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10 Commandments of Living in Oregon

by Jon Young Aug 15, 2016

1. Thou shalt not move here without thine own money.

Rent is rising, housing can be scarce and microbrews are spendy. If you move here, bring some job skills and a chunk of money, or you’ll be kicked out of your tent camp as quickly as Portland Mayor Charlie Hales can say “Safe Sleep.” In a city full of homeless millennials, leave it to a baby-boomer to believe they would wake up before 7 AM to take down their tents.

2. Thou shalt not ask if your Uber driver is from California.

Because they probably are, and they will generally tell you apologetically that, yes they are from California but they are trying to do their part to make a difference in their neighborhood by going to community meetings and are as sad as you are about the gentrification of inner-cities. Anyway, what are you doing about it?

3. Thou shalt not honk.

Even if traffic is becoming as bad as a Los Angeles freeway during rush hour. Shake your fist, scream vociferously, just don’t honk. It’s impolite.

4. Thou shalt not pump thine own gas.

Through rain, through sleet, through snow, your gas tank shall be filled solely by an overworked attendant who is tipped less than a BurgerVille employee. So, sit back, relax and enjoy the rest of Radiolab and thank your local gas-pump pro.

5. Thou shalt love the outdoors as thy love thyself.

Oregon is home to mountains, deserts, valleys, forests, deserts, meadows, prairies, steppes and a windswept rocky coastline. If you can’t find a piece of nature to fit you, find a climate-controlled room in the middle of an unforgiving wasteland, like Vegas.

6. Thou shalt recycle.

Your hand hovers over a trash can, shaking like Luke Skywalker’s in a Hothian snow cave. You want to throw away your aluminum can of yerba mate, but that homeless man is silently judging you and the voice of your pre-school teacher is singing reduce, reuse, recycle inside your head. No, there might be a recycle bin just around the corner, better hold on to it for a few more blocks.

7. Thou shalt imbibe of microbrews.

Oregon’s beers are some of the best in the world. (As is our wine). So unless you are a teetotaler, get used to sharing an IPA with your coworkers after work at your job serving others a lot of IPA’s.

8. Thou shalt not mispronounce Oregon.

You can say or-eh-gen, or-uh-gun, or-y-gun, whatever. Just don’t say or-ee-gone or Ghandi will make oragami of your lazy tongue.

9. Thou shalt not complain about the rain.

If you want all sun, all the time, go somewhere else. Oregon has four distinct seasons, with just the right amount of drizzle to keep us green all year and appreciative of the transitory nature of the temporaneous world that we inhabit. Umbrella’s not required.

10. Thou shalt not pay sales tax.

What you see on the price tag of that unique reclaimed organic hemp-woven sustainably-sourced toilet caddy is what you get. Unless, of course, you’re buying cannabis. But hey, at least it’s legal.

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