27 April 2007

John Orcutt, Oregonian

After seven months of living in Eugene, it's finally official: I'm a certified Oregonian now. Yesterday, I finally had the requisite documents and the necessary funds to license my car here and, more importantly, to get an Oregon driver's license (for those of you out there who don't happen to live stateside, driver's licenses effectively double as national IDs here; the fact that it's a license rather than a voter registration card that identifies you in the US probably tells you a lot about American priorities). Up until now, I'd always officially remained a Washington citizen, a residency that I proudly - if impractically - maintained even when I was living eight out of twelve months of the year in Illinois. While the thought of officially being from a place as cold and flat as Chicago gives me the chills, I was raised by an Oregonian to believe that this is the best state out there, and as such had no qualms about settling in here. So far, life as a resident of Oregon has been uneventful but good, all in all. If nothing else, I get one very tangible benefit: not only is there no sales tax in the state, but I'm not taxed for anything I buy online either. It may not be quite as cushy a deal as Alaskans - who get paid just for living in the state - have, but as a starving student, I certainly am not going to complain.

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