The change from the north to the south is a drastic one. Even from the Charlotte airport, my flight to GSP was filled with the typical Southern people: Sporting their button down shirts and sweater vests, wearing their favorite college football team's hat and talking in a slow southern drawl. It's funny to see the stereotypes really come to life.
Over the past few nights spent in North Carolina, it was obvious to tell that there were some different things. The people are more friendly, which may or may not be a good thing. The prices are cheaper. Other random things are taxed. Even more noticeably, the traffic is less strenuous. 4-way stops pop up and blinking lights are allowed where traffic lights once prevailed. U-turns are allowed, and traffic circles and jug handles disappear.
I did notice that the conversations just quickly become drawn out. You kinda have to say that you're going to leave about an hour before you're actually going to leave. "I should probably get going" quickly gets layered under "How've you been?" and "What are you going to school for?" and various other questions that turn a 15-minute conversation into a 4-hour conversation.
Let me get a few things out about my life in New Jersey, particularly about traffic:
- if you are going to visit to meet new people, you're going for the wrong reason
- that person who could let you in the traffic line is not going to let you go in
- just cause you have a green light doesn't mean there isn't a guy in the other direction trying to catch the yellow
- stop signs really mean "slow down-ish, and pretend you're stopping"
- if you're not rolling before the green light happens, expect to be beeped at
- you can never make a U-turn
-if you're not going at least 5 over the limit, you're gonna get tailgated
- if you're an idiot as a driver, plan to get flipped off
- don't you dare stare at someone longer than a moment, or they might jump you
- don't look like a tourist. we hate that
- if you're from new york and going to the beach, we automatically hate you
- don't try to have a conversation with the cashier. they don't care how your son is doing in school
- green lights mean floor it, yellow lights mean hurry up you might not make it, and red lights mean better punch it if you're gonna make it through
Basically, there are a lot of aggressive (but talented) drivers in New Jersey. And so moving from Jersey to either of the Carolina's means that you have some adjusting. Personally, I find it creepy that the cashier is interested in my life. If you're giving me a weird look, I don't smile and laugh I'd probably tell you to f-off. And if you say hey to me and I don't know you and it's completely random and not a specific introduction, I'm going to look at you like you have four heads.
Well, spending some time with the family in North Carolina means I was meeting a lot of new people in a very short amount of time -- whether that be family and extended family, or just people on the street or family friends or even some of my buddy's friends, which was actually cool. I enjoyed it. Though, sometimes, the conversations can get drawn out and tedious. It's just something I'm not used to.
Being back in Clemson, I have to get used to people talking in their southern draws, I have to stop calling shoes sneakers, and I have to listen to "yall" every two seconds. But, it's worth it. I love the school, and while sometimes the people get on your nerves (not my friends, I mean people that are just around) it's a great school and I'm certainly having a great time.