Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Chapter 3

Re-born on the Bayou

The handy-dandy internet has informed me that a post hasn't been published on tis blog since 2009.  I'm glad to see I'm maintaining things so well.
 Dereliction aside, I'm happy to already have the existing space for this: my acclimation to living in one of the weirder places in the United States: New Orleans.

To those that know me, it may seem like a self-deprecating gesture to claim sanity amidst a sea of weirdness, but I have been assured repeatedly that I don't know weird. Yet.

It was suggested that recording my experiences as I acclimate to this new environment might be a worthwhile venture since change always creeps up on us too slowly to notice.

To that end, I will attempt to make note of my initial experiences as a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana from the perspective of a midwestern-born and raised white boy who has never lived in the deep south.

What I know

People down here ain't like people up there.

Culturally, psychologically and perhaps even physiologically people are constructed differently in the deep south.  While I may be tolerant of extreme cold temperatures, (thank-you's to my Minnesota origins) the people here don't seem to notice the oppressive combination of heat and humidity.  Granted, August is a very poor month to move to New Orleans, but we play the hand we're dealt.

Culturally I expect I'll have a lot of interest in discovering how people think in Louisiana.
The history of this region extends much further back than in the heartland and is much more diverse, culturally.  Whether it be european trading, it's role in America's slave trade, it's involvement with the Confederacy or as an important place in the birth of jazz, all of these elements are foreign to my Scandinavian farming plains-dwelling immigrant heritage in the northern part of the country.
People here have cultivated a completely different understanding of life.  I expect to enjoy coming to realizations about these differences, even if I don't agree with their conclusions and/or assumptions.

My mom always assumed it was the heat that made the tempo of life a little slower in the southern United States. Maybe she's right.  Whatever it is, it makes everything from farewells to left-hand turns take frustratingly longer than I'm accustomed to.  Also, I'm not sure turn indicators are installed on cars sold in this state. (See, I can be funny.)

I call this post chapter three because it's the third major move I've made in my career since leaving school.  So far the list reads: Washington DC, Sioux Falls SD and now New Orleans, LA.
It's a diverse portfolio.

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