005 and I?m wondering why I?m here again?!  What the F@#$?!  Can you imagine a 7 year buildup of frustration and anger?  As you can see, it runs deeper than just merely hating a town.  It?s about being imprisoned and stagnated in a town I don?t belong in for years, due to some weird curse or jinx and circumstances, wasting so much of my life.  At times, the frustration of this situation drives me to near insanity and tears.  I often feel like lamenting and releasing my anger by yelling out, designing a t-shirt that says ?I HATE BELLINGHAM!  GET ME THE F@#$ OUT OF HERE!? out in public for all to see, hoping to draw reactions, disgusted faces, or even fights without people, anything to relieve the boredom here.  That?s how bad it is.


I should also say that much of what I have said here in this article applies to the whole of Washington state as well.  Therefore I offer this warning to anyone considering moving to Washington.  Though it?s obvious that Washington is a beautiful state from all the photos, brochures, videos, and postcards, like an airhead hot blonde, its beauty is only skin deep, so don?t be fooled.  Washington is nice for a one or two week vacation, due to its breathtaking beauty.  But once you live here, its ugliness soon becomes apparent, infesting your life, mind and soul.  Its insularity, tunnel-vision thinking, repressed Puritanical mores, uptightness, and sterile coldness start to manifest and sink in. 


So, unless you like solitude, require very little social interaction, and are basically content with what you have rather than seeking more in life, I?d advise against moving here.  Or else, once you do, you may regret it, and circumstances or situations may tie you here, wasting years of your life, putting you in a prison that you wish you could escape from.  And you will ask ?Why did I ever come here?!?  The mysterious force known as the ?curse of Bellingham? has its ways, believe me.


Suggestions and inspiration for leaving Bellingham


Though most in Bellingham do not share my view, there are a few who understand and relate to my inner turmoil.  In fact, this one offers some advice too.



I am not sure WHEN you posted about Russia on Daves Cafe but I just read most of it now.  I don't know if you are in Bellingham now or where but there's one thing that I really wanted to point out.  I agree with EVERYTHING.  It's a shock when you realize how other places flow socially.  Then you realize, that's all it really takes to make yourself actually happy.  HOWEVER, I'm in Portland now, after having lived abroad off and on for years (Brazil and Mexico), and in Chicago, California and also Ashland, Oregon, I've noticed that people from the Northwest generally have the BEST time abroad.  Why?  Because the Northwest vibe sucks.


Comparing it to other parts of just the US? ....Work place environment is more anal here, weather is shitty that makes people totally paranoid, there's sooo many clicks and crap like that....even when you are older.  I know it's all over the US to some extent but I'm telling you, it's horrible here.  I'm so pist I moved back here and wish to god I were in California or anywhere with a friendlier, higher energy going around.  I LOVE people and am really social.  You can put out and put out all that energy in the NW and get little or NONE of it back.  My god, Yakima, Washington has more to offer in that department.  How pathetic is THAT?

Anyway, if you are back in the states, get OUT of the northwest.  Move to the Carolinas or even NYC!  California, New Mexico, Arizona...god, anywhere but up here. 

My friends that come to visit me here are like "shit, it's amazing how depressed and sick everyone looks here....I'm so glad I don't live here anymore".

Yep, I'm movin on even though i have the best job ever here.  A good job doesn't make up for a lame social scene and wasted energy.  I'm only 30 and I am not ready to cave up in my apartment, smoke all day and PAINT.  I'll do that when I'm 85.

Just some thoughts.

Kari---fellow ESL teacher?


For those completely happy in this town, nothing I?ve said here is relevant to them.  But for others in Bellingham who are like me and feel the same way I do, I can only offer some suggestions.  If you too are trapped in the drudgery of life in Bellingham, and feel you just can?t leave for some reason, then focus on the following.


1)  View your life, goals, dreams, and plans for a larger perspective.  Though something may be keeping you from leaving at the moment, viewing your life plans from a long-term perspective may help you to see clearer, beyond the influence of whatever is keeping you in Bellingham.  Perhaps then, some sense will be shaken into you to take action.


2)  If you remain in Bellingham despite being miserable there, become aware of this ?curse? or mysterious force that holds people there.  By becoming aware of it, you are in a better position to combat it, rather than continue to let its influence control you day to day.


3)  It may be that you ought not to even think about leaving Bellingham, for such thinking creates frustration which can lead to anger, which in turn can generate hate.  And hate seems to feed this ?force? that compels people to stay in Bellingham, making it even stronger and giving more power to it.  Instead, you might have to DO IT subtlely.  Go and leave Bellingham without letting this ?force? plant doubt and fear in you against leaving Bellingham.


Remember that despite any practical obstacles that may be in your way, that ?where there?s a will, there?s a way?.  Even if you don?t have a car or money, you can still leave Bellingham.  Hitchhike if you have to (despite the negative connotation of hitchhiking in America, it is actually very safe and works well.  I?ve known many with little money who do it and successfully travel the world for years, so it can be done, I promise you).  Or look for someone on the internet (craig?s list perhaps, for a rideshare, or travel companion.  One way or another, YOU CAN DO IT!  KNOW IT!  The curse of Bellingham is conquerable with the power of the human spirit.  Remember that.  You simply must summon the deepest aspects within you.  Persistence will pay off in the resistance, no matter how powerless you feel.


Suffice to say, even the crew on Gilligan?s Island eventually made it off the island at the end of the series. J (Although, I hate to say it, but they were better off than me cause they at least had the company of Ginger and Marianne J)


In conclusion, I?d like to close with an analogy from the movie Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.  In this lighthearted flick, an unknown alien probe ship is sucking the Earth of all its energy, as well as all space ships that come within its proximity.  In an emergency interstellar broadcast, the President of Starfleet Command warns, ?Avoid the planet Earth at all costs!?  Likewise, I would like to send a similar SOS warning message out to all who intend on coming to Bellingham for whatever reason:  ?Avoid the town of Bellingham at all costs!?  It?s all I and others in Bellingham who have been doomed there can do for outsiders to save them from our fate, lest they come and risk coming under its curse, which will render their lives totally inert, possessing them with something unnatural that will subdue their freewill and won?t allow them to leave.


