* I can't believe how friendly people are in general. I know it seems cliche to say, but I do find attitudes to be different here. Strangers frequently approach me and start up conversations. Everett and I were looking for pimentos and were asking each other what aisle they might be in. A lady overheard us talking and then guided us over to them saying that she had trouble finding them awhile back. I'm just used to people kind of keeping to themselves and didn't expect her to go out of her way to help us. That's just one example from a long list of similar types of experiences I've been having down here. The workers in stores are also VERY polite, and I've yet to have a rude experience so far, though I'm sure I just jinxed myself, haha. I went into a Publix and got smiled at at least three times, got asked how I was doing, and then another worker asked if they could help me with anything. I'm not used to that!! I felt like I was getting the royal treatment or something because when I grocery shopped at big discount retail stores in Ohio, it seemed like I could never find anyone to help me and when I did, they looked bothered most of the time. I was also surprised when I stopped to get fast food because the workers were SO nice, even at the drive-thru. They kept calling me, "Ma'am," smiled, and said thank you. I gave Everett a look, and I didn't even have to say a word. He automatically knew exactly why I was surprised and told me that fast food experiences down South were much more pleasant compared to his fast food experiences up North. I think being around friendlier people will have a positive effect on me because I try to be a nice person, but if a worker is wrong and they are rude to me I will defend myself, sometimes in a snarky way.
* There are some critters that I see here that I'm not used to seeing! I've already been told by several people to "watch out for the snakes." Yes, of course there are snakes in Ohio, but I've seen only one snake once when I was walking on the bike trail. I guess they are a lot more common down here. Also, the other night while we were driving my friend slammed on the brakes because of what I thought were two opossums crossing the road. When I asked if that's what they were, both of my friends laughed at me and said that they were armadillos. Hey, it was dark...and WHAT??? I didn't even know they had those down here! I just associated them with the Southwest. Everett told me to never touch an armadillo's tail (because that's exactly what I want to do) because it has given people leprosy.
* Driving is different here! Typically U-Turns are illegal in Ohio, but here it is common. Also, I was warned that when I'm taking a right turn and someone is crossing a median and also turning right, that they have the right of way, not me. Ummmm, I'm really glad I was informed of this because I would have surely gotten into an accident or at least gotten some rotten looks. My roommate, Jared, told me that he learned the hard way and had people yelling at him and flipping him off and he had no idea why at first. Also, I got a blinking yellow turn signal in North Carolina! I had never seen one before, so I just had to guess that it meant that turning was okay as long as I was yielding to oncoming traffic, which luckily was the right guess. At least there are no barred stop signs like there are in Michigan!
* I'm still adjusting to the heat and weather. I went swimming in the middle of the day and then sat and drank some sweet tea and felt fine. Later that evening, I got a POUNDING headache from being in the heat too long and from dehydration. I just was drinking the same amount of water I'd been drinking in Ohio, which is clearly not going to cut it here. I've been extremely dehydrated twice, got burnt three times, and got a heat rash for the first time in my life. Now I slather on sunscreen, drink tons of water, and now want to carry an umbrella around with me to shade myself from the sun like I saw a lot of Korean women do. Just joking about the last part, but I have to be careful here!
|Just one of the many places I got burnt|
|Getting baked, only not realizing it at the time|
* I learned that Parker's gas stations/convenience stores are the best! They are immaculate, they have little booths where you can eat whatever snack you've purchased, and they have the biggest selection of drinks I've ever seen in a convenience store!
* I hadn't worn shorts in Ohio for about 3 years and I only have one pair that fit. I need to get more shorts ASAP--it's wayyy too hot to be wearing jeans on days I'm outside a lot.
* Milk is over $4.00 a gallon here which surprised me!! Everett said it's because most dairy farmers are up north and it costs so much down here because of the shipping costs.
* I'm getting to try all sorts of new food. I had boiled peanuts, black eyed peas, humming bird cake, and went to a fish fry and had fried catfish. Besides trying new food, I'm also enjoying being able to have traditional Southern food like grits and hush puppies.
These are just some little differences that I've noticed during my time here so far. What have you learned when you moved to or visited a new place?