14 April 2007

Eugene (Oregon) People are So Nice!

It's really interesting to see how different people are here in Eugene/Oregon. Everyone is so nice and friendly. It's quite different than California. After my flight home from the Bay area on Thursday, I talked to three people at some length, while getting off the plane, walking over to baggage, waiting for bags, etc.

Rich was also a CA transplant, and had in fact come from the same place as we had. We talked for quite some time about kids, his grandkids, golf (and the crazy Bandon, OR golf scene and real estate situation), etc.

After talking to Rich, I talked to Karen who is the director of emergency services for the Red Cross (for 7 counties here). She mentioned the kids ID event that was happening this weekend, which is great, as we'll go do that.

Prior to Rich and Karen, at the end of my flight I talked to the man sitting next to me (he slept during the flight, and I worked). He has a crazy job, where he works on construction projects in Vegas (currently on the Venetian plaza). He is in Vegas for 6 weeks, then home for 5 days, then back - all the time. He's been doing this for 15 years! He loves Oregon, and has grown very tired of Vegas (where I believe he said there is now a shooting every 8 hours!).

Yesterday I also talked to one of my neighbors, Dino, who I hadn't met yet. He's the owner/builder of one of the houses next to us. Good guy, and he took some time out to talk about some house stuff. For example, after I saw his outdoor fireplace (which I'd love!), he talked about how we could do that on our deck, costs, options, etc. It wasn't a sales pitch (wouldn't be something he, as the "builder", would do anyway), just nice neighborly chatter.

What struck me about these folks was simply has easy going, nice, friendly, etc. they were. The conversations simply flowed with no effort. Sure I've had talks like this with people in CA (you'd hope so given I grew up there, and have lived there all but 5 years of my life). But it's just different. You can "feel" the difference. At times it's also weird. I think we've grown used to being sometimes suspicious, guarded with our kids, etc. So we're learning the more pleasant openness of the Oregon culture.