Finally, as inspiration, you might want to watch or rent the original Star Trek series episode This Side of Paradise (I don?t mean to sound like a Star Trek geek again, but this episode is a perfect analogy to the Bellingham phenomenon).  In it, the entire crew of the Enterprise becomes inhabited by these alien spores from plants brought on board the ship. (Perhaps there are Bellingham spores too?) The spores make them feel at one with the planet below, as if it were the perfect paradise, brainwashing their mind and soul into giving up their lives to live a simple life on the planet.  Even the logical unemotional Mr. Spock is totally converted, and in fact is one of the first to be.  The whole crew goes down to the planet surface to join the colonists to live simply in paradise, all except Captain Kirk, the only one left who is still ?normal? and sees life on the planet as boring and a waste of human potential.  Eventually though, the plant spores hit Kirk too, and he becomes infested with them, making him a convert as well.  But just before he beams down to join the rest of the crew, a disturbance begins in his conscience, creating a state of inner conflict until his strong resolute willpower takes over and breaks him free of the influence of the spores.  During the deconversion, he mutters, ?No??. noooooo??..  NO!!!!!!!........ I ??.. can?t????. LEAVE!? (the ship) and pounds the transporter control console with all his will and might, breaking free.  This scene is very dramatic, intense, and believable, demonstrating the power of sheer will.  Like Kirk, one must have a firm sense of inner conviction, conscience, and will to break free of Bellingham if one wishes to stop wasting their life there.


Thanks for reading.





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Addendum: Opposing views from those who love Bellingham and my responses


Now, to bring a balanced view to this article, here are some opinions from those who love Bellingham, in their own words.  I will response with comments under each.  You can draw your own conclusions here.


From Tina, a girl from a Bellingham list who wrote me a summary of how she left Bellingham and was brought back, but loves it:


?Well, after college I moved back to my hometown of Longview, WA and a few years later I moved in with a friend in the Seattle area that was in 2000 and for 4 years moved around seattle and then I lost my job and moved in with a friend because she needed someone to move in with her. She preceded to not pay rent and got us evicted (I wasn't on the lease so I didn't get penalized for that) so I had nowhere else to go   My Boyfriend at the time lived in Bellingham so I moved in with him up there.


So it wasn't my choice but I don't regret it. I loved Bellingham when I was living here while I was going to school and I still love it and now I am engaged to the boyfriend that allowed me to move in with him so there are definitely no regrets.  I plan to settle in Bellingham or somewhere else in Whatcom County. It is breathtakingly beautiful :)


You can use my story in your article :)  let me know if you need more information




Response:  It is apparent from Tina?s words that she is happy about returning to Bellingham to live again long-term.  Though I don?t deny that many and probably most in Bellingham claim to love it, nevertheless the ?circumstances? that Tina described which brought her back to Bellingham exist, are too common, and eerily familiar, to warrant the legend of the ?curse?, so one has to wonder.  Perhaps if one desires to or is destined to live somewhere, their ?higher self? arranges the circumstances to lead them there?  Who knows.


From Nathan, a friend of mine who is a bubbly, sweet and charming fellow:


?Here you go Winston, real quickly. Don't have much time.

Bellingham, like all places is full of humans with souls. Souls that need nurture, compassion, and inspiration. One great thing about Bellingham is there are so many people here that are full of compassion and a heart of giving. For example, there's the Whatcom Peace and Justice center that works to educate and activate community members. There's Food Not Lawns and Small Potato Gleaning Project that work to make sure no one goes hungry in Whatcom County. There's the ReStore and ReSources that work to recycle building material. There's also a plethora of organizations that work to keep the water clean, the parks green, and the quality of life healthy in
Bellingham. Oh, and lets not forget the amazing amount of music and nightlife that exists here. Almost any night of the week you can find live music, and coming soon all the bars will be smoke-free. There's not very many places in the world where you can you find that.

Bellingham doesn't do enough to pull people who choose to dwell on the negative out of their shells, but for those who wish to volunteer and participate in the community there are plenty of opportunities. With a little initiative, motivation, and a heart of giving, you might see something in return. While many people in Bellingham may never see gratitude for their work, they continue nonetheless.

Beyond the human aspect of
Bellingham. There's ample amounts of space to be alone, to find get lost in the woods and find yourself. Waterfalls, rivers, creeks, birds, islands, and hiking trails that can bring simple smiles when enjoyed. And that in a nutshell, is why I love Bellingham.

Hope that fulfills your request. Take it easy Winston,


Response:  Like anywhere, no doubt Bellingham has some compassionate caring people that support charitable causes.  And of course, doing volunteer charitable work is good for the soul, reuniting one to their universal source.  And no doubt there are many environmentalists here, which some call ?tree huggers?.  However, this does little to change the huge major deficiencies that I described about the area.  After all, none of my criticisms of Bellingham had to do with lack of environmental consciousness, though I do support such endeavors and I commend Nathan for doing so as well.  The people are still overwhelming cliquish, anti-stranger (especially at the strip mall areas) and the girls are very unapproachable, anti-flirt, and hate men who try to pick them up.  That much can?t be denied.


As to the variety of nightlife in Bellingham, for a US town of this size, it might be plenty, but by worldwide standards, it?s nothing to boast about, especially compared to Europe.  But nevertheless, even with many bars, clubs, and music venues here, I still don?t get the relaxed warm approachable social scene as in most of the world.  It is not free-spirited, lively and uninhibited like in Europe/Russia, but very closed, rigid, and stiff in comparison.  And as mentioned before, the men far outnumber the women, making it a nightmare for the single man looking to hook up, especially in an area where ?picking up? women is vilified and condemned.


As to dwelling on the negative out of a shell, I would say that my life in Bellingham is in fact like a shell, so to speak, but not by choice; rather, the circumstances put me into one.  Out in public, I am not appreciated, am ignored, get no attention, can?t find anyone to connect with (partly cause people want to be left alone and not connect with others anyway), and of course, the girls are unapproachable and if I say anything to them, they give me the look that says ?I have no business talking to strangers unless they need directions.?  So with all that, what else can I do other than be in a shell?  As Kari mentioned earlier, you can put out lots of social energy here and get nothing back.  So what?s the point of wasting time, energy, and effort trying to be social here?  Sure I could go out by myself here, but there just isn?t the energy or vibe here that makes me feel like doing that.


