God bless PDX for free wifi. It’s appalling that some restaurants, airports, and even coffee shops actually expect you to pay for internet access. But not PDX. You can count on just about everything in Portland, at least everything in the public sphere, to be sensible, useful, and at least a little socialist.

I’m killing time before my standard flight to Denver, the layover on the way home. It’s always a little disconcerting to sit in a metal tube for a couple hours and then step out onto completely different terrain. Portland is wet and cloudy today as always, but even in the airport it’s vibrant and diverse. The city always feels like it’s quietly pulsing

In a few hours I’ll be in Oklahoma City, my eyes stretching across miles of endless cow pastures. Oklahoma has no pulse. I don’t mean it’s dead, exactly, just that it’s still. It will be a clear, cold night with stars shining and headlights slicing through the prairie from the highway.

Enough poetical stuff, I’m going to make a list!

The Biggest Differences Between Oregon and Oklahoma

  • Alcohol: In Oregon, you can buy six point beer in the grocery store. Hell, you can buy WINE in the grocery store. It’s amazing the whole state isn’t dead from alcohol poisoning.
  • Coffee: In Oregon, you’re never more than a two minute walk from a decent cup of coffee. In Oklahoma, you’re a ten minute drive from a cup of acrid gas station slime. But we do have Starbucks.
  • Friendliness: Portland is actually one of the friendliest big cities I’ve met, but I doubt there’s a better place on the planet to have car trouble than rural Oklahoma. Not only will every other driver stop, they’ll probably know something about cars, too. I very much doubt you could say the same about the I-5 corridor.

I never miss home until I’m almost there.