A few weeks ago, I was visiting family in Northern California with my boyfriend before heading up to Portland, Oregon for a wedding. To squeeze in a late summer road trip, we decided to take a couple days and drive up the coast instead of just flying to Portland. It was beautiful and we had a great time checking out the redwoods, staying in strange (creepy) B&Bs and also a haunted hotel in Portland. Ghosts aside, one of the biggest things I noticed was how nice everyone in Oregon was. So nice that it threw my jaded-NYC dwelling self into a bit of an identity crisis.
When I walked into the hotel in Portland, I was greeted with such a hearty, “Hey! How’s it going?” that I thought, shit, this guy thinks I’m someone else and I’m going to need to awkwardly explain to him that I’m not that someone else. I was wrong. He was just being nice and welcoming. At another point, I had a total stranger look at me on the street and smile, open mouthed. My boyfriend turned to me and asked if we knew the person after they passed. We didn’t. Again, just your typical northwestern friendliness.
At the wedding, I caught up with a friend who also lives in NYC and she had very similar interactions while in Portland. So, it’s clear people in the northwest are super nice, but also possible that living in NYC for eight years has left me unable to recognize genuine enthusiasm and friendliness. I can’t be alone in this, right?!?