Again, see the images I linked above in the section about stuck up girls, and you will see how much more approachable and less paranoid girls abroad are toward strangers.  Here they are again:


Finally, as to the nature and woods where one can lose or find oneself in, that is obvious and abundant throughout Western Washington.  However, to me, those things ? forests, trails, parks, lakes, snow capped mountain ranges, etc. - are nice only for a week or two, though they are indeed a pretty sight.  I realize that it?s ?different strokes for different folks? but I?ve never been one to find spirituality in forests, as some do; instead, I feel an immediate sense of seclusion, isolation, reclusiveness, isolation, and claustrophobia among foresty environments.  If you are from California, they are a nice nature break from the barren golden hills I admit (as I grew up in CA), but I wouldn?t thrive living constantly in them; instead I?d feel depleted, stagnated, and blocked energy-wise.  For me, I find more energy and stimulation in desert terrain (e.g. Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico) or cultured European environments (Old Town architecture). 


Whatever the case, nice foresty nature doesn?t make up for all the scores of deficiencies outlined above about Bellingham ? its energy-sucking stagnating isolating environment/vibe, people that don?t like socializing with strangers, girls that are unapproachable, its perpetual boredom and loneliness, and a repressed dead end job market.


From, a community message board of Bellingham, this poster gives a list of ten reasons to love Bellingham:

better than you.

Jun 28, 2004 - 04:23 PM    Post subject:

?I agree that
Bellingham rules. In so many ways:
1. chicks galore that love to party and do the nasty.
2. ton's of young people that enjoy each other.
3. older folks that actually like and respect the youngins.
4. proximity to
Canada and it's errr... imports.
5. cheap cost of living (compared to the south end)
6. dog friendly
7. recreational parks up the ying yang
8. mt. baker - nuff said
9. nice cops
10. casa que pasa

WWu, please just go kill yourself. No really - PLEASE DO so I don't have the chance to run into you someday.?


Response:  Many comments can be made about the ten points listed above. 


As to #1, sure chicks love to party.  Most young American girls do, especially airhead and valley girl types.  But what good does that do me?  They party in cliquish ways, only with their closest friends and all whom they consider to be ?cool? (which doesn?t include me).  They aren?t approachable to me, aren?t interested in me, don?t like me, don?t hang out with me, and dist me, etc. so what good is that to me and my objectives?  As to doing the nasty, they may be nasty in private with those they like or are intimate, but that is not something they will show in the Puritan culture of this town, and believe me, most of the single guys here are NOT getting laid regularly.  In fact, if you ask them, they will admit that it?s a single man?s nightmare here, and that they do not have a great dating life here at all, though some do not depend on that for happiness, while others so (such as me).  Nevertheless, chicks in Bellingham do not like to flirt much or meet new people.  To do so just doesn?t fit in with the closed, cliquish nature of the vibe.  Instead, they like to lock themselves up into their routines and cliques.  For the most part, if they don?t know you, they don?t acknowledge your existence. (How fun!)


Regarding #2, there are tons of young people, especially the college crowd, but ?enjoy each other? is a vague phrase subject to relative personal opinion.  I?m sure the cliques in town enjoy each other?s casual company, to the exclusion of others.  But I?ve never been one who fits into cliques nor do I have a clique mentality, so they aren?t even really my thing.  But I do not see young people enjoying others, meeting others, or being as relaxed as say, youngsters in Europe or Russia do in comparison, not at all.


In response to #3, it is common for old folks in America to be very open and talkative to everyone, especially young folks.  They are often lonely, like to share their life wisdom so they can feel useful to those less experienced, and they like having someone listen to them.  However, I would say that the old folks of Bellingham tend to be less outgoing and sociable than nationwide, but instead are more closed, reclusive, and want to be left alone.  That?s just the nature and vibe of Bellingham as well as those who want to live here.


To address #4, Vancouver, Canada, on the other side of the border, is a lot more fun and active than Bellingham of course.  But it?s about a 35 minute drive to the Canadian border from Bellingham, which though close, isn?t close enough to be going there everyday, especially with gas prices these days at $20 a fill!  Therefore, if one enjoys Canada, they should just go live there, rather than try to regularly commute there from a desolate town like Bellingham.


In regards to #5, sure it?s cheaper to live here than down south in the Seattle/King County area.  But so what?  What is the point of cheap living in a place devoid of every major important thing?  Also, the Seattle/King County area has much more jobs and opportunity to offer than Whatcom County does, and those who have moved down there said they get job offers there immediately, whereas here you often have to wait weeks or months just to get a low paying dead end job that you probably wouldn?t want to keep anyway.


#6 though is irrelevant here so I have no comment about it, though it isn?t clear exactly how the town is ?dog friendly? but whatever it is, I don?t think it applies to me personally since I don?t even have a dog.


In #7, ?recreational parks up the ying yang? (an interesting way to phrase it), what I said above in my commentary to Nathan?s letter about nature and woods, applies here as well.


As to the Mt. Baker feature in #8, first of all, it?s a mountainous region popular with skiers and snowboarders, which I?m not into, so it wouldn?t apply to me.  Second, Mt. Baker is in such a remote isolated wilderness area that even the drive there begins to make me feel secluded, lonely, and lost, totally disconnected.  Though I love nature, it?s not the kind of nature I would ?lose? or ?find? myself in, or find any spirituality in.  Instead, it makes me merely feel lonely and remote.  And it?s not just me, for the residents that live in the tiny towns along the way to Mt. Baker are very reclusive type of people.  Around them, it?s like I don?t even exist to them, nor they to me.  Weird.  In fact, I heard that many of them are in their 30?s and have never in their life left Whatcom County!  Now, um, ignorance may be bliss, but these folks are probably a different species than me. lol


As for the nice cops issue #9, unless I get often get in trouble with the law, it?s not much of an issue for me.  I will say though, that it?s good to have nice cops when they are called by girls that you flirt with who see such behavior as crimes, that?s for sure. Lol  Otherwise, the angry feminist powers could do you in for good.


About #10 Casa que pasa, well it?s just a cheap eatery with Mexican food that some consider a great hang out place.  Big deal.  There are places like that everywhere in the US.  Plus, the food isn?t even that great, but mediocre.  In fact, the Mexican food in Mexico, I hear, is way better than in the US.


So as you see, none of these ten reasons given by the poster invalidate nor compensate for the huge major negatives and deficiencies of Bellingham - its energy-sucking stagnating isolating environment/vibe, people that don?t like socializing with strangers, girls that are unapproachable, its perpetual boredom and loneliness, and a repressed dead end job market.


