Couchsurfing is a handy platform for travelers and friendly people who like to host. So last week, it was nothing new when I received a message from a couchsurfer, Marijin, who was planning to be in Portland the next day. These requests happen quite often, most of the time it doesn’t fit my unpredictable schedule. But when it works, it works out in the best ways! My house has been a soft landing pad for several people who’ve ended up moving to Portland. Others, just passing through, still managed to leave a lasting, positive impact. Some have become close friends (one of whom recently changed my life, with a Cheese Intervention).
Marlijn was only going to be here for 18 hours. She was beautiful and seemed fun, so I said yes immediately, already planning all the adventures I’d take her on the next day. Since she was arriving around midnight, I asked if she’d mind meeting me at a bar. That’s when I learned, she’s underage… Oops!
In the morning, we set out on foot, heading first to the top of Mt. Tabor, to take in the view. I pointed out the main artery of SE Portland, Hawthorne Street, where I took my first steps, then across the river, to the OHSU hospital complex, nestled into the West Hills.
“We’re going to hike that too!”
Turns out, Marijin was not the biggest fan of hiking, but was a great sport about it, regardless. And we managed to be indoors (or in cars) during most of the rain storms that day. Once we’d already walked four miles, we compromised by taking the elevator to the platform where the OHSU tram station is (instead of 500 stairs), then took the free ride down.
By the time we’d finished our outdoor excursions, and had filled our bellies with delicious food – twice – we still had three hours to kill before Marijin’s train would depart. What ever would we do?! I was thinking take a nap. That’s when Marijin told me, she’d been itching to get a new tattoo. Before I knew it, after all my years as a holdout, being one of the few people in Portland with no tattoos, I was getting it done. And OMG, I LOVE IT! (I’ll be adding color soon.)
Voila, My First Tattoo!