19 thoughts on “Friendly

  1. πŸ˜€ Reminds me of when I moved from Philadelphia to Upstate, NY. Philadelphia is a crime-ridden city and where you do things like lock your car doors once you get in, lock your home door, lock your windows, never turn your back to your handbag when shopping (if a woman), etc…then I come to Upstate NY, and well there’s at the end of the road a big fruit and vegetable stand with the produce and a box for you to put the money in. No one steals the produce and no one steals the money (!!!!!). And everyone is so friendly. Was a culture shock.

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    1. haha! When we were looking for a place to spend my husband’s first year in his new job, I figured anywhere near our current location would be OK, because on the main road through town, we drove by a very nice bicycle, not chained up to anything, in somebody’s front yard, with a sign taped to it: “Bicycle: $150.” Nobody out there watching it or anything. My hometown is not any kind of crime-ridden urban gangster zone, but nobody would ever do that there. I am fairly sure only a minority of people lock their cars here.

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      1. I often forget to lock my front door but the neighbors in my very middle class neighborhood did steel my kid’s sleigh that we left outside overnight. The sleigh costs $15 at Walmart, so I’m guessing these were kids and not adults.


        1. Just pointing out in case not a typo, but you mean “steal” not “steel.” The spelling is correct, but “steel” is a material, “steal” is the act of thievery.

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        1. It’s good to know that such places exist! It was a weird culture-shock, while we were desperately searching for a rental, driving all around town to talk to apartment complex offices, look for “for rent” signs, and just scope out the area. We stumbled upon both the public housing project, and the historically black part of town (the only way you could tell was that there was a second, smaller, public swimming pool– there is basically no other reason for a town this small to have two public pools), and realized we’d feel totally safe and OK living in either of those areas. The only real difference is that in those parts of town, the houses are a little smaller and the churches are cinderblock instead of brick.

          I also love driving here. I drive like an 85-year-old granny, and I’m used to being the car that everybody is tailgating and recklessly zooming by, because I fastidiously obey speed limits. Can’t afford the tickets. Nobody does that here. I truck along right at the speed limit like always, and people who want to go faster don’t get all bent out of shape about it– they just pass me. People who don’t feel like passing maintain a safe following distance. Nobody’s in a rage-fueled hurry to get anywhere. Drives my brother nuts when he visits, because he likes to drive fast πŸ˜‰ People are very chill here and I like it.


      1. I lived in Baltimore for a year. It definitely didn’t feel like the South. It’s a great city but the slums are painful to watch. We don’t have this kind of poverty and dysfunction in Ukraine. There’s poverty but not at that level.


    1. And once again, you assume a rudimentary knowledge of US geography that I do not possess. :-))) You are a homeschooler, so you need to know these things but I never learned them. Maybe somebody needs to homeschool me. πŸ™‚


      1. The key thing that determines “south” vs. “north” is the Mason-Dixon line. If you do a quick search for a map with that line on it, it’ll show you which states are “the South” and which states are “D**n Yankees”. Florida’s a weird patchwork. It wasn’t a state in the 1860s, but culturally, most of it is deep south. That picture is muddled by a large urban contingent of A) New York retirees and B) Cubans. And then there’s Gainesville, which is an extraterrestrial trading post.

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        1. “key thing that determines β€œsouth” vs. β€œnorth” is the Mason-Dixon line”

          There are two Mason-Dixon lines

          The original line just divides some states in the Washington DC-ish area.

          The second is ideational and very subjective. If you ask ten people to draw their Mason-Dixon lines on a map (separating North from South) you’re likely to get ten different lines since there are a lot of… marginal areas. Does Kentucky count? For that matter what about Tennessee? Arkansas? How far west of the Mississippi River does it extend? For me a lot of east Texas is pretty southern seeming.

          the very general rule for Florida is the further north and/or away from the coast you are the more southern so the middle of the state (used to) be more southern (down a little past Okeechobe or so).

          University towns are always weird, not only are lots of university people inherently weird but the towns attract non-conformists in the surrounding areas as well.


          1. University towns… as far as I could see when I lived there, there was nothing remotely non-conformist about Gainesville. It’s just that instead of trying to conform to the surrounding counties, they were trying to conform to… San Francisco?


            1. “nothing remotely non-conformist about Gainesville”

              When I was there (several centuries ago) it was a lot different form surrounding counties in many ways. For one thing it was the first tim I’d seen truly integrated neighborhoods. There was a big chunk of it where working class black and white families had houses next to each other on the same streets. I’d never seen that before in Florida… (or anywhere else… maybe things have changed now but it was very distinct back then). Lots of other eccentrics hanging around (I know there are lots of them everywhere in Florida but they were a standard deviation or so weirder).

              And even if it was conforming to SF that was long before it descended to its current third world status.

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              1. True, the tolerance for crazy homeless people was much higher there. We had nicknames for all the regulars. Students would bring this guy named Cool Breeze in for lunch at least a couple times a week at the restaurant where I worked. I wasn’t in a position to observe the relative integration of the neighborhoods. By the time I was there, large parts of town were becoming standard big-box-franchise zones, indistinguishable from stripmallvilles in any other place in the US. It was still a little funky but in all the wrong ways– I was getting the first whiffs of what would become Woke-ism there back in 2000: i.e. encouraging anybody who felt the least bit out-of-sync to find some label to slap on that feeling, call it oppression, and demand accommodations for it.

                What I’ve heard from there since… the old student ghetto (i.e. affordable rental houses) became a huge block of highrise apartments, and rents now resemble those in Boston. They fell hard for the lockdowns and virtue-signaling pandemic hygiene theater– they were one of the first municipalities to get slapped down by the state for trying to enforce mandates on employees, along with Tallahassee. They want to be a blue-state big city soooo bad.

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  2. “tolerance for crazy homeless people was much higher there”

    Not so many homeless when I was there (it was starting to become a bit more noticeable in the time I was leaving).

    There was one homeless guy who was also a musician (gossip was that he’d written a famous song in the 1960s…). I was at an alternative type venue once when he sat down at a piano and had everyone captivated for 20 or so minutes. Then he shuffled off back to the street.

    Plans to gentrify the student ghetto were being unveiled but thankfully I was long gone by the time it happened.

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