How the South is Different

I’m a born and bred Midwesterner, and have never lived farther than about an hour from a Great Lake (with the exception of my time in college, smack dab in the middle of Michigan).  Moving to the South has been a bit of an adjustment.  So far there are a few glaring differences:

Little buggers are hard to see but they are the invading horde on our poor mimosa tree

Little buggers are hard to see but they are the invading horde on our poor mimosa tree

The South has more bugs.  Lots more, and they are scarier.  Remember my encounter with the half-dollar sized spider that looked more like the alien from Alien?…  Today I came across one of these while spraying around the perimeter of our house for these (they call them “piss ants” around here).  They have honking big black mosquitoes with white marks called “Asian Tiger Mosquitoes” that seem to love me, and leave gigantic, painful welts in their wake – these have actually made me cry.  The Man regularly encounters Black Widows, and I saw some nasty looking larvae of what are called mud-daubers when he scraped their mud-daubs off the side of the house recently.  All I can say is…  YUCK.  And WHY has no one invented a combination sunscreen and bug spray??? (sidenote: just got a bite from a fire ant in the middle of writing this post… *sigh*)

The South has much longer traffic lights and much lower speed limits.  I think I read once that the average time spent stopped at a traffic light is two minutes.  Not even close down here.  I think it must be somewhere between 5 and 8 minutes.  Definitely long enough to check your Facebook updates and still get bored.  Average speed limit when you are anywhere near any people is 35mph.  It’s taking a little getting used to for this city girl.

The cable bill is crazy high and the insurance bill is crazy low.  It all evens out, I guess.

People love to talk.  The Man is no exception.  Don’t even think for a second that you will just “run in and run out” of some restaurant or store or any place of business.  Invariably, someone will stop to chat, and your errand that was supposed to take 10 minutes has now taken a half hour.  Don’t get me wrong!  I much prefer the smiles, and the “Hey!” (Southern for “Hi!”) everywhere you go, as opposed to the avoid-all-eye-contact-and-pretend-not-to-see-all-other-humans-in-the-vicinity way of dealing with other people in public that is de rigueur up North.  But things take longer down here, for sure.  Even the mail…

Did I mention that it’s hot?  I’m really not complaining.  But I’ve never slept night after night with no sheet or blanket, even with the air on.  I struggle with this a bit because I’m most comfortable with something over me, but even a sheet can be too hot.

Luckily, these are all things I think I can get used to with time (well, except the bugs).  I know there are more, but I’ll save those for another post.  And even with all of these new things to get used to, I wouldn’t trade places with anyone.  I am loving our new digs. ❤


7 thoughts on “How the South is Different

  1. I loved this one. I was 16 when I moved from Michigan Arkansas. All the kids were quick to tell me there were one pretty girl for every ten miles or so. WRONG!! Not only were there dozens of pretty girls, but they all would talk to you like they had known you forever. Every person who drove by would wave at you…in Michigan drivers would wave but it was usually with one finger:) The first time I went to the local post office to pick up my mail. I was told that he could tell by listening to me I was one of them Damn Yankees! Definition: A Yankee is someone from the north who just visits, while a Damn Yankee is one who stays! Well I “stayed” for 22 years until I met my wife and moved to Virginia. More culture shock…;)

  2. I’m not sure where you are at now, but I’m in Texas, San Antonio to be specific. I’ve been here for 15 years (shoot me now) and still am not used to everything. But I will tell you to get a ceiling fan, if only because it will make it seem cooler and you can then use a sheet. I am just now getting to the point where I can sleep without a sheet, but the ceiling fan makes it so I don’t have to (except when the a/c goes out, and it’s hot as blazes).
    Good luck acclimating to your new home, in 10 or 20 years you won’t think anything of it!

  3. Funny – in the UK, the midlands and the north are much friendlier than the south. I grew up in the south-east, where people tend not to talk to strangers much. I prefer it here in the midlands where everyone says hello, at least out in the villages.

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