Observations on Knoxville thus far
- It is not as small as either of us pictured. It really is a city, with a legit downtown.
- Some of the differences in culture are not surprising, but they are still difficult. Two things we've noticed: friendliness, and speed. People here really are very friendly. Store clerks will just chat with you. Now, in LA, the clerk at the bookstore might make small-talk, but after 30 seconds you start to feel like you're wasting their precious time, and walk away to avoid staying too long and being awkward. But here... they will just sit and chat with you. Several times, I have started to feel like I should end the conversation and move away out of politeness, but I really do think that they are content chatting. That is totally different than what I have experienced in California. It is nice, it will just be very difficult to adjust to. I will have to lose that internal timer that tries to end the conversation, and just become content to stand and chat.
The other thing is speed. We went in to rent a storage unit, and the man behind the desk was in absolutely NO hurry to help us. Sure, he was helpful and very nice, but just not fast. If it was LA, he would have had us in and out in 5 minutes. He had us in the office for half an hour... printing out a page, looking it over, chatting, giving us the page to sign, giving us a packet of papers and pulling them all out and explaining them one at a time... As someone from the phrenetically paced LA, this is frustrating. But I think it will be sooo good for me.
- Tennessee has way more trees and thick vegetation than I expected. It is SO GREEN. I knew it would be green, but it is so tree-y. And humid. Which is fantastic. Just walking around, it smells like outdoors. It is so nice to be out of the miles and miles and miles of concrete that is LA.
- Grocery stores... where are they??
Seriously, I think the closest one to us is 2 miles away. Which isn't much, but it seems like in CA there is a Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons, etc, on every major corner. There is a farmer's market close that I want to check out. But either I'm missing something, or everyone is driving to this one Kroger 2 miles away to do their shopping.
- It's not the freeway or the 40, it's the interstate. But I'm still calling it the freeway.
- Gahhh the mosquitos! Scott took me to play disc golf yesterday in a park and I can count 18 bites on my legs alone. See Lori! I told you when you left they would all bite me instead!
- Most of the girls here wear t-shirts and athletic shorts. Most of them are really cute, and athletic looking. And they all walk around looking like they were just playing soccer. Maybe they were, or maybe it's that it is so darn hot that those clothes are just more comfortable. Fine with me! And 80% of the boys are wearing plaid shorts.
- I think I am really going to love living here. But now that I'm 2000 miles away from "home" and most of my family and friends, I miss everyone. I know 3 people here so far (not counting Scott)... Michiko, and some family friends of the Carrs. It's lonely and fairly hard so far. Now that I have Internet AT HOME (revolutionnnnn) it will be so much easier to keep in touch. Send emails/ facebook messages/ blog comments/ IMs pleaseeee and tell me what is going on in your life. Yes, you. I promise I will try my hardest to respond.