I find one of the best ways to really absorb the culture of a city is to ask the locals what they think. It has worked for me in Europe, so why not Portland, Oregon? Because of Shiz-Net that is why! While my husband was trying on pants in a vintage/gently used clothing store, I met this bohemeth of a man. Like I usually do I asked him what were his favorite things to do around town. He said “I’ll do better than tell you, I’ll show you all the best that Portland has to offer.” He called it “The Magical Mystery Tour.” He seemed like a cool enough guy so we thought “what the hell.” What started out as “here is the library” and “this is a great happy hour” turned into us buying for Shiz-Net (I swear, it is what he insisted on being called…I know red flags from the start) AND his girlfriend, whom he affectionately called Bat Girl. After the second day of us paying and them mooching, I started to wonder if they were homeless. Seriously! The final straw was when we paid for drinks and appetizers and they didn’t even say thank you! Luckily we were able to get up early and sneak out of town without running into them or we may have had to pay for breakfast. Two lessons learned…Portland is a very easy city to get around, you don’t need a guide. And for God’s sake beware of he 6’4″ man wearing a Guess jean jump suit, purple boa, grease paint and talking in a really bad Brooklyn dialect. What were we thinking!