This is our introduction to Portland. Away from the desert sun & smell of sin, Portland is growing to become the home we’re very proud of. First of, it’s beautiful. Filled with green grass, beautiful large trees and an ever-flowing river straight in the heart of the city, we’ll never need to go far to “get away from it all.” The beach is about an hour & a half away and Mt. Hood (snow bunny territory) is about 45 minutes away. Here are a few other things we’ve either observed or found out:
*We don’t pump our own gas! Nope, Oregon has an amazing law that doesn’t allow drivers to pump their own gas. Each gasoline station has an attendant to do it for you. For those of you from Las Vegas where tips rule the world: they are not necessary…and actually give you a weird look if you do tip them. The only time you would is if they do any extra service. i.e. clean your windows. So when it’s freezing outside (which it can be) you can stay nicely bundled in your car while an awesomely wickedly cool person pumps your gas.
*Public transportation is awesome! We actually live outside of the Portland area but go quite frequently. Every time we do, we just drive up to the nearest transit center, park our car and hop on the train. You can even purchase your ticket over your phone and it gives you great access to most of the city and surrounding areas.
*We don’t have sales tax. Need I say more.
*Portland is strictly a no plastic bag city. Go into the nearest local shop or big chain store, nothing but paper here baby!
*We eat live and breathe soccer! Thank God. Go TIMBERS!! And we have a pretty crazy rivalry with our surrounding sister city Seattle.
*You have to be a Duck or a Beaver. Even friendly games are big deals here…and are called “Civil Wars.” i.e. it’s a big deal.
*The people are friendly. SO FRIENDLY. Ridiculously friendly. Drivers are calm, hardly anyone speeds. People will stop and help even before you ask for assistance. Seriously.
*It’s a different type of “homeless” here. Yes, Portland is known for having a tremendous amount of homeless. But if you see them, speak to them, and well joke around with them you’ll soon find out it’s a different type of homeless. For the most part, they aren’t the scary crazy kind. Portland has a large population of young homeless, who are educated, smart and well…extremely polite! Many of them (but not all) choose to live away from society’s standard and in all honestly, Portland has some amazing resources for homeless (including camps) so I guess some just do it.
*Mustache and/or beard is required. To be a true weirdo.
*Portland is known for its coffee and it’s beer. Lots of breweries & local coffee shops for any aficionado. If you like wine, we also have a ton of wineries nearby!