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Location: PDX, United States

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Two Tales Of A City

I am relieved to report that my homesickness was only a 24 hour bug. I have been too busy since then to do much reflecting, and I am behind in reporting my continuing adventures in Portland.

In an effort to correct this, I'll share two stories tonight.

Out Of The Dust

When I first looked at my apartment, I noticed a troubling smell. It was apparent that one of the previous tenants of my apartment had been a cat who had fallen out of the habit of using his litter box. I mentioned this concern to the owner of the building, and she told me she thought the smell was coming from the rug in the bedroom. She told me she would replace it, and even asked me what kind of rug I wanted in its place. I really like the new rug in the bedroom, but it didn't correct the odor, which was clearly coming from the wood floors in the rest of the apartment. I was a little devastated, because I was otherwise in love my apartment. It seemed like a cruel joke to have a beautiful apartment that smelled so toxic it made my eyes water.

I shared my concern with the owner of my building, and she hired an older southern couple from Olympia to perform a natural deodorizing ritual on my apartment. They started by spraying some kind of magic potion on the floors that bubbled to indicate areas of concentrated bacteria. They then sprinkled deodorizing crystals all over my entire apartment, including my own furniture and rugs. The only piece of furniture they left untouched was my bed. The final step was to fog my apartment. I was told to leave my apartment during this process. When I returned, all the windows were open and both of my fans blasting. I was instructed to leave the windows open and fans going, and keep the deodorizing crystals on the floor and furniture for five days.

I knew right away this would be a problem. Walking around barefoot hurt. The only place to relax was on my bed. By the second day, I decided it was time to clean up. I used the vacuum cleaner that belongs to my building. I guess the bag was pretty full...the stuff just wasn't vacuuming well. I had to go over and over the same areas, and I still wasn't making the kind of progress that I'd hoped. All of a sudden, the vacuum bag exploded. Since the fans were on, the contents of the vacuum distributed themselves over ever inch of my living and dining rooms, turning my apartment into my own personal dust bowl.Further inspection of the vacuum revealed not only had the bag exploded, but the force of it had broken the vacuum.

My apartment felt toxic. I decided to turn of my fans and go have a beer while I waited for the dust to settle. I went down the street, had a beer, and read for a while. I got up to go to the bathroom, and when I returned, there was a note on my table that said I love you. This piqued my curiosity, and I asked the couple sitting at a nearby table if that had seen anyone at my table. The told me a young woman with a long blonde ponytail sat down at the table briefly, then jumped up and left.

Of course the couple wanted to know why I wanted this information. I showed them the note, and we all decided to have another beer. It didn't take long before we realized we had moved to Portland the same week. M. and K. are most recently from Cannes. It turns out they're my neighbors, and now they are friends.

The Call Heard Round The World

I had a rushed morning the other week. I got up a little early, and this may have been the problem. I always run late when I do this. I made the mistake of trying to bring to much stuff with me to work on a rainy day. While I was struggling to juggle multiple bags and an umbrella, somehow my cell phone fell out of my pocket, and I didn't even notice until an hour or so later. Since I don't have a landline, this is a crisis situation for me.

I called my cell phone provider and found out someone had made outgoing calls using my phone. I suspended the line, ordered a new phone, and sent frantic emails to my friends requesting their numbers.

At about 11 that night, I received an email from my father, informing me someone had found my phone and called the number labeled mom and dad. Since my parents are currently living in Cambodia, the woman staying in their house spoke with the guy who found the phone, emailed the information to my parents, and they forwarded it to me. I gave the guy a call the next day and found out he lives three houses down the street from me. I stopped by that evening to pick up my phone and meet him and his dog.

What are you doing to me, Portland? I may turn into an optimist.

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Blogger su pantalones said...

when i used to work at ConWorks, we'd find abandoned cell phones a lot, and call the number marked "mom." one time, that got us to a very bitchy ex-boyfriend, wondering why Donald would call him at 10.30am. Why the hell would you save an ex-boyfriend's number as mom??? Please explain.

6:02 PM  

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