Thursday, February 24, 2005

West Meets East

When you move someplace new, I guess there are some differences to be expected. Here are some I've noted:

1. Birds make different sounds in the morning here. Perhaps it's because they have different kinds of birds, or are they just complaining that they're cold, too?

2. Menus here have warnings about undercooked meat. I thought perhaps they were trying to tell me something about the quality of the food, since they don't rate the restaurants here. But apparently it's state law to include the following warning on the bottom of all menus:

"Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness. More information about the safety of consuming raw food is available upon request."

I have yet to ask for more information.

3. I haven't found one bank here as good as Washington Mutual, which offers totally free checking. I've listened to many spiels about how I can't do this or that at my new bank choice because anything I may choose to do may incur additional fees. WaMu... please hurry out here!

4. There are many places here without street signs. It's not as though the city isn't confusing enough since it isn't a grid. On top of that, there are actually MANY, MANY streets without signs. Major streets, minor streets, you name it. I was wondering why everyone was giving us directions using landmarks!

5. Comcast Cable has a monopoly over the area I'm living in. The only kind of internet service I can get is through Comcast, which has terrible customer service. We tried cable from competitors, as well as DSL... Heck, we live close enough to a telephone pole... there's one ON OUR FRONT LAWN! Finally, someone spilled the beans. Comcast bought the contract to have an exclusive right to serve our immediate area. We don't have a choice. And I thought monopolies were illegal.

6. Politics are all the rage here. Everyone from our waiters to our table mates at a Benihana-style restaurant have engaged us in political conversation. Mostly, they've just been venting about how much they hate Bush and the war. They usually also throw in a random comment about how they have gay friends and don't like his policies on values, either. Fortunately, if we're going to be thrust into political conversation, at least they're on our side.

7. I FINALLY got one job interview. OK, that's not unusual on the east compared to the west... but the interviewer said maybe I should wait a day or two before coming in, to avoid the snow. I've never had an interview postponed for snow.

...I'm sure there will be more to come.


At 12:49 PM, Anonymous Jennifer said...

Wow Debbie - I can't believe all the things that have happened to you since your move. Interesting things always seem to happen to you. Hope you and Tracy have settled in well. I look forward to reading more of your adventures.

At 6:24 PM, Anonymous Diane Westcott said...

WOW! YOU DID IT, DEB! I cannot tell you how immensely happy I am that you got to Maryland (my home state!!!) successfully -- minus one fridge of course (sniff, sniff). Yes, things ARE different in the DC Metro area, but you will find out in MANY ways they ARE better than LA. 1) you can SMELL the crispness and cleanness of snow in the AIR. 2) the quiet serenity of snow cannot be matched by ANYTHING in Los Angeles -- not even up at Big Bear or Lake Tahoe. 3) people actually drive responsibly and PAY ATTENTION to the road -- something largely unheard of in LA. 4) grass actually stays GREEN without having to install and pay for a SPRINKLER SYSTEM ... you see, IT RAINS THERE on a regular basis! 5) you can easily go on a little boat ride or paddleboat exertion almost anytime from Spring to late Fall -- and you don't have to pay like $80/person to do it like here in LA. 6) Museums are FREE, that's right, FREE!!!!!!! 7) PUblic transportation is AWESOME and RELIABLE and USED by professionals going to work EVERY DAY. SUffice it to say, I could go on and on. There are so many GREAT things about Maryland, and I will be there in 2.5 months to experience them all with you guys! I LOVE YOU!!!! di


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