Finally, as to the last line of the poster above, I shouldn?t even acknowledge such an immature juvenile suggestion, though I hope for heaven?s sake that no one takes the words of such a person too literally.  Suffice to say, this person does not seem to fit Nathan?s description of those caring compassionate people in Bellingham obviously.  Let?s just hope he?s not representative of Bellingham folks in general.



Addendum:  Does Washington state have a mysterious force that keeps people in it?


For some reason, Washingtonians think that anyone who doesn't like their state or area do so because of the rainy/cloudy weather.  How one dimensional can they be?!  It just shows the lack of depth and variety of the typical Washingtonian view/mentality.  There are many reasons and factors to like/dislike a place other than the weather, which is just one of many factors that I listed in this article in fact.  Another reason, I could say, is the simple mindedness of Washingtonians that think that weather makes or breaks whether someone likes an area or not. 


In fact, Bellingham, Seattle, and Washington state are not even part of the real world.  Now, I don't mind if something is not part of the real world as long as it has something interesting to offer.  But Washington doesn't, all it is is a closed box of blandness.


Though its scenery is nice for a week vacation, living there is boring and depressing.  There is this negative/anti-social energy field everywhere there.  It makes me even have trouble going to the post office or grocery store.  That's how bad it is.


Washington folks, in my view, are definitely the most anti-social and paranoid lot I?ve ever met, without a doubt.  Nothing even comes close.  The people seem to LOVE isolation and loneliness, and HATE social interaction.  It?s very exemplified by their behavior everywhere; they don?t talk to anyone they don?t know unless it?s business-related.  The anti-social paranoid vibe is all around me everywhere I go.  It makes me, a fun-loving outgoing person, cringe and never want to go out.  What is the point of going out in Washington with that anti-social paranoid vibe everywhere in the air?  Ick.  Yuck.


I simply can't bear to live in a state where 99 percent of the population are freaks, and they in turn think that I'm the freak.  The Twilight Zone episode "Eye of the Beholder", where the perfect-looking gorgeous woman is considered deformed and hideous by the grotesque pig-nosed majority, depicts superbly how I feel in Washington state.  Ick.  I see everyone as freaks, while they in turn see me as a freak. 

Me and Washingtonians are on a different wavelength.  They don't see what I see, and I don't see what they see.  We don't jive at all.  To me they are like distant zombies, transparent, numb, deathly pale, anal-retentive, anti-social, and devoid of social skills when it comes to meeting people.  It?s almost like they aren?t even there!  And that?s freaky.


I don?t jive with Northwest culture or environment either.  None of its coffee culture, grunge rock, contempo jazz, or lame ass wannabe art appeals to me in anyway.


It's one thing to be unable to get dates with hot women here, but it's another to not even be able to make basic friends whom you connect with and have things in common with.  I think that Washingtonians subconsciously pick up that I'm not one of them, which makes them feel a bit awkward, so they avoid me.

Of course, anyone reading this might want to yell to me "JUST GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE!!!!!!!!" which I also yell to myself everyday.  But you see, it isn't as simple as you think.  Believe it or not, as mentioned before, there is some force or consciousness here, not just in
Bellingham but the whole state, which infests people to force them to stay and traps them within circumstances that bind them. 

Recently I spoke by phone to a lady in
Arizona who grew up in the Seattle area, and she noticed the same thing.  She described it as a "grip" that Washington tries to place on you.  But, she added, once you leave Washington and live somewhere out in the real world, your eyes will be open and you won't wanna go back.


Also, she observed while growing up there that many people there complain about the gloomy winter weather, yet never leave because they know nothing else outside the state, and assume that their only path is to settle there for life.  It's all part of the tunnel-vision of the Washingtonian world.  You kind of feel sorry for them when you've tasted the richness and splendor of the world outside their little repressed "matrix".


That reminds me of what the ESL teacher Kari, quoted earlier, said about her friend who was visiting saying that people here look so "depressed and sick".  Based on that, I might postulate the following.  Perhaps people look so "depressed and sick" in Washington because their subconscious mind hates and despises it there, but their conscious mind is fooled into staying.  Maybe deep down they feel miserable, but they think they like it there, or they just see no other option.  It's so sad.


It's as if the force or will of the area will do anything to keep you here.  It might offer you a good job, get you into a relationship, commitment, bring your family here, or simply sap your life force energy down to the point where you don't have enough willpower left to leave.  To accomplish that, it may even instill doubt, worry and fear in you about leaving. 

If that's so, then one who is trying to leave would be well advised not to think about leaving lest the consciousness of the area psychologically infest doubt, worry, and discouragement against leaving.  But once you recognize this, you achieve more power over its influence.  You can recognize it for what it is, and what it's doing to you, and thereby not give it a chance to trick you with illusory thoughts and concerns against leaving.  That's the key to a successful escape from
Washington!  You've got to go through the motions and planning of leaving the state, without paying attention to the thoughts, worries, and obligations that your mind will give you to make you stay (if you know that's what you should do that is).  And know that once you are out, it's influence on you is gone, and you will be able to think clearly once again.  Only then can you laugh and realize that its hold on your life and the doubts and fears it instilled into your mind, were just an illusion.  As they say, once you are out of something, you view it more clearly than when you are within it.


Now, you might think that the concept of a force or consciousness keeping people in Washington is outlandish.  However, if you consider the genuine paranormal nature of areas like Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz, CA, then it might just seem a bit more plausible.  Open to the public, Mystery Spot is an area in which the laws of gravity are bent.  Objects roll upward on a plank, pendulums do not behave in the normal laws of gravity, and height can be changed by simply switching positions on a level plank (proven by a level measuring instrument).  I've personally been there many times and can attest that it is not some optical illusion.  No one really knows the answer, but a NASA team that investigated surmised that there might be a crashed meteor under the ground that causes the gravity anomalies.  Whatever the explanation, it seems to be a genuine paranormal phenomena.


Now, if something under the ground can cause real gravity anomalies, then it becomes more feasible that something under or in the area of Washington could be gripping people in its hold to stay there.


