Sunday, September 16, 2012

Observations, Ninety Days New

(Alright, so I've lived here longer than ninety days, but I spent a couple weeks away from home so this is about the right timing.)

So, what do I think of Western North Carolina (WNC) after my first ninety days? Or maybe a better question would be, what have I learned about it that I didn't expect? Here's a list of observations as I see them...

  • There's three kinds of drivers and they are split almost evenly: 1) Those that use turn signals 2) Those that don't use turn signals 3) Those that flip their turn signals on as they are in the process of turning. It's annoying waiting for a car to drive past only to have them turn as you sit there, but it's even more annoying to see that turn signal light up as the person avoids eye contact. "What? I had it on. What?" That's nerve grating.
  • The main business around here is tourism. Really. My pretty little town is crazy busy with tourists every day of the week. But as seasons change, the tourists will soon be gone. I've been told that after the, "Leafers" leave in November that most of the towns and cities around here are empty. A bonus to that, supposedly the grocery stores lower their prices during the winter. Score.
  • Along the tourist lines, WNC is much more economically depressed than I was aware of. An eye-opening statistic: sixty five percent of the service industry (waiters & waitresses) have at least a Bachelor degree (and many, Masters.) There's just no work around here except to wait on the tourists. Alli finally got a job and starts next Monday, but as everyone else, it's lower pay than expected and not in the field of her degree. In this economy, we're not complaining.
  • This area has a matter-of-fact approach to eating healthy. Organic farming, farmer's markets, eating in season, and other like mindsets are not rare or something you need to search out as in Ohio. And if you believe in these kind of things you are not in the minority or looked at as a hippie or tree-hugger; in fact, not at least saying you care about such things puts you at odds with most. In keeping with this normality, organic produce is comparably priced which puts it in reach of everyone, not just the rich.
  • In Ohio you watch the weather systems as they come off and around the Great Lakes. In WNC, you watch the weather systems that come off the Atlantic.
  • The woods that cover the mountains are sporadically patrolled by men with guns.
  • You've never driven a curvy road until you climb up the face of a mountain. Hint: slow down.
  • Taxes are everywhere, but things like insurance and fees are remarkably cheaper.
  • You don't have to worry about deer running in front of your car. Bears, yes, but there just aren't a lot of deer around here. Coming from Ohio where deer are a part of everyones' lives in the autumn, this is a nice reprieve.
  • People are just plain nicer here.
I'm sure there's more, but those are the big ones. And in case some of those seemed negative, well, they are, but I'm still pretty durned happy. :)


Blogger Andrew said...

Sounds awful

11:38 AM  
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12:21 PM  

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