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We're not in Kansas anymore...

Posted by Jes , 25 February 2008 · 74 views

We're definitely not in New York anymore. North Carolina is a great place and I'm really liking it. Although where I am is not at all considered to be the Deep South, things are different around here. HM and I have gone through a little culture shock.

One of the first things I noticed is something that Shannon had pointed out when she came to visit me in New York. When I first went to the grocery store, I realized that the parking lot looked looked different from what I was used to. Were the spaces larger than in New York? Was it somehow set up differently? No! It was oddly uncluttered. People in the south (and apparently in the midwest) bring their carts to the corral. New Yorkers are obviously way too busy and important, so they leave their carts scattered about the grocery store parking lot. I think returning them is very civilized. And a pain in the ass.

I realize that the south is more religious than where I am from. If I didn't know it, the life sized crosses EVERYWHERE, including neighboring front lawns, would make it clear to me. Perhaps that is why people have a different attitude about alcohol than in New York? Now, New Yorkers consume often and in quantity. I mean, my friend Bill wears a hat that says in big letters, ALCOHOLIC. I'm aware that this isn't normal behavior across the country, so when we went out to dinner, I wasn't too surprised to notice that comparatively few diners were enjoying a glass of wine or beer. However, when we went to a Christmas party and were offered soda, I was VERY surprised. What is this? C'mon people! I realize this is one way to avoid expensive and pesky carpet stains (and Southerners, by and large, are very thrifty) but live a little. It's a Christmas party and while people don't have to be wearing lampshades, a little social lubricant would be nice. When I served wine at HM's first birthday party, it was clearly a faux pas. Whatever. Next year, martinis.

Like I said, Southerners are a thrifty people. Now, my father is from New England, where the prevailing attitude is to use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do with out, so I thought I knew thrifty. But no! Southerners really take it to a new level. Thrift shops abound! I love thrifting, but I've always gone thrifting to buy brands that I couldn't otherwise afford. Here, people go thrifting for Target clothes. Another bit of evidence of southern thriftiness is the repair stores on every corner. Need a vaccuum fixed? I can tell you where. A computer? There are at least half a dozen repair shops within five miles of my home. Your sewing machine? I know where you can get that done, too. Speaking of thrifting, I bought a used sewing machine for $15.00. I quite admire the waste not, want not attitude here.

Has anyone else experienced culture shock? This has really opened my eyes to how different American culture can be. Tell me your experiences.

And for you baby-picture beggers, here you go:

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This is HM with Lambie, who was a gift from Jackie before she was born. HM loves Lambie, possibly more than she loves me and S.



She loook sooooo much like you!!! SHe is beautiful, does she look anything like S.?

I have heard stories about cultures in America in fact I so want to travel. I have read Jonathan Kozol books and he has stories about public schools being worse then some third world countries. Those are the places I want to see, I want to travel to the bronx and stuff. I know call me crazy. I want to feel it, see it and try and understand the way of life I have never seen or been around.

My friend moved to Tennesse and she said it was like going to a completely different country. My favorite story from there since I work at the Bucks is people call Grande Grandeeeeee so it sounds like, "I want a grandeee coffee with two splenders." Was wondering who put the "r" in splenda? It is a Tennesse thing because my g-ma says "warsh" instead of "wash" drives me mad.

Oh, I think I love this blog thing, we get pictures more often!! :D keep them coming.
my parents moved from a lovely chicago suburb to a knoxville suburb when i was in college. the first time i went there. i was stunned. first, i though knoxville was the suburb. (yeah, i'm that dumb) - knoxville is the size of some suburbs! second, i couldn't understand anybody. everything was a coke. as in do you want a coke? yes. what kind? wtf? a coke,diet coke, sprite?

then there was the entire debate i started at church. my parents dragged me and forced me to attend Sunday School once. I sorta caused a long lasting major controversy which is still talked about when somebody said that Catholics were not Christians. Um, right. And then I recited the history of how the Presbyterians sorta came from the Catholics from the via the Protestant reformation. I've never had to attend church there again. People still talk about it. It was um, 15 years ago?

It is a huge change. I'll never forget getting my driver's license. I stopped to get directions and when they started with "you want to take this road and turn left at xxx and go to where the old Miller barn burned down" I stopped listening and just tried not to laugh.

My parents live in a small town (2000 year round residents). I flew directly back from South Africa to Knoxville since it was Labor Day weekend (and I was preaching at the church which I explained the Protestant Reformation). I was desparately jet lagged and could not find food in my parents house, so I went to McD's for breakfast to go. I walked into the council of old men having breakfast. They were all asking me how Africa was. I knew one was the mayor. Small towns are funny. Small southern towns are funnier. The funniest thing was that the mayor said "now those yankee's haven't made you a Democrat have they". Um no, Inky, that happened loooong ago.

Make sure you order that tea UNsweetened!
LMAO!!!! My friend said they say it like this "Youwantacoke?" She said she could not understand a damn word she said it was one big long word? SHe cracks me up with her stories I must admit I want to go to Tennesse but not in the humid heat, i prefer dry heat. Oh, my friend K.'s husband is from Tennesse born and raised and he is always fixen something.
Me: Hey D. what are you doing?
D. Not much fixen to go to the store in a minute.
His wife made so much fun of him but now she catches herself saying fixen(well I point it out to her)
SHe also makes him sweet tea. That shit is nasty!!!! I usually drink my tea unsweatened anyway, but that is just drinking flavored sugar. PUKE!!!!!
I guess the east can laugh at us in Idaho because I was learnED that Coke, sprite, Pepsi is not pop it is soda. My whole life i would refer to is as pop, "What kind of pop do you want?" Well I stand corrected it is soda. :P
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Dawn Aubade
Mar 01 2008 12:53 PM
OMG I love it that you call Lambie - Lambie! I have a Lambie too! (said wiht the "B" put in) I still have him on my bed. My uncle gave him to me when I was born so he is like 26 now...

My culture shock moment was in a public bathroom in malaysia. We went in and cheered 'coz they had "proper" toilet seats. I went into the cubicle and there, on the toilet seat... were two muddy shoe prints.

Actually, that trip to m'sia was very toilet orientated for me. When we very first got to the family home in Jitra I needed ot use the bathroom. I shut the tin door and a lizard jumped off the back of it and missed going down my clevage by like millimeters. I screamed and jumped up on a step that was in there... nearly falling down - the TOILET! The bowl was on the ground. It was my first experience with an asian loo.
Then once I'd finished I opened the door and the WHOLE FAMILY was there staring at me. So so embarrasment!

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