Tag Archives: food trucks

Eau de Vagabond

26 Jan

I bought a used book at a giant bookstore, read a magazine about knitting, had a fascinating conversation with a very loud bag lady at the bus-stop, sipped on a soy chai latte made by a former mechanic wearing a bow-tie and black-rimmed glasses, and ate lunch at an international food truck.  Where am I?
You guessed it- Portland.

I took the train down yesterday.  My boyfriend was doing a shoot for Nike again this week, and I like to have mini adventures.  And I like my boyfriend.

They just found out that they're BOTH my boyfriend!!!

They just found out that they’re BOTH my boyfriend!!!

The hotel we stayed at had wine hour in the evening, hot chocolate in the morning (a fact I have not verified personally, as morning for me begins at noon), zebra striped bathrobes, organic body wash, and two different recycling bins in the room.  Recycling is very chic here in City of Roses.

I almost didn’t make it though.  I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday morning, and was given some very foul tea to make into a tonic for my asthma.  It was the kind of tea that Portlanders might drink.  I boiled it for twenty minutes, as instructed, when I really only had ten, and the bus was going to leave in half an hour and the stop was at the top of the hill and two blocks over.  Gah!  I ran frantically from room to room, organizing things, sweeping floors, covering up my mess.  My boyfriend’s friend came over to check out his newly finished basement.  I opened the door for him, and proceeded to run around like a madwoman.  My hair was still in curlers (actually it was wrapped up in a headband in my curling method, but I just can’t describe that very well).

Almost as creative as the beer can bong.

Almost as creative as the beer can bong.

After having a chat with him in every single room of the house, he offered me a ride to the train station.  Lucky me, I never get rides to the train station.  Whew.  I had just enough time to bottle my foul tea and put on some coconut oil to hide the odor that had seeped into my pores.

On the train, I was still paranoid that I smelled of foul tea vapors. My boyfriend is practically allergic to tea so I had to cover it up, but I didn’t have any perfume.  Good thing I’ve been a vagabond before.  The things I came up with while down and out come in handy all the time.  I bought an orange from the food car, ate all of the slices, chewed off the white bits (it’s a great source of vitamin C and I was going to Portland so I needed to practice not being wasteful) and twisted the peels, rubbing the oil onto my wrists and neck, hands, and décolletage.  I was sufficiently orange-d and successfully de-odored.  Voilà.  It really does the trick.  I’ve used peels from lemons and grapefruit as well.  This all might have looked very strange were I not on train to Portland.  You have seen Portlandia, haven’t you?  portland-weird-nude-cyclist

I’ve done this many times in situations of few resources.  My friend and I found ourselves in the north of France one morning (the world is a magical place when you’re a 20 year old maniac).  After spending the night in an English gentleman’s tiny car

Oy, let's not tell Gran about this k?

Oy, let’s not tell Gran about this k?

in a ditch near a farmer’s field (and having to ask for help from the farmer to fix the car),  we decided to have a little bath at the beach.  Not smart, of course.  Not smart at all, but what is to be expected of 20 year old maniacs?  Sandy, sticky, sleepy, and smelly, we drove around until we found a campsite.  After sneaking in, we came across a heavenly lavender bush  and liberated a couple bouquets. We stole a hot shower and sponged with a wet wipe and rubbed ourselves with our freshly picked lavender.  I’m sure the French, unlike the Portlanders, would have been horrified had they caught us.

We don't make our own perfume, you little heathens.

We don’t make our own perfume, you little heathens.

Huge faux pas. The ride to Paris that afternoon was very calm, and well-scented.  Eau du provence e plague.  We steered clear of tea, tonics, chai lattes, and went straight for the wine and cheese.  We had insatiable cravings for champagne, remedied only by bottle after bottle of warm bubbly underneath the Eiffel Tower.  When in Paris…

Anyhow, after all that drama with the tonic and racing around like a madwoman and having to hitch a ride to the train station, and the orange peels and flashback of French adventures,` I didn’t even end up drinking the tonic. My boyfriend left early in the morning and packed up the toothpaste with him, the key to the minibar disappeared, and I didn’t want to catch my death from taste bud poisoning.  So I poured out the tonic, rinsed out the glass jars and put them in the very posh recycling bin (for glass only- newspapers are segregated) and checked out of the hotel with an insatiable craving for Kombucha.  Portland does that to you.  It really does.