Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 4:12PM
I was in Portland for the first half of September. This is the tally after my first week there. (I have included the corresponding numbers after a week back in Japan.)
Fatsos riding Rascals
11ーAs with obese children, this affluent neighborhood doesn’t seem to have very many super-obese people. Fat people abound, but the fire-up-the-forklift type were not as common as I had expected. I suppose that if I were to go out to the suburbs, the case would be different.
0--Obesity just isn't as huge a problem in Japan. I did count three very overweight women during the past week.
Old Ladies Peering over the Steering Wheel of Massive Jalopies
1ーOnly saw one. Also, I only came across one car that was broken down on the side of the road. I take this as a sign that the economy has recovered considerably.
0ーFew old ladies drive here and there are even fewer massive cars from the 70s and 80s here.
Men in Navy Suits with White Shirts and Red Ties
0ーDidn’t see many people wearing the full regalia of the businessman.
0ーLots of men in suits, though.
The Use of the Words:
2ーSubway’s hand-crafted foot-longs” (Seems this word is finally dying out. Thank God.)
7ーbread, coffee roastery, artisanal wine, Blue Diamond Artisan Nut Thins, Trader Joe’s Artisan Bread, Artisan Carpets, and so on. (This word is still going strong, but not as prevalent as I had expected.)
TV Commercials for Medicine/Pharmaceuticals
1 (Haven’t watched much TV) The one commercial I saw was for a drug for Crone’s Disease. The warning at the end of the commercial was almost as long as the bit praising the benefits of the drug.
0ーHaven't watched TV. In general, you won't find commercials for prescription drugs on TV here.
17 (Far fewer than expected. Must be all the amphetamines the kids are hopped up on, that or the fact that we are staying in a reasonably affluent neighborhood.) There were quite a few at the Wings & Waves Water Park in McMinville, but considering how expensive the place was, they were probably not getting children from the lower echelons of society that tend to be more overweight. The same goes with the Children’s Museum.)
0ーKids are definitely getting bigger, both horizontally and vertically, but childhood obesity isn't a problem yet.
Nutters Talking to Himself
1ーjust saw one. I think the old guy was drunk.
Bums with Signs
15; popular places are Powell's and Salt and Straw; some people seem to be camped out at a particular place with their handwritten on cardboard sign.
148 (Have lost count; hit the mother load at Couch Park and the North Park Blocks)
2ーI asked my wife if she had seen any homeless people. She thought about it a while and replied that she had seen an old man digging cans out of the garbage. Even the bums here are industrious.
17; surprisingly few smokers, many of them have been homeless; haven’t seen anyone smoking inside, even in bars, something I have liked.
A handfulーFar fewer than I had expected
Cops on Bikes
0ーNo cops on bikes, horses, Segways, etc.
Cops on Horesback
High-end Sports Cars
2, Mazerati, Tesla
A fewーDidn't really pay attention to cars when I got back to Japan.
Asked for Money
1ー"Sir, can you help me? Could you give some money for food?"
0ーIt's rare to see panhandlers in Japan. I think I've only seen one in my 23 years here and that was in Ōsaka which doesn't really count.
0ーThere are an awful lot of street musicians here but unlike America they don't do it for money so much as exposure.
“Epic" is being overused on TV.
Cultural Refrences/Terms I don't Get
Too many to keep track of . . . Such as “Line”, “Data”, LTE, Fantasy Football, . . .
People Referring to Church/God
0ーThis ain’t the South and this ain’t the ‘burbs.
0ーAlmost no one talks about their faith here
People with Face Tattoos
0 (Seems everyone—men, women, young and old—has sleeves of tattoos here. Many tattooed necks and body piercing, but no tattooed faces . . .yet.)
0ーHave only seen one person with tatts so far.
Men with Prospector Beards
35ーThis fad is still going strong, much to the chagrin of Messrs. Schick and Gillette. (Should have also counted men with wild mustaches, but it’s too late. My survey is done.)
1ーAnd he's a friend.
Men with Wild Mustaches
2ーShould have started counting this sooner.
Men with Hoops in their Earlobes
2 or 3ー
Women with Shaved Heads
5ーMany, many, many lesbians in town. They seem far more prevalent/visible than gay men.
Strangers Talking to me on the Train (telling me much too much about their lives)
0ーHardly anyone will talk to you here.
People I Know Eating Burgers in Front of Me.
4ーYou know who you are.
0ーBurgers are rather popular right now, just not in my immediate family.
2ーStopped keeping track of this. I don’t think there has been any meal I have been able to completely finish so far. The servings are HUGE.
6 (Taught the bartender how to make three of these; went to Trader Vic’s for the other two; Matador had an alright margarita) 50/50 is pretty lousy odds for a town that considers itself a Food/Beverage Mecca.
0ーHaven't been out drinking
Pyramid Curve Ball Blonde Ale, not bad
Big Leaf Maple by Anchor, not bad
Something Cream Ale, pretty damn good
FIVO Hoppy, so so
Stone IPA, so so
Noble Scot by Portland Brewing, so so
Proletariat (Red Ale) by Lompoc Brewing, great name, not bad
Widmer Hefeweizen, and oldie but goodie.
1ーI had an Oktoberfest brew yesterday that hit the spot.)
Getting Barked at by People in Service Industry
My Type-ish (not a knockout, but I wouldn't kick her out of bed for eating crackers)
?ーFar too many to count.
?ーFar too many to count.
The words “literally”, “like”, “basically”, “actually”, etc.
2 (Haven’t really been keeping count. Girl at restaurant yesterday said “like” like every like two or three words and it was like super annoying like . . . I was like, Stop saying like! You sound like, like an idiot.)
13 (May be the same one I’m seeing; quite a few around the main synagogue in NW. Jewish squirrels?)
Hypodermic Needles, probably used for drugs
3ーMary Jane’s Glassware
Medicinal Marijuana Shops
6ーCanabliss, Mind Rite, Oregon Weedery. I suggested to my 85-year-old mother that she might put herb on her Bucket List, but she wasn’t interested.
The Smell of Pot in the Air
3ー(one was empty, none are outside)