Thursday, December 28, 2006

There's no place like home

Home. Safe. Loved visiting my friends. Some of my favorite people. Glad to be home.

Just a quick one to discuss some of the responses to my last post. I view the little regional prejudices that i have seen in my travels with amused affection.

When we moved to Colorado i had an imaginary dialogue in my head that was from all the other cars. "George! Look, there are pretty blinking lights on the side of that car. Wonder what those are for?" George: "Ay-yup."

I found out from my friends, who are new to the Maryland area, that there is a local prejudice against Virginians. I guess they are rude. I dunno.

In California they drive fast. You can be going 70 in a 55 zone and you will get passed so fast that you can feel the wind from the passing car.

In New York jaywalking is as common air. The cars let up for a minute, and the pedestrians will push you off the sidewalk to cross the street. I'm from the Northwest, where we all wait like sheep on the sidewalks with nary a car in sight.

Also in the Northwest we all wear raingear as the height of fashion. In NY or DC you can spot us West Coasters by our lack of make-up and our sensible shoes.

You get the idea. I find these things interesting, but despite what any of us may think, there are many local cultural differences that have no real bearing on our true character.


Andrea Frazer said...

It's all good, Meno. Anyone who reads you knows you're not the least bit judgemental. Sarcastic? Um, a wee bit... but judgemental? No. Now excuse me. This L.A. gal is off to drive fast and hit some cranky who was jaywalking with a New Yorker.

thailandchani said...

I don't take that stuff too seriously. Being raised in Los Angeles, not just Los Angeles but, ya know, like, uh, 90210, I'm supposta be, like, an airhead. You know, like, totally! (flipping my hair back)

It exists everywhere, these regional things. I find your observations amusing. :)

Get well quick.. from the Land of Fruits, Nuts and Flakes. (g)



urban-urchin said...

I agree with you Meno. There are differences in each area and that doesn't make the people good, bad or indifferent.

The street crossing bit cracked me up- I have witnessed many a mass pedistrian revolt since moving to the NY area. People (me included) fed up with waiting and cars blocking the intersection to hurl forward like a group of lemmings.

alphawoman said...

Since moving to IN from the South, it has taken me well over a year to get over thinking everyone is rude. Now I just accept it is their culture and nothing else. I do miss the South very much and all that sugary niceness.

Anonymous said...

I'm going out on a limb here with a generalization: The abrupt, blunt manner of New Englanders may seem ill-mannered to people from other regions, but it's not strictly meant to be insulting. I am frequently taken aback by how nasty people can be while couching it in deferential words.

karmic said...

Point well made. :)

SUEB0B said...

In my sister's beach neighborhood, I used to laugh when you'd ask someone "How's it going?" and they would give you the surf report: "Not good, dude. It's all blown out."

Imez said...

i always thought you could tell us northwesterners by our LACK of raingear and umbrellas. people strolling out of the grocery store through an absolute deluge lookin very wet and only mildly irritated.

Elliot said...

I go through an adjustment everytime I go to South Florida. The difference between Northwest tolerance and South Florida's rabid impatience and narcissism is jarring for a few days, then I remember how to make my "city face" and take on my "downtown attitude" things actually start to smooth out. I always have to decompress when I come back, though. You can almost hear my muscles coming unknotted!

meno said...

mamap, me? sarcastic? Have fun with the pedestrians.

chani, oh, like, totally, i mean, really. You know? I heard that the country is tilted and all the loose nuts and bolts ended up in Southern California. :)

u-u, it's fun to look at an area with outside eyes. It makes me more aware of what people see when they visit here.

alphawoman, It is the culture. I've never been in the South much. It sounds nice.

de, exactly! We are all able to get our nastiness across, we just use different delivery methods.

sanjay, thanks!

suebob, Well that's the important news man!

esereth, we eschew umbrellas, but a raincoat is acceptable finery at the opera.

jeremiah, It takes me a while to get my "don't fuck with me, asshole" attitude in place, and then to remove it as well.

Girlplustwo said...

i dig you more and more each day.

more and more.

sari said...

I'm originally from California (still a California girl at heart) and I have to tell you, the drivers in Arizona scare the hell out of me.

The light turns yellow and EVERYONE guns it - if you stop, you run the risk of being rearended by about 7 cars.

Glad you all made it home safely! Good luck shopping, you're sure to find some great deals.

Ortizzle said...

Well said. I find local differences very amusing, especially since moving back to the States after living overseas for so long. I had the U.S. all lumped together as "this is how it is in the States." But after being back for a few years (living in Texas), and traveling to L.A., Chicago, the east coast, Tennessee... and even different cities in Texas, I have discovered they all have their own particular flavor. Which, as you so aptly said... have no real bearing on our true character.

