I've found that when I say I'm from Portland, people keep telling me that they've actually been thinking about visiting/moving to Portland soon, and lot of the time they'll follow up by saying that they heard Portlanders don't like all the Californians coming in, right? I grew up in a suburb of Portland, so I feel partially qualified to answer that that's not entirely true, but there are some things Californians do that we don't like. Here's a guide to getting along with people if you decide to move to Portland.
1. Lay off the horn. We don't use our horn unless there's an impending catastrophic disaster, so getting honked at because we didn't go immediately at green is startling. Losing 5 seconds of our day stopped at a green light doesn't bother us at all, and what you're doing is putting a target on your back that makes us mutter to ourselves, 'hmm, they must not be from around here.'
2. Don't brag about how you love the rain. Getting cozy with a blanket and mug of tea is endearing when you've just moved to Portland, and you'll wonder why everyone complains about the rain. By January, you'll start to understand, and by April, you'll be packing your bags for someplace sunny. It's true that the 9 months of rain make Oregon the most beautiful place in the world in the summers, but you should be aware that making it through those months is harder than it seems.
3. Don't ask if we've seen Portlandia. A lot of us don't really get why people think it's funny, probably because you can go to Whole Foods on any given day and watch the same scene unfold.
4. Don't grow a beard and wear glasses after moving there. If you had a beard and glasses before moving there, that's fine, but what makes Portland so special is people are just being who they are. We won't say anything if you're being a phony, but we'll know.
5. Stay in for brunch. This one might be a little unrealistic, but the worst part about Portland's recent population boom is the fact that when I moved home 5 years ago, I could walk into any brunch spot and get a table right away and before I left, it got to a place where it's at least an hour wait on Sundays. Whole Foods sells organic eggs, cheese, and veggies so you can still have your local farm-grown omelette if you want.
6. Don't act like you were the first to know Portland is cool. When I was 19, I worked at a camp in upstate New York where I repeatedly had to describe Oregon as the state between California and Washington. These days, everyone has heard of Portland, and even though it's still the charming city-town it was 10 years ago, people are acting like it just recently got weird.
7. Respect the weirdos. One time in Portland, I met a girl who had just moved from California and was complaining that people in Portland don't get out of their circles much, usually only hanging out with their high school friends. I get that it's hard if you're an outsider trying to blend in, but just understand that Portlanders are used to life on a much smaller scale. When given the option between the cool kids from LA and the friends who've seen you through your bad days, we always choose the latter.
Portlanders are friendly, open-minded, and laid back, so I think there's definitely potential for harmony as more and more Californians move in. Personally, I'm trying to move to California when this road trip is over, so I write this with love and cross my fingers that I'll be welcomed in the same way.