Saturday, July 21, 2012

Life in the Mid-West (part 1)

Probably wasn't even a real class, since most New Englanders wouldn't ever consider living in a different (part of the) country.   I, myself, thought I would live and die in that wonderful country region, but didn't take God's sense of humor into account.

I grew up in eastern Massachusetts. Eastern as in the next body of water east of my town was the Charles River, then the Atlantic Ocean.  After getting married and moving around the eastern time zone a bit, our little family moved to eastern Kansas for 7 and 1/2 years.   Eastern as in east of the wheat fields and cattle ranches.   We currently reside in south-central Iowa.  As in south of the central corn fields.  Culture Shock anyone???

There are many, many wonderful things about living in the mid-west as opposed to the east coast, but it did take some getting used to.    Even though everyone speaks the same language (supposedly), not everyone speaks the same culture.  There were some adjustments that had to be made.  What all of our sojourns have given me however, is the ability to teach the class that I never got to take. For the benefit of the few other New Englanders who live west of the border (of MA), I have created a few helpful hints to  hopefully ease your transition into this new life.

For now we will just address the most pressing of topics: Driving
I know that things can be a bit confusing when you first find yourself on the roads out here. Let me give you a little hint:  That driver's manual that you ignored back east? should probably go back and read it, then do what it says. No, seriously...stop laughing.... things like 4 way stops and turn signals really do exist, and you are expected to know how to use BOTH of them out here.
That middle light on the traffic signal?  Yeah, the yellow one....really does mean slow down.  Shocking, I know.
Drivers look a little younger?  They are...and most have been driving the farm pick-up truck since they could reach the pedals.  Don't panic, you'll be safe.
Having trouble finding your way around town?  Let me help....the street signs are actually correct. Gasp!
And what's more...most of the streets are laid out in a grid in North-South/East-West running streets intersect at right angles.  Sometimes they're even order...  oohh ...ahhh.
And now for the one that will probably save you the most money...Speed Limits.  No, they are not merely suggestions.  Yes, they really do mean what they say.  No, there is no need to drive like a bat out of Hades, New York, get my meaning.  People and life here in the mid-west do not require the same break neck speeds to get the job done.  That leads into our next topic..way of life.

So tune in next time for more helpful hints on a successful transplant.
Just because I missed the class on that doesn't mean you have to as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment