It’s been a busy week, haven’t had a lot of time to comment on it, nor really any interesting things to comment on. Unless you want to hear about a lot of emails and signatures. Which you don’t.
However, in the middle of my second week here, I’m starting to figure out the important differences and such. So I thought it’d be fun to start writing them down.
I. Thou shalt carry thy sunglasses at all times
There is no shelter from the unforgiving nuclear fireball overhead. Forgetting to put on your sunglasses in the short walk from the door to the car may cause lasting retinal damage. Absolutely do not leave your sunglasses in the hotel room accidentally. (In fact, it may be prudent to buy 3 or 4 more sunglasses and pre-cache them in strategic locations to prevent this problem!)
II. Thou should change thine understanding of the word “onramp”.
Freeways are a bit of a different beast here. The distinction between “frontage road” and “freeway” is… fungible. And in several cases the “onramp” between them is actually just staying in the lane you’re in. This confuses the Google.
I do like the dedicated freeway u-turn lanes though, that’s helpful. Confusing sometimes, but helpful.
III. Thou shalt not re-use your cup at Starbucks
I’m used to getting a tea/iced-coffee refill by taking the lid off of my cup and handing the cup to the barista. Apparently that is not how it’s done here, you get a whole new thing. For a while they politely ignored me by grabbing a new cup and writing on it, giving me the subtle “throw that away yourself” signal, but today I got low-key yelled at by a barista about it. Message received.
IV. Thou shalt buy an umbrella and keep it handy
In stark disregard for Portland’s disdain for umbrellas they are quite useful here. The term “downpour” also seems to mean something rather different than I’m used to. I’ve never seen the streets fill up with water almost to the top of the curb within 5 minutes before. Getting from your car to the front door of anywhere will be a much better experience with an umbrella. No raincoat can save you.