January 3, 2009

Northwest Culture: Part II

Reasons I love the Northwest:

Mount Rainier
the magnificent
Pacific is not too far away, neither is the rest of the mainland
Snowflakes astound me
Sledding is thrilling
Ferry boats
Giant pumpkins*
Forests of evergreen trees
"Natural" lifestyles
Transparent, honest people

For all the highlights of this land, it does have a few quirks. I'll only discuss one today. For reasons beyond my understanding, Pacific Northwesterners rarely tip their garage door technicians. Why? Possibly they are bitter about Oregon removing the citizen's right to pump one's own gas and in retaliation against the make work scheme have stopped tipping gas station workers and everyone else in society. Or maybe their father's never tipped garage door service technicians, so they just don't know any better.

In Hawaii, the Aloha spirit often translated into cans of soda, mangoes, bananas, and cash tips for husband. Alas, not here. You can imagine his suprise when this Christmas season, a customer offered him a bottle of water and a cash tip. Husband hardly knew what to say, so great was his shock. Maybe these Washingtonians were generous after all. Maybe times were just tight this year, what with the economy jazz and all that. Maybe Northwesterners were generous mostly at Christmas time. As he was leaving, he noticed the handpainted sign above their front door:
"Please remove your shoes before entering. Mahalo."

*If you are ever given a giant pumpkin... just say "No". Do not attempt to cut it in half, fit it in your oven, realize it's a giant pumpkin (duh) and won't fit, spend 2.5 hours slicing it, boil it, mash it by hand, realize pumpkins are stringy, blend it painful batch by batch in your 16 oz blender, and boil in more to make something no one has ever heard of for Christmas gifts (pumpkin butter), can it, then realize that's not a good idea due to the pH of squashed pumpkin (did I say that? I meant pureed pumpkin), then place numerous jars of boiled, blended, cinnamon-ed, "canned", pumpkin in your refrigerator, limiting the number of groceries that will fit in your refrigerator during the months of November and December.

1 comment:

The Farmer Files said...

It was a painful realization that aloha is missing in San Diego when we were just there. Hawaii locals are awfully generous. I could not believe how apathetic people were on Christmas morning. We were getting our breakfast at our hotel buffet in San Diego and no one even said Merry Christmas to the cooks, they just barked their breakfast orders. People often asked where we were from. Every time I started to say we were moving to SD, originally from SD, Hubs cut me off and said we were from Hawaii. He is convinced we are going to bring aloha to CA. BTW he laughs and laughs over the vacuum men that came to your house, mistake for Mormons. ;)