I can’t believe it’s been a year since we packed up our little apartment in Greenwich Village and schlepped all our stuff down to Raleigh.
What a pain that was. But I’ve learned quite a bit in the last twelve months – my first year as a wanna-be Southerner. Such as:
1) You’ve gotta have a college team.
Although…I don’t. Meh. Saturday is Football Day down here. I prefer Sunday Fundays. And don’t even get me started on springtime…I don’t care about college basketball! I want to, really, but I just can’t! It’s too much to keep up with.
Everyone down here gets all riled up over college sports. I much prefer m MLB and NFL, both of which are afterthoughts around here.
(A couple of people asked about the sweatshirt I’m wearing in this pic. Nah, I don’t have any affiliation with UNC. The sweatshirt was purchased at the airport on our way to Maine a couple of weeks ago, when my brilliant husband realized he hadn’t packed any sort of jacket. I currently have a crush on it because it is very soft, and also because I love baby blue.)
2) Cheese salad exists. And it’s glorious.
“Pimento cheese? What the hell is that?” I remember asking a friend during my first few weeks here. Well…it’s cheese and mayonnaise and peppers and it’s effing brilliant.
The South does food good. Cheese salads. Fried bread. Fatty grilled meats. Mmmm.
But there’s also the State Farmers Market which is stocked with farm-fresh fruits and veggies year-round, and the plethora of restaurants who cater to that whole “farm-to-table” crowd. I would say that, overall, it’s a great combination. This girl will always, henceforth, have a soft spot in her heart for hush puppies. But I can also appreciate a freshly-picked basket of butter beans.
3) Summer is the off-season…
Honestly, the thing I dreaded most about moving down here was the summer.
Now, sitting on the home stretch of the horrible thing, I think I can say it’s…survivable. I don’t think I anticipated how thoroughly the humidity would annihilate my running pace, or how completely the race calendar would clear out from June to August, but whatever…it was sucky and slow and somewhat humbling, but I made it through.
What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right?
4) …but any type of natural disaster can strike here at any time.
For reals. I did not think I’d be dealing with earthquakes out here.
Not that any of the quakes, tornadoes, hurricanes or storms have actually done any damage to me, personally, but they’re still there, and still kinda scary. At least we don’t have to deal with blizzards. (Good lord, I’m pretty sure this city would self-destruct if that happened. They close the schools here when there’s an inch of snow!)
5) The closer you get to the equator, the bigger the bugs get.
I know. It’s probably the weather, or the cost of living. I can’t disagree.
But it still shocked me when I had to hurdle over a cicada corpse the size of a kitten on my run this morning.
6) Southerners are friendly. Really, really friendly.
So, that emergency trip to Rite Aid to replenish your tampon supply. Plan on spending a few minutes with the cashier, because she’ll probably want to chat.
That’s just how people down here are. It’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a good thing. But it took a little getting used to.
Happy one-year-in-Raleigh to me!
The question I most often get is: do you like it there?
The answer is: Yeah…I think I do.
I still miss NYC, and as a born-and-raised-on-the-west-coast girl, sometimes home seems awfully far away (especially with an annoyingly sparse selection of direct flights out of here). But as far as places go, you can definitely do a lot worse than North Carolina. The people are friendly, the food is fantastic, and I definitely look forward to relishing some mild fall and winter weather while the rest of the eastern seaboard gets slammed with cold and snow.
All in all, I would say it’s been a pretty good year.