1. You look out the rain-streaked window as your plane slowly descends through the clouds blanketing the Portland sky and you see the tarmac, jet black and wet.
It’s fall, welcome home.
2. You emerge from the jet bridge into a river of teal carpet.
The carpet may have changed (to the chagrin of old-school PDX carpet feet-picture-takers everywhere), but the color scheme hasn’t.
3. There is no jostling, no cutting in line. Here, order reigns supreme.
As you line up with the other passengers clad in Duck jackets and Beaver caps to wait for the bags, all personal bubbles remain intact.
4. You’ve walked by three brewpubs before you’ve even left the airport.
You’re back to the land of milk and honey, of homebrews and organic hops, a state where the beer flows like wine.
5. People are driving slow and signalling for a minute before finally having the guts to slide into that 40 foot gap you gave them.
But, even as you curse their forbears and first born son, you wait.
6. It’s green, even in winter.
As the leaves fall from the Oak, Maple, and Alder trees, Oregon’s Douglas Firs fill in the gaps with green all year round.
7. Your friends bought a pre-roll as a welcome home present.
The dispensary a block away was having a sale.
8. You stroll up and down the beer aisle at Fred Meyer.
9. You begin to acclimate to a 14 day forecast of grey and drizzle.
But there is a four hour window of “partly sunny” coming next Tuesday.
10. You are assaulted by friendly greetings.
“How is your day?” asks an employee at Albertson’s. “Hi, how are you?” inquires your Stumptown Barista. “Welcome back!” says your friendly neighborhood performance artist at Sassy’s.
11. You almost try to pump your own gas.
Before you see the gas attendant jump across the hood of an incoming subaru to stare you back into your vehicle to wait, like the rule-abiding citizen you are.