Whatever the case, no one place or thing is right for everyone, even if it works for many.  For instance, the Christian religion works for millions of people, bringing them hope, peace, purpose, truth and joy.  But for others, it is repressed, closed-minded, judgmental, ridiculous, and conflicts with their values, beliefs, and goals.  And for some who turned away from the faith, it's left such a chip on their shoulder that they've become die hard Bible critics (e.g. the writers of articles at  Similarly, joining the army works for many people, giving them purpose and value, but for others it's a hell hole where you lose every freedom that you've ever known.  Likewise, Washington may work for many, but doesn't work for many others, and not all its residents would be happy living elsewhere either. 


As for me, Washington simply has a gloomy environment, weather, and vibe.  It's people are stuck up, uptight, and freak at having to talk to strangers.  And anyone who talks to strangers here is considered a freak, as well as anyone who isn?t reclusive, loves isolation and solitude, and doesn?t talk to people only when its necessary.  Women here don't even need men, leaving men to feel unneeded and unacknowledged, like there is nothing they could add to the woman's life.  The area is also repressed and non-progressive; for example everyone complains about the horrible gridlocked traffic problems in the Seattle and King County area, yet nothing is ever done about them.  Things just always stay the same, leaving you to complain in futility.  In addition, the road signs are sloppy and rife with errors, which also never get fixed either.  Sure the state is beautiful and has some advantages, but without any culture (coffee is not a culture you NW folks!), energy, social scene or normal people, the area sucks.


Also, the lady in Arizona who grew up here also noticed that while the artists in Washington tend to be closed snobs, the artists in Arizona tend to be true freespirits.  And the new age/metaphysical community is much more mainstream down there as well, whereas in Washington they are confined to a few fringe older folks.


There are just so many things to hate about Washington that eventually erode your mental health and sanity, yet the consciousness of the state won't let you leave either, making it the ultimate perpetual frustration that never ends.  And when you've tasted places and areas of the world which are much better, you constantly ask yourself "Why should I have to put up with this?"


One Seattle resident on Craig?s List wrote in response to the above which I posted there:


?I transplanted here many years ago and yes the majority of people here are f-up and sadly can not see it. Coming from east coast the very first thing i noticed is how lazy people are here, they can not get out of there car for coffee. There are more drive thru's here than normal. Not to mention everyone is always in a hurry (self included)to go everywhere, even if no real fire to speak of. I believe we slowly are conditioned to blend in somehow to this way of life here. I have lived everywhere in this country and traveled in europe while in military and yes Seattle is isolate mind set. Perhaps it is lack of sun light, i do not know. Here is proof too, in rainy season everyone is mellow, polite while driving, hell, somehow we will even stay behind that gay liberal person driving in the left lane 5 mph under speed limit usually driving they're volkswagon bus(speed nazis should die!!!). We don't care we follow matching speed. Then now that the sun is out watch all the road rage starts to begin, you try this time of year now that the sun is out someone WILL follow you home and beat your ass in your driveway for it. if you think i am joking watch we are getting into road rage season watch the news. We go all rainy season driving mellow then when the sun comes out we wake up here and some become violent. I am only very sensitive to noticing all the changes here because i will never call this home. I try very hard not to incorporate into this system. Not to mention the few of you snobby as U.W. graduates who think they are superior to all, even thou you are ugly, fat even worse is your outlook towards less fortunate people. Lets not pick on the women here that have 3-4 different fathers all of different races. I own a home here and this will never be my home if you understand what i mean. Speaking for myself i am only here like many, it is simple. Seattle-tacoma have the shipyards then everything else in the country trickles down job wise because of shipyard ie rail road, trucks, services on so on Anyone want to move to chicago or tampa-miami where the ports are sunnier?.?


And another guy I wrote to on Craig?s List replied:




Well I guessed I stirred up the water a little as I have actually received feedback from people who agree with me.


This is a silently angry little hippie town where no one has the guts to stand up to the mic when it comes

time to make changes.But you have heard all this rhetoric time and time again.


I enjoyed your article and relate to it whole heartily.


I will take east coasters over the b.s. here and in OR any given day. Just because the weather is bad doesn?t give anyone the right to act so god damn anti social.


Im moving back this year and may I never return to live here period. Nice state, bad people!


Thanks for the email! Made my day!?


Or perhaps there is a more down-to-earth explanation for the ?mysterious force? that prevents those that dislike Washington from leaving, such as this one that an overseas expat gave me:


?Getting out of any place ( or situation)is difficult because of basic human laziness and inertia more than
anything else. People would rather complain than take courageous action. It takes either unbearable pain (emotional or physical)  or an incredibly big reward to spur people into action.

Plus there is the comfort zone factor.
Washington may be bad but it is bearable and you have learned to live with all the problems. There are also some advantages so you got used to the situation.

My saving grace is that I learned early on in life how sweet life can be and I had to restore a similar
situation for myself. Anything less than that was simply not acceptable. It caused horrible depression
and pain. So I had to act.

Most people would just put up and complain than take action. Mostly because of the inertia inherent in
human nature itself. Complaining is only good if it serves as a description of suffering and its verbal
crystallization so that, later it could spur people into action. Otherwise it is useless.

I was lucky in that I had serious problems that spurred me into action- a forced military draft, a near bankruptcy, horniness so bad I was crying my eyes out, unemployment so bad I had no food.

If I had been in a so-so, not good but bearable environment, I would also be talking about some strange "force".

The force is called " inertia" or " laziness".?



Addendum:  What people are saying about Bellingham on Craig?s List (I?m glad I?m not the only one that?s sane!)


I?m glad I?m not the only one in Washington who is sane and clear-headed.  Here are posts from the rants and raves section of the Bellingham Craigs List: 


(Please note that these posts below expire after 45 days on craig?s list, so they may no longer be at the link above)



Why are Bellingham People...


Reply to:
Date: 2006-04-18,
9:31AM PDT


Bellingham is part of the Northwest, an area geographically isolated and within itself isolated by the rain. It has always been a place of solitude and that gets to a lot of people. Not a good thing or a bad thing, just a thing that doesn't match your interactive mode.


The isolation and solitude are good for creativity, which by definition is apart from the known. But living here is lonely.


An important factor is your age. I am older, so live at a more relaxed pace. If you're college age, there are things connected with the University. But, if you are inbetween, say from ages 24-55, this can be a living hell where one spends most of the time sleeping. There are active sports things to be sure, OUTSIDE of Bellingham, but not too far. One doesn't do those things if sports and such are not their cup of tea. The downtown is dead. Fairhaven is limited in terms of casual meetings. There is not even a REAL coffee shop where people play chess, visit, interact, and have a home away from home.


