School age boy with a book on his lap, looking out the window at a dry Idaho landscape

Four things about Portland that I only notice when I travel somewhere else

Published 2019-03-25

Every time I travel outside Portland I notice the following things about my home, but in reverse:

  1. It is always green
  2. The streets are really narrow
  3. The tap water tastes like Evian
  4. It usually smells nice, like trees

The oldest and I were in Boise this weekend for a taekwondo tournament. Boise is a really nice city in a really beautiful place. Its geography is very much like that of all the places (“the square states in the middle”) where I lived and traveled in my first two and half decades. But I always forget that every North American city that’s not Portland (or, OK, Seattle or Vancouver) has brownish gray vegetation, inhumanly wide streets, tap water that tastes like rust, and no particular smell at all.