First of all, we are having a really good time slipping “Oregon” into other words and phrases, such as “getting Oregonized,” “eating Oreganic,” “living Oregonisms,” etc. May you find that as hilarious as we do.
Anywho, having lived in Oregon for 3 weeks now (and in our own place for 5 days), we’re catching onto some little Oregon things (Oregonisms, if you will), which I will now share with you.
1. Things are not expensive; they are “spendy.” This is, by far, my favorite thing to hear people say around here. “That grocery store is a little spendy.” “That apartment complex is a little spendy.” It’s precious.
2. People run on mulch, not concrete. I’m sure that this is way better for all of your joints, but it makes for very dirty shoes and legs. My formerly white running socks have turned brown.
3. There really is no humidity. This means that even though temperatures are in the 80’s, I’m cold. Apparently humidity does a lot to keep me warm. Also, I’ve been blaming my frizzy hair on Kentucky humidity my whole life. Turns out that’s just its natural state. No humidity required. The good news is that straightening my hair actually makes my hair straight here. All day long. Insanity.
4. People here shop at Walmart and eat at McDonald’s. In fact, there is a McDonald’s inside the Walmart.
5. Our apartment doesn’t have air conditioning. In fact, most residences here don’t. It’s hard to fathom never being hot enough to need AC.
6. This is bike city. There are so many bikes. It makes driving a little terrifying because it seems that Oregonians are just as bad at biking as Kentuckians are, constantly switching from the role of motor vehicle to pedestrian and back again.
7. The people of Eugene know this city is weird. At dinner the other night, we told the waiter that we just moved here from Kentucky. He said, “Wow. Kentucky. You know this city is weird, right?” Yup. That’s what they tell us. So far, I’m not feeling especially weirded out.
8. What we could consider mountains in Kentucky are just called “hills” here. I’m excited to venture into the real mountains sometime soon.
9. Everything is green here, even in the fall. Someone told me that the leaves don’t really change colors because it doesn’t get “crisp” here. I’m super bummed about that, as fall is my favorite color season. But I’ll take the 80-degree temperatures for as long as we can get them. I know it will be cold and rainy soon enough.
10. Oregon is trying to break us of nasty habits like driving and producing garbage. Gas is way more expensive here, and it is illegal to pump it yourself. That’s right. Someone pumps your gas for you. For some reason, I think this is going to be the hardest thing to get used to. As far as trash goes, our apartment’s dumpster has a lock. Apparently this is to keep random people from filling our dumpster with trash, but perhaps the need to carry a dumpster key will keep us from having so much trash. Also, a recycling bin the size of the one we had all to ourselves at our old apartment is shared between 4 apartments here. I think the message in Oregon is to produce less waste.
11. There’s no sales tax in Oregon. This is probably the best part of living here, thus far. Especially since we’re buying some new furniture, like a couch (that will seat more than 2 people!). I’m sure that they make up for the lack of sales tax with other taxes, but I’m very much enjoying the illusion of things being cheaper here.
12. Music has taken a step back in time. Judging by the 3 weeks of radio listening we’ve done so far, I can say that Eugene residents seem to enjoy Bon Jovi, Dido, and, my personal favorite, Shaggy.
So there you have it, folks. All the things we’re learning about this new place.