But I want to ask you, how do you know who "the people of Bellingham" are? There are folks streaming in here from all over the place. How do you know the "people" who do not respond to you are not just off the plane from New York?


This area is different, solitary and isolated. But people are people everywhere, and respond to positive vibrations in others. I don't think you are giving those off.


And "the curse" of any place is when the vibrations don't jive. Nothing is wrong with that, except if you stay where you are miserable. Find somewhere you are in sync with and enjoy your life.

this is in or around Sehome



Re:Why are Bellingham people so anti-social, stuck up, and shy?!


Reply to:
Date: 2006-04-18,
2:11PM PDT


I have also lived in many different areas, and travel all over this world. I consider myself to be lucky on that regard.


I didn't "come back" but more of kind of got stuck here- details would only bore you.
But..I can agree to some of what Winston here is saying, I think he takes it a little
OB at times.


Whenever I'm out, at a coffee shop, bar what have you I can almost always tell who the people are that aren't from here originally are, they are the ones that respond to polite chatter( for lack of a better term)


A lot of people here do appear to be stuck up, but Im not sure it is stuck up as much as it is uneducated in dealing with others, manners seem to be missing around here. People here tend to keep to yourselves here and don;t allow outsiders into your little circles very easily.


But the thing that really bugs me,( I can deal with the buttheads here, as there are some cool people as well) is you all come off so freaking "environmental" this endless self indulging "Beautiful area, we dont want cell towers-no more building- stay out of my neighborhood " talk, but yet you LITTER EVERYWHERE!!??
What is up with that, I swear in all my travels I think this place has the most people who dump their trash out of their windows than anywhere else.


I own a home on a fairly well traveled road and am constantly having to pick up the trash that YOU throw out your time you drive down any road, look around, pay attention to the sidewalks or easements, you will see what I mean..
Just wanted to say that!



It's not Bellingham honey, it's Washington....


Reply to:
Date: 2006-04-18,
11:16PM PDT


the OP has taken issue with the attitude of people n Bellingham, yet after living in Bellingham, Kirkland, and Seattle I can attest to the attitude is strictly Washingtonian.....I have also lived in Portland, OR and strangely enough once I cross the bridge and enter Portland, the scarlet letter vanishes from me and people I have never met speak to me as we pass in grocery aisles as if we are old friends.
Bellingham is better than Seattle (one expensive hell hole with no soul), and both are better than Kirkland/Bellevue (expensive hell hole, no soul, no quality of life, you will soon consider antidepressants or suicide as you sit parked on the 405...). None compare to Oregon, ALL OVER Oregon...the people are much more open and friendly outside of Washington. Smiling, friendly, gracious, interested...this is Portland, and Oregon in general.
i am only mentioning these places that I have lived, but too I have visited most states in the union and honestly, the OP has a point...there is a cold, sterile, arrogance about people around here. If they actually DO make eye contact with you, it's to make sure your not a pedophile checking out their kids. (Before you go there, I am a mom with an 8 year old and an 8 month old....not exactly pedophile material). .....sigh.....
I'm not sure...maybe it's the Canadians making everyone cranky up here, or all of the R.E. I. fleece they inhale but it is definitely a different attitude, and not necessarily a positive difference.
Land of Subdued Excitement? More likely, Land of Subdued Personality. Check out some of the cragislists for other cities. You will see that witty banter, salty chat, crassness, intelligen t exchange, actually DO exist outside of Belling-Oz, and IT'S OKAY TO SPEAK TO EACH OTHER EVEN IF YOU THINK IT's ICKY!!! (I've heard of so my people flagged here for no reason that I can only imagine some weird puritanical post police locally.....)
And before you tell me to "get out" (yawn) me, my ten year plan is in place and I am counting the days until I can live in the outside world once again. Go ahead and flame me, I could use the entertainment.



RE: Bellingham, unfriendly



Reply to:

Date: 2006-04-19, 9:42AM PDT



My husband grew up here but I am originally from California. I've noticed that people are generally cliquish here (at least here in Ferndale) and if they don't know you, they want nothing to do with you. Some of the moms at the school my kids attend are nice, but the majority are very rude and if you try to strike up conversation with them, forget it.


I'm from Northern California and it was never that way, so it's a bit of culture shock (among many other things, like the amount of RACISM I see up here) to me. We've been here 3 years now but it's still taking some adjusting to. we moved up here to be closer to my husband's family and that's great, but the general atmosphere is completely different up here.


I guess people just want to keep to themselves, and I can understand that, but being blatantly rude?? There's no need for that.




people are different, get used to it



Reply to:

Date: 2006-04-19, 1:00PM PDT



There's a lot of judgment going on here where judgment is not due... of course the people in the NW are different than in Latvia, you really can't be all that surprised by this??? The way Northwesterners behave socially involves a lot of complex confounding factors- and it's not right, it's not wrong, it just IS. Bellingham is not for everyone, just like everyone in Bellingham would not be happy living in a different place. It's really important to personal happiness to love where you live, if you don't love Bellingham, you need to find the place that brings you happiness. There are plenty of people here who are happy. I'm a native Washingtonian and have lived in Bellingham for nearly 15 years. I admit, it was VERY hard to make lasting, true friends and it took a long time. I know several people, all men, who have lived here for years and feel starved for human contact. I've no doubt we do things differently here, but you shouldn't judge that and say something is wrong with the way things are done, because there are thousands of people here for whom it works. It just doesn't work for you... so instead of bitching about it on a web forum (or several, it seems) put your energy into finding the place where it does.


I'd like to suggest you do some research into how climate affects social behavior as the two are inextricably linked. The closer you get to the equator, the warmer and more socially open people are. It simply makes no sense to compare the social behavior of Washingtonians to Californians, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans etc etc... humans adapt to their external environment to survive and what you are experiencing is the way Northwesterners have adapted- again, it's not right, it's not wrong, it just IS.




RE:Bellingham not Friendly??



Reply to:

Date: 2006-04-19, 1:57PM PDT



Of course if you're in the media business such as Deb it helps!


Seriously though, I think there are a lot of people here that simply couldn't be bothered to show courtesy to others. I've lived here along time and can certainly see what Winston is complaining about, but I just don't care!

Anyone that does take the time to show me kindness I remember, the ones that don't..F'em!