Leslie said...

HA HA...I live in Seattle, my mother in NJ. I'm in Jerseyland visiting her now, and we went into NYC on Wednesday, where I was acutely aware of all the hair product that must be nestled in every man and woman's hair. My next thought was how flammable . In Seattle? Not so much. Hair product + rain = sticky, tangled flat mess

AC said...

I'm the same with accents (no I don't have one, you do). Love the Minnesota accent, the Louisana one, which even sounds southern to me, the Maine voice, South Carolina. If I listen really hard, I'll pick up pieces in my own speech trying to keep the memory.

Often being from the south gets one dismissed as not so smart, which is far from the truth, most times.

The traffic in Sioux Falls South Dakota was the least scary I've witnessed, what with those huge flat areas, who could wreck? DC and Atlanta, the worst. But I'd go back.

Also I'm grateful for your kind comments on my last post.

Anonymous said...

Geographical idiosyncrasies are a lot like farts...everyone else's differences smell peculiar while your own is simply a more distinct aromatic variation of air.

Welcome back, meno. Bet the cats are glad to see you.

Mother of Invention said...

Each place has its own unique local colourisms as does each person! It all blends in to make the Grand Mozaic of us all!

meno said...

jen, :) now i feel all warm and happy.

sari, as traffic gets worse and worse here, the same thing is happening. Apparently yellow means "HIT THE GAS!"

ortizzle, it's fun to think about isn't it? It's amusing how many of the stereotypes involve driving.

I, What a great image, hair on fire and hair in a soggy mess. So true. I noticed a lot more perfume in NY too.

ac, me? i don't have an accent! I love a good British or Australian accent though. Yum.

patches, you are funny! The cats have been following me around all day and trying to both sit on me at once. I am tall, but i don't have room for 30 lbs of cat on my lap!

QT said...

Late to the party, but I agree. I miss the "mind your own business" of the PNW. Here in the "heartland" everyone needs to be up in your biz all the time.

Or at least it feels that way to me! I hope this doesn't double post....

amusing said...

I knew I had lost Mr.Husband-at-the-time to the suburbs when we'd go back to NYC and he'd patiently stand on the corner waiting for the little green man to light up the crosswalk.

11111111 said...

Oh, and don't forget the Canadians: we're all very polite and apologetic; we all wear toques; and our summers are a blistering 65 degrees Fahrenheit, eh.

egan said...

Amen Meno. I think there are regional differences, but the driving one doesn't hold water in my eyes. Every urban area has crazy drivers. Best wishes in 2007.

Unknown said...

Yay! Proof that tv hasn't quite triumphed and made us all the same thing.

LazyLazyMe said...

What the fuck's a 'British' accent?

Lynnea said...

When we moved to Quebec my biggest adjustment was not being able to get a hold of mexican cuisine and the greeting ritual of kissing on two cheeks. There are probably a lot more things, but I think I adjusted into them and don't particularly notice anymore. Oh, shopping carts - people here just park them wherever - in the middle of the aisle and won't move even if you're standing there - you have to tap them on the shoulder and ask them to move or do like my SIL - move their cart out of your way! I still can't get used to that one.

Lucia said...

Last time I was out there, I IDd fleece jackets as the fashion d'riguer (sp?)

meno said...

MOI, that's very poetic.

QT, oh yeah, we ignore one another very well. Sometimes it's lonely.

amusing, Eww! How bloody civilized of him. I loved the mass jaywalking in NY.

denguy, (Sung to the tune of I'm a Lumberjack)
Oh, I'm a Canadian and that's okay,
I shop at Fred Meyer, eat cheese all day,
I drive down one way streets the wrong way,
and gripe about the discount rate i have to pay.


egan, yeah, bitching about the drivers in another area is so boring. But, really, those Canadian! :)

nancy, not for lack of trying though.

lazy, Um, like an American accent only different?

maggie, NO MEXICAN FOOD??!! You poor baby.

lucia, that why i have several, because fashion is my life!

Antonia Cornwell said...

I love this post! It makes me think about which state I'd be best suited to if I moved to America. I'd be torn between the jaywalking, the fast driving and the autumn clothing. Maybe I could just drive very fast between states.

Bobealia... said...

yeh, like the time I got off the subway in the Bronx to go to the zoo and someone told me I was going the wrong way. I wasn't carying a map, but apparently I was wearing a sign on my forehead that said, "I'm not from here."