So here I am finally "moved in" to the midwest - after having lived in the New York metropolitan area my whole life. I moved for love - but I cannot tell a lie - this is a major adjustment.
Let's begin with the basics. There is very definitely truth to the phrase "New York Minute" and people in Michigan just aren't in the same time zone! In New York, multi-tasking is a way of life. The train ride in to the city offers opportunities to email, catch up on financial news or accomplish tasks that ordinarily would take up other time. We multi-task by nature in New York. Here in Detroit - land of zero mass transit and 70 mph speed limits, multi-tasking could get you killed.
The SUPERMARKET: In New York and it's outlying areas, the concept of supermarket is to get you in, shuffle you through the aisles, make you buy and then get you out of the store -efficiently and, while the store owners in New York know that time equates to commitment, and time spent shopping the store is good, once you've hit the cashier's line, they want you to buy up some candy bars and EXIT, keeping the lines moving along. NOT SO IN MICHIGAN. Here, as you hit the cashier's line, there is a friendly smile and an inquiry, "So, how is your day going?"
This has made me turn around to see who is standing behind me. Perhaps the cashier knows the person next to me or behind me. But, it has now happened too many times to be coincidence. I realize that the cashier is addressing ME. I have thought about telling them about how my day is REALLY going (I was feeling a bit under the weather, had a fight with my child, wished I could find a better gym because I overate yesterday and feel a bit frowsy) - but I realize that is not what they want to hear. They want chit-chat and small talk, a language foreign to most born and bred New Yorkers.
The other day, the cashier was so busy giving me her recipe for homemade apple pie (it's all in the apple mix apparently) that I forgot my handbag at the cashier's counter. The good news is that since it is NOT New York, my wallet and credit cards were still in it when I came to claim it an hour later.
The drivers are nuts too. Even though they make cars here, they haven't figured out how and when to use their horns! Yesterday I was driving when someone just stopped in the right hand lane. A line formed behind me as I waited to see if I should pass the guy or not. I contemplated using my horn - but no one else was honking. Everyone else was just waiting patiently to see what the moron would do. He eventually moved to the left lane and turned - but NOBODY HONKED. In New York - heck - even in Westchester County, that guy would have gotten blasted with six or eight horns.
They walk SLOW here in Michigan - and every conversation begins with a "Good morning" and a "How are you?" There is no "cut to the chase" attitude. And for a bonafide New Yorker, there are trust issues.
Why does the cashier need to know how my day is going? Why did the woman who ploughed into my car on Washtinaw HUG ME after the collision?
I'm homesick. Will somebody please be rude to me today?