Winston is a pathetic whine-bag



Reply to:

Date: 2006-04-19, 4:22PM PDT



You, Winston, are a loser. Just because of your profound inability to get laid, don't blame it on an entire community. I have only lived here for four months, and I, too, have lived all over the country. It's amazing to me how nice people are here. I am in my mid thirties, and after going on a couple of pleasant dates with a couple of different people, I have a very nice girlfriend who is just awesome.


If you need to borrow a gun, I will gladly lend you one as long as you promptly use it to paint the ceiling with your brains. You'll be doing yourself, and the community, a huge favor since you don't have the BALLS to live your life the way you want to and GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!!!!


Really, there is nothing worse than a fucking crybaby.


(Note:  Again, if people like this, who encourage me to blow my brains out with a gun, are the type of people who love Bellingham, then I am sure glad that I?m not one of them!)


Re: Bellingham People

Reply to:

Date: 2006-04-19, 5:13PM PDT



Winston raises a very fair and accurate point and anyone honest with themselves will agree with him. Maybe you think you like it here but if you are between the ages of 28 and 46, you don't. You just don't know it.


If you are between these ages you should leave immediately if you ever wish to feel alive again.


Why am I here, seeing as how I am 30 years old, you ask? I came here because I needed time not to feel or think anything at all. Such an environment has been provided. I thank you, whatever is that makes Bellingham this way. When I need to be a zombie again I'll be back. That is if I can manage to get out again to be albe to come back.



RE: Bellingham, unfriendly

Reply to:

Date: 2006-04-19, 5:14PM PDT



About making eye contact, and being friendly, yes. I have always been an outgoing and friendly person. I get occasional "hi's" and "hello's" from my fellow Ferndalians, but for the most part, I have encountered people who just look at me like I came off a spaceship.


I was sharing some commiseration in what the original poster (Winston?) had posted. But in no way am I bashing Ferndale or Whatcom County or Washington. It's just a different atmosphere, like I said. I don't think anyone is "miserable" here, I just think that people anywhere you go are different. Chalk it up to however someone was raised too. No one place is "miserable", just different is all.




My take: large and shallow social networks

Reply to:

Date: 2006-04-19, 11:30PM PDT



Fascinating disucussion to come across, as I've been doing a lot of thinking about the local social scene lately after not a small amount of frustration after 4+ years here.


What I've noticed is that many of the people who ARE sociable around these parts try to maintain large, but very shallow, social networks. I have friends, but hardly any I would consider close. I see these friends maybe once per week each, as they chop their precious free time up among many other friends who don't necessarily know each other.


Ideally I would like to cultivate a close circle of 6-10 friends, who all know each other and hang out together, but this is difficult as it seems like young folks don't want to invest the time in such a small group of people.


This gives the effect of skimming along socially on a bunch of friendships that are actually friendly acquaitances. Not very fulfilling.



Winston is right



Reply to:

Date: 2006-04-21, 5:36PM PDT



and so was the gal who posted " It's not Bellingham honey, it's Washington...."


One can find more friendliness in New York, Houston or L.A.


Odds are that a Bellinghamster will respond to friendly chat with confusion. Not sure it is intentional as much as lack of understanding not unlike colorblindedness: "Why are you saying hello to me?"


There also seems to be paranoi amongst both Male and Female about anyone positive. Once again I see this more as a disablilty than intentional: "What do you want in return for that compliment?"



Winston ........Schminston



Reply to:

Date: 2006-04-22, 9:40AM PDT



If we leave Winston out of this discussion we can better focus.And I don't think he should be flagged just because some don't agree with him.

I have been in Bellingham over 4 years. Yes, it is friendly, yet difficult to break into socially. There are so many diverse groups here for such a small town. There are the college kids, who I work with. They have a hard time meeting people for dates. I am sometimes tempted to play cupid. But they are just a temporary segment of the society. There are the affluent upper middle class and retirees. They are usaully married and or not particularly looking to meet friends. The locals my age, baby boomers, are very stuck on the way things used to be. Their term is "Back in the Day". I swear sometimes I want to shout, " This Is The Day"!

I am from Montana, and I am very friendly. But Bellingham is a difficult town to break into. There seem to be very few single people my age. I don't golf, or hike or ski. I have joined a variety of groups, yet haven't yet found my niche. I am considering moving to Portland. I love Bellingham, but it is a gloomey town to be alone in. Probably my age. Too old to skateboard, to young for shuffleboard.




beeham smee ham



Reply to:

Date: 2006-04-25, 3:47PM PDT



Winstonedion is right on with many points taken up, but a bit over the top on some of his rants. The fact that he can't stand to be out in nature by himself, says alot! That I can be alone and autonomous is one of the main draws for me to this region, and is probally one of the personality traits that W does not like about this envior makeup.


About the cliqueyness, uptight women, general snobbery, and shallow relationships being discussed here; I find pretty accurate from my experiance.

I had more fun and frienships (women and men) in Alaska then I have for the 10 freakn years I have lived here by far.


Oh I don't have dreds not a vegan and I guess just not hip or mystical enough! Just your common joe schmuck tyring to create and live life.


B'ham is probally a paradise for a 20-ish trustifarian-outwardly >(sustainable)(arrogantly)"alternative">


The oldtime alternatives (fairhaven grads) are the real ubermench though. I do'nt know how many people I have meet and when I see them on the latter act as If I am from another planet like LA or something.


Just my rant and bitter musings.


Maybe we will SEE each other at the Bagelry I won't expect much else!!







Reply to:

Date: 2006-04-25, 4:57PM PDT



I absolutely loved Winston's initial posting, where he included his photo's of Europe, described the happiness he felt over there while traveling and his frustration/culture shock coming back to the United States where the culture is decidedly more conservative. Do any of us dispute the fact that our culture is, for good or for ill, more conservative than Europe's? Isn't this common knowledge? And wouldn't it be better if we could loosen up a bit in a certain regard? The really remarkable thing is that Winston is saying something real, theorizing, is often times wrong, but struggles nevertheless, to pose some kind of hypothesis for his feelings, his nation, his Bellingham. You guys, however, don't seem to like this. Maybe it's just not cool to express yourself? That is, unless the expression occurs while stoned, over an addition of Lao Tzu or someone's idea for a cool tatoo. Don't you recognize the eternal conflict between the individual and the group where you represent the group? Same as it ever was. The irony, is if your best friend brought you a crappy water color painting you would be like, "Oh my God, it's the most beauitful thing I've ever seen."


