Alabama

Aug. 14th, 2015 04:20 pm
olmue: (me sketch)
[personal profile] olmue
We've been in Alabama for a week, now. Wow. It's extremely much like moving to a foreign country! Once upon a time, we lived in the south, but it's been a looooooooooooooooooooooooong time. Here are some thoughts:

1. I'm pretty sure there has been more paperwork involved to move to Alabama than there was moving to either Germany or Chile.
2. I miss the Canadian flag (they flew it everywhere in ND), but the Alabama flag is strikingly NOT like a lot of other state flags (ahem, it's essentially a reverse-color image of the Confederate flag, and looks really odd plastered all over).
3. Speaking of flags, the neighbor down the street does not have a US flag, but has a gigantic confederate flag on a pole out front.
4. The schools all lead out with What Your Child Will Probably Do Wrong and What the Punishment Will Be. It's a little discouraging. The teachers, OTOH, are nice in person.
5. It is soooooooooooooooooooo hot!
6. There are a zillion Koreans in town, due to some Korean car plants here, I think. My kids have all come home from school saying they need to learn Korean so they can undersatnd their peers.
7. It is WAY more diverse here than in ND. My one blond son's teacher couldn't remember his name and called him "the blond kid" the other day. Because he was the only one. Lol. That is NOT a distinguishing characteristic in Norwegian North Dakota! It's kind of fun to have a larger ethnic mix--I think it's a lot easier on individuals. You don't have to feel like you represent your ENTIRE race or ethnicity by every move you make. You can just be "regular." (That said, my son's AP classes are unusually UN-diverse. Except for stats, in which he's one of the few non-Koreans.)
8. Thanks to the Koreans, there is a massive Asian grocery store in town that has some fruits I have never heard of (and I am rather wide in my culinary range). Jackfruit, anyone? (It has spines and is as large as a baby. And you have to grease it before cutting because latex??)
9. Every famous African-American you've ever heard of is from Alabama. You probably know this. But not having any ties to the state before, I never put it all together. Also, the courthouse in To Kill a Mockingbird? Real place, in this state. Some kids in my son's class have been there. (Oh yeah, and there's Helen Keller, too.)
10. Football. Oh, my. We've lived in the SEC before, but I'd sort of blanked that part out. I'm already looking for alternate routes out of my house if necessary (the main connector from our subdivision also connects to a primary highway people use to come into town for games.)
11. A southern accent after a ND/MN accent is almost like another language.
12. The trees. THEY ARE WONDERFUL! I knew I missed trees, but I didn't realize just how starved I was. HUGE pines and oaks and sweetgum. Beautiful. Alabama is a very beautiful place!
13. Our house is wonderful. We moved in sight unseen, and are very relieved that that it worked out. It's larger than our ND house (and doesn't leak!), but it doesn't have a garage, so we have to figure out what to do with things like the lawnmower and garden shovels and bikes, etc. However, it is NINETY YEARS NEWER than our last house, and has things like modern outlets, and water pressure, and level floors. It's kind of wonderful.

I'm sure I'll have more things to say about Alabama, but right now I need to make the daily taxi run, plus unpack more stuff.

Date: 2015-08-15 12:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] robinellen.livejournal.com
I wonder if my SIL knows that a ton of Koreans live in AL? CO is mostly white (though I read recently that there are ~40% Hispanic)...but around here, it's about 90% white and 5% Asian and 5% other ethnicities (though E's class has 20% Asian, 5% Hispanic, and the rest white).

Football is also huge here, though I suspect it's still NOTHING like the South, heh.

Still sooooo glad you have trees and awesome house!

Date: 2015-08-15 12:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] olmue.livejournal.com
Hyundai and Kia have plants within 35 miles or so from here (but this place has the really good school system, so apparently people live here and commute). I think they started about ten years ago, and a lot of the Koreans to come over have school aged kids and are heavy on education. It's not something I expected to see here, but yeah, you go to any school event and everyone around you is speaking Korean. We are seriously going to have to learn a few words. (The funny thing is, my sister HAS been teaching herself Korean, and probably could talk to them...too bad there isn't such thing as a sister brain transfer...)

Date: 2015-08-15 04:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] robinellen.livejournal.com
My brother knows a few words -- but only a few...his in-laws don't speak English, so he says he spends a lot of his time with them just pretending to know what's going on. Ironically, my niece and nephew also don't speak much (just a few words), so they're just as clueless. ;)

Date: 2015-08-15 12:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calepin.livejournal.com
Yay for trees and a house that works!

We're glad of a/c here-- 101 today, supposed to be 104 tomorrow... but it's, you know, a dry heat.

Looking forward to your updates!

Date: 2015-08-15 12:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] olmue.livejournal.com
Yeah, the humidity is pretty staggering. We had it heavy in ND, too, and it's something I've never quite gotten used to. But man, I am glad for the inventor of the air conditioner! Hope you survive your 104!

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