Portland, OR

We got to Portland two hours earlier than expected- took the train out of Salem. Arriving in the city around two- we checked into our hostel. Which is the cutest thing I have ever seen in my life. And eco friendly hostel that uses rainwater off the roof for their toilet water, provides free pancakes every morning. That first night we had a few beers and went to bed early.

The next morning I woke up and started off my day making pancakes. A girl staying in the hostel from Brazil came over and introduced herself, and asked if I could teach her how to make pancakes. I said of course, and we had breakfast together.

After a few minutes, it turned into a super girl power breakfast. Jess woke up and joined, and then a maple syrup centered girl from Vermont and a middle aged lesbian from San Francisco.

We talked about some silly shit, and then Maple Syrup invites us to check out downtown in her car. Jess and I agree, and go outside and pet the cat to wait for her. Within the five minutes that she is gone I realize that I really can’t do more people right now- and I just want some solid zoning in the city. So we go and tell her bye, and exchange numbers.

We continued down Hawthorne street- Jess got donuts, I got a breakfast burrito and we both had coffee. We checked out the Portland bearded hipster dudes with dreads and gauges, our full time job for the weekend. Then we wandered to the bus stop, and soon we were driving back over the river.

The bridges in Portland are amazing, and I love driving over the river. It’s like a spaghetti bowl of bridges, but with nothing solid underneath.

I ended my night at a gay club that was almost exclusively women. And danced with a girl from South Africa all night. And she just wanted to dance, and I was asking constant questions about her country.

Before that we hit up a few more bars as a large group- all five of us. There were strip clubs on every street corner, but we didn’t go in any. I initially wanted to go, as part of an anthropological experience, but then we started talking about the clubs in depth in a pinball bar, and I started to get a bit upset, and pulled out my buddha elephant and had everyone kiss it to change the subject.

At some point Clint found a cigar on the street, and we all stood around smoking it and talking to Tony’s girlfriend on the phone for quite awhile.

Ate Syrian food around 6:30 pm with Jess, pissed drunk already from happy hour at the locus bar across the street. The Syrian food blew my mind. I can’t even write about it right now, because I need to dedicate at least a half an hour to that beautiful symphony of feelings.

We all met up at the Syrian restaurant. Jess and I ate 7 plates by ourselves, and then we all stared at the beautiful tables made out of maps.

Before this, Jess had to pee. So we stopped at a Starbucks. There was a line, and the hippie before us ushered us ahead because he had to take a shit.

“I’ll be awhile”

We didn’t argue. We took our turn and peed. And then after we were done, Jess decided that we needed to wait for the hippie, as we were going to hang out with him.

We lingered around the Starbucks while he did his business, and when he came out Jess jumped outside and joined him and his dogs and his other hippie friend. Our initial hippie friend was a seven foot tall blond ddreadlocked tie dye wearing guy with a service dog for panic attacks and anxiety. He said that the dog can sense anxiety- and when I walked over the dog jumped in my face and started licking me. We talked about the end times with the hippie and petted his dogs for about an hour and a half. Sitting on the curb outside of Starbucks, Portland Oregon on a saturday night in the rain. His dog’s name was buddha, of course, and the guy was from New Jersey, like Jess. They bonded and I took in the city around me while the dog attempted to tone down my amped up anxious personality.

Our last day in Portland I woke up and put my laundry in the drier. Then headed down the street for another breakfast burrito. It was amazing again, and I realized how much I love traveling by myself. It was nice yesterday having people to go out with- but I was itching to be alone all day. And when I finally got away for a few minutes- I put on my headphones and walked down by the river, and life turned into magic. Everything is much more interesting when you are alone. The way to explore a city is alone. I think I might even start arguing that it is safer to explore a city alone. Last night was so much fun, but I would never have gotten myself into the situations we were in alone. And then I would have been much more conscious of my surroundings. And I would have enjoyed certain things more. The overall appeal of the world. But last night I got down to the surface level of everything, and I made many new friends that I will never see again.

I am definitely still a bit drunk this morning, but I don’t have any other time to write today besides now. So bear with me. I’m not drinking for quite awhile, that was quite enough for the time being. Reminds me of how complicated life can get. Luckily, life did not get complicated. I had some lucky stars guiding me. And whoever says midwesterners can’t have street smarts? I got us all the way home, with the help of a lovely cab driver from Iran.

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