well, things have gone rather pear-shaped here.
i had planned my trip around my budget and staying in hostels while i was here in the u.s. and for the most part that's gone along swimmingly. it wasn't until leaving seattle and coming back to portland (instead of heading east into the great heat) that things have really become unstuck. (aside from the fact that it just took five attempts to correctly type the word "unstuck"!)
booking digs for when i came back to portland turned out to be trickier than expected when i was doing it in seattle. i had thought that i'd be able to split my remaining days between the portland northwest and portland hawthorne hostels, knowing that it was policy not to allow guests to stay longer than a week at a time. that was fine, i could get around that.
then i found out that that week was actually a week in four months! that i did not know about - that i had not planned for. nevertheless, i felt confident i could press on. there are more than two hostels in portland. i booked a hostel through a website called "hostelz.com" after looking at a whole bunch of hostelling websites for the area. it turns out that two of the other hostelling websites i looked at also funnel through this one group, "aae reservations", whose confirmation email to me had mutliple email addresses on it and who seemed content to let me completely book online without asking me how old i am.
"why would they ask you how old you are?" i hear you exclaim. well, it turns out that you can't book a hostel dorm with them if you're over 35 years old. i'd never heard of that kind of age limit outside of a con-tiki tour (and even con-tiki are happy to take your money if you're not 18-35, i think...) and when i was booking, i didn't see any sign blazing with lights that hostel bookings were limited to under-35s. so i didn't find this out until i arrived at the hostel.
the guy behind the counter was as surprised as i was that i'd booked something i couldn't technically book. he was very generous in not demanding i pay for my booking, or even my first night (which i thought he probably had a right to but didn't actually voice aloud) and when i asked him how long he'd been dealing with this booking agency, he answered, "not long, a few months". we agreed that i would probably not be the first disappointed person he would meet.
so i had no lodgings last night. God bless the zine community! in my hour of need, they leapt to my aid. i lobbed up to the iprc and they had a range of suggestions that i put into effect, including a "stranded in portland"-esque group on couchsurfing.org for just this kind of circumstance. as time ticked on, two people put their hands up to as being willing to house me, although i only knew about one at the time, and i stayed in hillsboro in outer sw portland last night.
after having a pretty good go of it writing while i was on the coast, i thought i might see about visiting seaside, which is a town i passed through on the way to astoria. or i might just go back to astoria. it's a bit of a circular trip but as a german guy commented while we were discussing our holidays at the hostel in seattle, plenty of people fly thousands of miles just to lie next to a swimming pool all day, even when they're at a beach resort! i've been getting out and about, at least, even if i've changed my plans a bit.
aside from being so unimpressed with seattle, this is about the only real hiccup. fingers crossed the rest of the trip will pan out more smoothly. if you're inclined to do so, please don't worry about me. i've every confidence that it will all work out fine.
as an addendum to this post, i wanted to let my dear readers know that God has provided me with a great place to stay. i followed up an advert on craigslist for a place that typically rents rooms out by the month, often to people who are coming to portland for work, as a way for them to establish themselves in their work before getting hung up on a lease they may have to break if the job goes south.
it's in northeast portland and as i was coming up here on the bus i saw a bunch of things that in daylight i might like to investigate further... although right now what i'm chiefly concerned with is how much will i actually perspire tonight? it's a bit muggy and the temperature here in portland at 23h26 on saturday night is 27 degrees celsius (almost 81 degrees fahrenheit), and you probably know what a huge fan i am of muggy. hmmm...
it's funny but i think that had i looked on craigslist yesterday, i would have missed this place. so God had a plan for me to be helped by a fellow zinester. maybe. maybe not. i looked and trusted that something would be provided and it was.
it also looks like i'll be able to stay here until my booking at the northwest hostel kicks in on the 29th. that's awesome too, because the rate we've agreed on for the nights that i'm here, and how i'll pay it, has worked out very neatly. it's good. praise God and thank you to all who were praying for me while the situation was worked through. i'll be thanking God myself tomorrow when i go back to visit imago dei for church. i don't know if i'll make the 9am service - although from what i can check out online, i probably will - and on that note i'll send one or two last emails and go to bed myself.