Meanwhile, I found the objections posted to Winston's malcontent, naive perhaps but honest and accurate characterization of life in the States to be absolutely specious and often times sleazy and unkind, as in, "You gotta play the game man," or, "I wouldn't go out with you if I met you in a bar." It made me think about all you cool folks who say less than rocks and ski more miles than Finnish patrol scouts. Do any of you ever doubt? Do any of you ever want more or search in a way or perhaps think that life could be better if we only siezed the day? Are all your ideas someone else's, or did you once come up with something on your own? Perhaps you boring people out there could do less hiking, biking, ocean kyaking, paying lip service to your own delusional life-style imperatives, and a little bit more, dare I say it, reading?


But then again, maybe I should just stop thinking and buy some hiking products. Maybe what I really need are some carabiners and a good pair of cramp-ons.



Cult of the Normal Guy



Reply to:

Date: 2006-04-25, 6:13PM PDT



The self-effacing ?Normal Guy? who has published below illustrates perfectly hypocritical groupthink. Let?s go over it. First, he encounters Winston?s postings as an aberration ? something unusual ? and so he set?s himself up with the group opinion that Winston is, for expressing beliefs that are beyond the fringe abnormal, if not, perhaps, crazy? I quote, ?First, damn Winston you really need to see a counselor.? Perhaps the Normal Guy is himself qualified to judge someone?s mental condition, but I tend to think that he would rather simply take a pot shot at someone who isn?t like him, doesn?t think like him, and would rather not. The others constitute a threat for good ol fashion normal Joes. But wait! Stop the presses! It?s not simply that he?s different ? he has Bellingham folks all wrong. The Normal Guy says, ?They have compassion and so they tolerate a lot of lesser behavior in the name of peace and equality,? certainly ?just like- you are ?tolerating? Winston?s ?lesser behavior? by suggesting that he see a counselor. So perhaps the normal Joe is just being a kindly neighbor and not a hypocrite. Tough love, right Mr. Average? Certainly wouldn't want to go out a limb and start tolerating some of that lesser behavior.


The fact is, people in general simply don?t like dissent from popular opinion. Conservative, Liberal, it doesn't make a different. However, I think that those literal minded normal Joe?s should know that they are being every ounce just as judgmental than those that dare to be different. Moreover, they are basking in the warmth of there successfull assimilation at the expense of people who?s role in society is as every way vital if not more vital. How would you feel, Mr. Normal, if I told you that feeling the need to express an improbable ?normalcy? smacks of psychosis? Maybe you should see a counselor? Shouldn?t we give of our uniqueness, even if some of that uniqueness is pain and loneliness? We must use colors - not simply a blank canvas ornimented with self-approbation.



Re:re:re: Bellingham/Winston/etc



Reply to:

Date: 2006-04-25, 7:51PM PDT



We all know there is something weird and creepy about Bellingham. I think the thing to do is stop lying to ourselves and face it. Bellingham is beautiful which makes us think we should be happy here, but we're not. If you truly are then you represent about 5% of the population and you should just go hang out in your eco-friendly four story house over looking the bay and leave the rest of us to our misery. Because that's what we're in. Not a serious misery. Not enough to make us get off our asses and leave. Just a steady, mind-numbing, isolating misery that once in a while gets forgotten when we happen to remember that we live by the bay and catch a sunset once every three months. No, I don't care that you hang out every third night with a large group of aging hipsters playing your acoustic guitar. That doesn't exclude you from the isolation.


Then again, this could be all about me and the we I speak of is just the many disgruntled folks inside of me. Either way, lets admit Bellingham is creepy already and move on from there shall we?



Winston for Mayor



Reply to:

Date: 2006-04-27, 9:53AM PDT



Much of what Winston accurately describes (and he is correct, just look at the responses he is evoking!!) can be attributed to "40 years of cloudy skies".


Hate to say it folks, but the weather has greater effect than we wish to admit. Cloudy skies make most people sleepy, non responsive, de-energized leading to the results Winston observes.


We get a LOT of grey here.



RE: Does Washington have a mysterious force that keeps people in it?

Reply to:

Date: 2006-05-02, 7:26AM PDT



Yah know what? I think your right! I've tried to leave this place quite a few times, and it keeps sucking me back in! And all the freaks. Just because I take care of my body and care about the way I look I'm considered a freak. Tell me where else in the world an attractive woman is considered a freak? That's just wrong!



Re: What's Bellingham Like?

Reply to:

Date: 2006-05-05, 5:39PM PDT



For starters, Bellingham is very white. White in many ways. Let me just preface by saying that I am a Caucazoid myself so I know white fairly well I think. The music here is white (folk, some tame jazz, local indie bands). The people here are mostly white (self-explanatory) and the attitude is mostly white (white being a sort of blank, dull non-color. By which I mean, there is not a whole lot to do here unless you are REALLY serious about kayaking. But, if you are an introverted fellow or gal who doesn't mind a general sort of blank, dull community, then you will do just fine.) It is very scenic after all and there is little to no traffic and you can always find a quiet, nice place to sit outside and think about whiteness and afterward be able to go straight to a restaurant and eat some white food without waiting too long for a table.


In short, bring your own entertainment. Or, be able to entertain yourself or die.


Which brings me to my next point. I've never been to Houston, but I do know that when I travel to the east coast (yes, I am aware Houston is not located on the east coast) I am suddenly overwhelmed with new acquaintances. People say hello. They invite me to their barbeques, out to dinner, for a walk, etc. When I come home I crawl back into my tiny social bubble. It's just not like that here (friendly in that way). I'm not arguing which is better or worse-so stay off my back Bham R&Rs- it's just the way it is. People aren't going to flock to you and try to be your friend because they're afraid their own limited circle of friends might like you better and stop calling them.


Again, bring your own entertainment or a really cool accent to get you in the door.


The weather: The weather is great if you don't like real seasons. Enough said. It doesn't rain here as much as people say. It also doesn't snow much, sunshine hard much or thunder much. Again, a sort of dull, blank whiteness.


Jobs: Like an earlier poster said, bring your own or prepare to live in poverty unless you work in a highly specialized field which happens to offer work in this area. Even then, get a job before you come.


That's enough for now.


Besides, anything's better than Texas right?


*Also not posted by Winston



Updates on my life after leaving Bellingham in June 2006


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