Monday, November 26, 2007

Getting on with getting on...

So I did say that I would compare West and East lifestyles.
It is a bit difficult when I am not interacting with all that many Easterners.
I have commented on the pushed down and stand offishness I have noted. I have told about the amazingly helpful video store clerk.
But I am often asked by the people we meet, and happen to tell we are from the West;
"What do you think?"
They mean, or at least I take it to mean, what do I think of New York so far.
I think, and I believe I have said this as well, the roads are too narrow for as fast as these people drive. Speed limits are mere suggestions and I have never seen more rolling stops than here. Everyone says that they are "20 minutes" away from anything else. K's brother made a drive that takes K and I 45 minutes, in about 20. It is scary to be on a winding road, lots of blind corners, and have HUGE fuel trucks, delivery trucks, Ford Excess, Chevy mother farking Gigantors screaming at you, over the DOUBLE YELLOW lines.
What do I think?
Things here are so fast in some ways, slow in others. People are brusque and what passes for manners in the service fields make me shudder.
The food is interesting, as I have noted. But to go into a diner (Hamsterville needs a Diner, really) and each sandwich or burger comes with "cole slaw and a pickle" 'Deluxe' would have the standard fixings of lettuce, onion, fries and costs up to 2.50 more. The slaw is sweet white with cabbage and carrots, the pickles are what are called "new" or a pickle that is not brined for over long, and has a nice crisp and mild taste.
Chinese food? There are over 150 Chinese restaurants on Long Island alone, I read that somewhere. We have tried several.
They have a thing here called Duck Sauce. K says she never saw it in Washington. I have not tried it yet.
We have tried 3 Chinese places so far and have not been overwhelmed. I order cashew chicken and get a chow mien type dish, not the West coast deep fried chicken parts with artery clogging sauce. I miss that a bit. Might need to learn to make it myself.
I can't find hazel nuts much here. One store had an open bin of bulk nuts so that was nice. They have no Fritos Chili Cheese chips for K's chili. Our Lambic beer for beer butt chicken is not to be found.
It is a Yodel, not a Ho Ho, and Ring Dings instead of Ding Dongs. If it ain't Boar's Head deli meat, it ain't worth the bother. It is Hellman's, not Best Foods mayonaise. I have never seen 14 different types of mustard. The Pasta isle at any given supermarket is almost an entire aisle, not the first third like in Hamsterville.
It is an adventure, to say the least.
So K and I head out to go to Trader Joe's with K's parents. I have never been to one. The one in Hamsterville opened just when we left.
If it seems I am whining a bit, I am. I find myself a bit homesick some times. My first Holiday season so far from "home" and missing some things.
From the East, I am waving to the West and getting on with getting on.

Be well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know how you feel, Chris. There are things that you can only get in certain places. My favorite Mate isn't available in Canada, there is NO good cheap sushi in Massachusetts, and there is no place like the deli at B'ham Co-Op and I still miss the hot yoga studio downtown B'ham...I can still smell it and feel it and I think about it a couple times a week even though I haven't been there for almost 2 years...
Yes, people drive at mach 10 on the spaghetti thin roads in these parts. It's hard to slow down (or speed up) when you move elsewhere. But you do. Eventually. My first week in B'ham 10 years ago, I was pulled over and was told I "failed to yield to oncoming traffic." I told the officer, "It's legal in Massachusetts!" Boy, did he laugh! "It's not legal ANYWHERE" he says. Go figure. That's why they call drivers from MA, "Massholes." Hitting the road tomorrow. Heading West...