17 Signs You've Been Away From Portland Too Long

by Henry Miller Aug 16, 2015

1. Your new friends spent all of the last week complaining about the weather being in the mid-sixties and overcast with light showers, but it was the first time in months you’ve felt “whole again”.

2. You refuse to eat nova lox because it is too blunt a reminder that Alaska sockeye is well out of your price range outside of the northwest.

3. All of your friends are convinced you are trying to kill yourself when you walk in front of cars on a busy street with no crosswalk, assuming that they will stop for you without honking/yelling obscenities.

4. You’ve all-but-forgotten the feeling of mud between your toes while dancing naked to some electronic folk bluegrass at a summer festival in the Gorge Amphitheater.

5. You have started pulling out your hair after the miserable realization that nobody in your new town knows what MLS is, and therefore doesn’t want to hear about your next international fantasy match involving a last-minute goal from Diego Valeri. And when you say “bundesliga” people think you are making fart noises with your mouth.

6. You can’t stop doodling Mt. Hood in your daily calendar while wondering if the Meadows’ slopes are open right now.

7. You were recently arrested for biking naked during the Naked Bike Ride… because you were doing it 3,000 miles away by yourself.

8. While lounging at the beach with your friends last weekend, you casually mused that it would be better if it were colder and cloudier, and had more pebbles.

9. You’ve managed to convince yourself that you wouldn’t even mind standing in line at Voodoo, just so you could hear tourists talk about the delightfully shady “we-sell-cold-bacon-on-mediocre-donuts-between-a-strip-club-and-a-porn-theatre” vibe that only Portland rocks.

10. Speaking of strip clubs: You’ve lost count of how many times you’ve had to explain to your friend from a holier-than-thou town that pole dancing is a incredible skill, and doing it while fire spinning six inch flames is a form of art. And no, not all of these women are “victims of a corrupt society.”

11. You’ve gotten food poisoning five times in the last month trying to pretend that food trucks outside of Portland can offer high-quality Hawaiian cheesesteak curry in a challah bowl.

12. Your hopeless friend’s bike chain fell off, so you reset it for them. According to your friend, you then proceeded to readjust the tires, grease the gears and tighten the breaks in a fugue state.

13. Your brunch date got all excited when she saw a unicyclist going by the restaurant, but you were woefully unimpressed (and probably muttered something like, “yeah but he isn’t dressed like Darth Vader playing a fire-belching bagpipe while doing it”).

14. You turn down your friend’s invitation to go to a public pool, because all you have wanted to do for months is float down a river with a case of beer and some of your neighbors’ homegrown weed, and it just isn’t the same.

15. You can’t remember the last time your food and beer budget was higher than your rent.

16. Someone at a bar had the gall to suggest that the tattoos on your neck, arm and face would prevent you from getting a decent job, and, forgetting where you came from for a moment, you almost agreed with them.

17. Your friend ordered a gin and tonic at a local brewery and you cringed as if they had ordered a dead baby seal.

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