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THE BEST THING ABOUT PORTLAND... meeting so many nice people. Everyone I've met here have been so nice and have gone out of their way to make me feel welcome.

Today was another very rainy one but still I walked virtually everywhere (except one short ride on the MAX). Among other things, I mailed a box of stuff back home, transferred more of my photos to CD, watched people at Pioneer Place, and had a great lunch at a Greek restaurant. I also explored Chinatown and nearby neighborhoods full of old buildings including several with promising apartments.

When the drizzling rain turned into a torrential downpour, I ducked into a Fifth Avenue club to dry out. That was where I met Ali who sings and plays guitar in a local rock band called Destitute. We got into a very deep conversation that covered a very wide range of topics and she constantly surprised me with her knowledge of all sorts of things that I'm interested in. She also gave me a number of recommendations and advice for when I move to Portland; she even offered to give me her "super special Ali tour" when I return in April or May to do my apartment hunting (since the weather was too bad this week for that, I'd decided it made more sense to return closer in time to the move).

When Ali and I parted, it was after ten o'clock and the rain had stopped. I was starving by this time but nothing seemed to be open along the route of my walk back to the hotel. Finally, I found a McDonald's and bought a chicken sandwich and fries.

Now, I'm all repacked and waiting to check out of the hotel in three hours. Then I'll walk up to the MAX station and take the train out to the airport for my 6:20 flight to Vancouver. I probably won't post another entry here until I get to Bangkok in a couple of days. See you then...

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