Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Initial Impressions...
Well, now that I have finally taken the plunge and moved south of the Mason-Dixon, let me tell you a little bit about the lay of the land.

I have found Southerners, so far, to be polite and courteous. Of course, I'm sure every one of them is thinking they'd like to ship my behind back north while they're being polite and courteous, but that's another story. Open hostility has not been displayed. Here's a major difference between the South and New York: a New Yorker is pretty much ALWAYS openly hostile, even if it's only a flash of the eyes. Nothing may be said, but rest assured, your average New Yorker would love to add an insult paranthetically to anyting they say to you. Some might even harbor visions of smashing your head in with a brick because you made the mistake, either by looking or speaking, of invading his/her personal space. I can already feel the invisible barrier that extends 3" from every New Yorker's nose falling away. I'm finding that a display of good manners and courtesy is infectious, and I think I've already lost some of my edge. That's a good thing.

There is room here. Lot's of it. Charlotte is a relatively small city (only about 600,000 people) but it's very spread out. Distances here to what a Northerner might consider "amenities" like shopping, church, school, etc. Are vaster than we're used to. This has it's down side (you MUST drive here), but on the whole, I believe it's a good thing because I've always harbored a theory on how space affects people. When people have elbow room, they tend to be more relaxed, less hostile and polite. I've seen this in the West and I'm seeing it here too. When you live in a crowded urban enviornment, certainly New York qualifies as a concrete jungle, you're always, even subconsciously, fighting for space.

This is what I have kinda-sorta figured out in my first two weeks. As soon as I can recognize any other major differences, I'll be sure to let you all (I mean, y'all) know.

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