Porsche and Portland
Firstly, I’d like apologize for missing out on last week’s article and the delay on this week’s article. I’m sure you’ve gone about your lives gladly, charging your Prius and watched the latest Star Wars trailer. But for the 4 people, that actually noticed and threatened to vandalize my house if I didn’t write, I am back. This past weekend, I was driving 3 hours down south to “Walmart Seattle”, also known as, Portland. I knew exceptionally little about Portland for a Seattlite, because its Seattle’s default weekend destination if you want to travel but not spend a lot and still have the familiar overcast, shadow of impending doom blocking the sun. I knew that Intel is there. Nike is there. They’ve no sales tax, which means Indians going back home will shop enough to make up the full tank worth of driving. They have a Netflix show named after them. And, perhaps most worryingly, its a cyclist’s wet dream.
Now, it’s common knowledge that motorists hate pedestrians and pedestrians hate motorists but everyone hates cyclists. They claim roads, footpaths and have their own lanes. Traffic signs and signals are just suggestions. If you ever come across them on the road, you’ve to veer into the wrong side of the road and risk a head on collision, just to avoid knocking them over into a bush. They’ve to wear multi-branded synthetic wet suits in seizure inducing colors just so that we would notice them and applaud them for saving a dolphin. But, thanks to Portland, I have finally seen the light. They’ve bike lanes on every road, even with roads with a 50 MPH speed limit. But since it is well thought out, the roads are wider than the ones in Seattle, which are just microscope slides. So you’re not driving as if you’re threading a needle or passing a bus in a bottom clenching grimace. And there was literally no traffic anywhere we went in downtown. You also don’t have to leave 3 hours in advance and win a back alley cock fight to find a parking spot. I was already loving it.
But all this makes it a very unlikely destination for what we were there for. A bachelor party. After arguing and gallivanting about destinations, we had whittled it down to New Orleans, Miami, Atlanta or San Diego. And then we chose Portland because nobody wanted to spend $600 and a kidney to do the same things in New Orleans. We arrived to a fantastic 4 bedroom mansion that came with 3 indifferent and satanic cats the size of most Great Danes. Thankfully we were never around to deal with them. We were mostly out getting brunch, playing 90s video games at Ground Kontrol arcade and, i’m not even making this up, throwing stones into the Columbia river. Sigh. We also found time to rent out a sailboat and go around the river city where the submarine from The Hunt for Red October casually serves as a docked, party house for rich Sean Connery fans. Also known for its bustling microbrewery culture, I was glad I’d decided not to drive and ride in the cargo sized Dodge Caravan with the guys. The ones we tried out had brilliant varieties on taps and some were so hoppy that you could’ve chewed on a chrysanthemum and not known the difference. I loved it. And that is high praise from a Seattlite.
All this sounds almost nothing like a bachelor party or a road trip. It, in fact, makes us sound like the cast of the sequel to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Or people who drive Lexus(es? Lexi?). And I wouldn’t have disagreed if it weren’t for the insanity that ensued later that evening. An evening that makes Pulp Fiction look like a quiet drive-through run to pick up some cheeseburgers. Everyone knows agreeing to a bachelor party implies a few things. You’ve signed an ironclad NDA that nothing can leak out, even to the NSA. You are carrying a signed checkbook for bail money. And the bachelors have to pay dearly, in kind. But there’s nothing about mentioning the top 3 lines from the night:
- “You only got one tub of Ben&Jerry’s?”
- “Dude, she just had it in her hand, where did it g.. oohh my godddddd!!”
- “Dude, I mean if I were her, its exactly what I would be doing to him.” (Context is everything)
It literally kills me to not expound more on the exploits of the night. But for the sake of the impending marriages, I must exercise restraint. Overall, it was full marks to Portland. Except for the dreary 2.5 hour drive, thanks to which I’ve discovered how cruise control works, I’d be visiting it much more often. Even the Porsche seemed to enjoy all the attention with people on boats calling out, or complaining about the noise. I couldn’t really make out. The people are quirky and unconditionally sweet. The girls are all pretty and don’t try hard at all, which explains why my southern and mid-western friends just thought they were all librarians or baristas. Good food & drink, empty roads, well-behaved cyclists all around. Its the holy trinity. You cannot ask for much. I certainly don’t.