Culturally, we're adjusting still. Don't get me wrong, I like this place--it's super green and beautiful, I'm enjoying my job, Ruby's enjoying her babysitter's house, people are friendly, things are going well. But, we really don't really fit in culturally here.
For those who don't know, Eugene is very green--both in color and in attitude. That's great and all, but I have a long way to go before I reduce my carbon footprint as much as everyone around here has. Everything you use is recycled, everything you eat is organic, and most prefer to avoid milk or meat, and meditation is hip. I overhear conversations about people's hatred of plastic. When I carry my re-usable plastic water-bottle around I realize I'm the only one--everyone else carries metal or glass. When I'm in the grocery store I notice I'm the only one buying veggies out of the non-organic section. At work people tell me where you can get good deals on organic food and I bite my tongue before I tell them that it's half the price for the non-organic probably genetically engineered green peppers I buy which I think taste good and they haven't killed me yet so I will stick to those (saying that would be social suicide). People tell stories about their experiences "floating" (I think that's what it is called) where they pay $50 to get put into a long, pitch-black tube of saltwater to think. Let's just say I could think of other ways to spend my $50.
Although I did make a huge social blunder with one coworker that went something like this:
ME: "Hey, have you ever thought about going to grad school?"
HIM: "I don't know, I mean I just have so much stuff I like to study on my own. Like, I'm really into studying superfoods."
HIM: "Aren't you into studying about superfoods?"
ME: "Uh, no, I can't say that I really study about them."
HIM: "How could you NOT? Don't you know that they are good for you?"
ME: "I'm not anti-superfoods, I just don't spend time studying them." (I wanted to add: especially not so much time that I can't go to grad school).
Camm also had an interesting conversation with a co-worker who asked what area of Eugene we were living. "Oh, so do you like your neighborhood?" he asked Camm.
"Yeah, it seems nice. But I have this suspicion that our neighbors might be dealing drugs," Camm said as he thought about all of the cars that go in and out of that driveway daily.
"Oh," his co-worker scoffed, "that's a common part-time job here. A lot of people do that. My roommate deals drugs. Don't worry about it." I guess the hippie culture is alive and well.
Anyway, we're adjusting. I probably need to try acupuncture, floating, and eat organics before I'll really be a cultural resident of Eugene.