Tuesday, September 4, 2007

South Verses North

Life in the South is different than life in the North.

I know. This is a real news flash for those of you who travel a bit. As a person who hasn't been on a plane in 10 years or spent any amount of time outside of my own state, let me just assure you, life is different in different places.

Here's what I've noticed and experienced so far. Down here in the South, people socialize. There seems to be a constant invitation to something. These wonderful Southern people are greatly concerned that I may be sitting alone somewhere and doing nothing. It makes me smirk to think that was exactly why I was sent here! Well, not exactly to do nothing, but to sleep, eat, read, write and visit with the lovely Ms. K. And visit we have been.

I've also noticed that there is a real distinction between the man and woman here. I don't mean in a a sexest sort of demeaning way. It isn't that at all. And, as a Northerner, it's a little hard to explain it really. All I can say, is that there is a distinct difference between the men and women here in how they interact with each other and how men and women interact with each other in the North. I wonder if the long, hard winter weather we experience up North makes us a hard people.

It isn't like we're unkind to each other in the North. That isn't it at all. In fact we're a down right helpful bunch, but we don't bond. We don't take a genuine interest in each other. We don't break down those boundaries and really get to know one another. But, we're great at helping each other survive.

Another thing I've noticed down here is the level of courtesy and politeness. It is much more formal. Everything is ma am and sir, please and thank you, may I get you something, anything? I must get you something! It's almost an insult if you don't let them serve you something in some manner. People look you in the eyes when they're speaking to you and look deeply into your eyes when you're speaking. Did I mention they offer you a lot of drinks? And with good reason too. It is warm and wet here in September.

Yesterday Ms. K. and I did some walking on the dam at Lake Waco. A very pretty place. Also a very hot and humid place. For a short while there was a beautiful little breeze, but it was short! That was my first experience of thinking I'd drunk enough water and learning I was about 1/2 gallon behind! I caught up nicely but the afternoon. We did a little shopping. It is a girl vacation after all. Then we went to a social. It was quite nice. Perhaps the most polite, well behaved children under 5 I've ever met. I also experienced the hottest Texas chili I've ever eaten in my life. I eat everything. I have an iron stomach. This was burn your lips off hot. Delightful too, I might add. Macaroni and cheese with a little kick. And pie. Pecan and buttermilk. That's peecan, not pacon like we say up North, and buttermilk. I don't think I've ever eaten anything like a buttermilk pie before. It was wonderful. Sweet and tangy, smooth and sort of carmelly all at the same time.

And just in case you've been wondering, the family at home is doing just great. The Mr. has everything under control. School is still happening. The Little Ms. is still working hard at improving her walking and talking. The Littlest Mr. is moving right along in Kindergarten, and The Little Mr. is learning what daddy thinks a 4th grader is like. Hmm, perhaps mom isn't the meanest or worst teacher in the world!

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