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Another Portland Blog

Thursday, July 26, 2007

 

Further adventures with kava

Last week a friend was in Portland from DC. A former native, he was well familiar with the city and all the usual places you would take an out-of-towner. Still, he hadn't been to Multnomah Falls since he was a kid or NE Alberta since its metamorphosis into an "arts district" a few years ago. After a hike to the top of the falls and a trip to the Bella Faccia Pizzeria, we wound up at the Pied Cow Coffeehouse on SE Belmont.

He wanted to give kava a shot. The last time I headed over there, I tried the stuff on a whim after reading the menu's vague description. A few cups later, I was completely dazed, as if I had just spent no less than five minutes hotboxing in Willie Nelson's tour bus. My friend ordered a bowl and followed the tedious procedure of ladling the murky, puddle-like concoction into a tea cup with a spoon.

"What is this stuff," he asked after a sip, pulling what appeared to be a piece of bark dust out of his mouth. "You're screwing with me, right?" Undaunted, he kept drinking. Another bowl later, he felt weird but still sober. Meanwhile, after drinking a single cup, I had a pleasant buzz going. He gave me the same sort of annoyed look humans give felines spazzing out on catnip.




At the very least he now has a story to tell his Beltway colleagues. "Yeah, I spent a week in Oregon," I imagine he's saying as I type this. "I went hiking up a waterfall, ate organic pizza and drank two bowls of mud. That's what people do out there."

Well, at least some of them do and only while it's still legal out here.

Bonus anecdote: With time to kill on Monday afternoon, I wound up at Pied Cow again, this time for a cup of coffee in their outdoor seating area. Of course, it immediately started raining. I darted over to the coffeehouse's covered porch with two mothers, a hippie couple and a group of female musicians. Since their conversation was more interesting than the book I'd brought along, I started eaves dropping. They were having issues with a fourth member but none of them had the heart to deal with her one-on-one. The three of them came to the conclusion that they would have to form a "bitch squadron" to convince the member to pull her weight or leave the band altogether. I wonder how that worked out.

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