I’m currently moving so one of my best friends volunteered to blog for me. I have not read his post so I have no idea what to expect. All I know is that this engineer can’t count. =P
Today I have the honor of filling in for phampants. In lieu of spending the evening writing to you, he is spending the evening moving into his new place. I would introduce myself by my “blogger name” but I don’t have one yet, since this is my first time (I have had just enough computer science to use the appropriate opening line for such an occasion). I was considering writing something that was thought-provoking, discussion-generating, and linked to current events, such as: If Buzz Aldrin, being the second man on the moon, had been the one arresting Dr. Gates for disorderly conduct, would President Obama still have invited Joe Biden to have a beer with them at the white house, given that the high quality tapes of the moon landing had been inadvertently erased in a lunar profiling incident that was likely to have occurred sometime in the eighties? (I’ve been listening to a lot of NPR in the car these days).
…Or not. Instead, as a lifelong Midwesterner whose career has moved him down to Florida, I’d like to explore some of the unique things I’ve noticed since I’ve moved down here.
1. A lot of people think one of the best things about Florida is that it is warm all year round. It is, in fact, true that it is always warm. However, summer down here is a lot like winter up north — instead of snow and cold, the intense heat and humidity makes it so that you really don’t want to hang around outside that much. Case in point: it’s almost 11:00 PM, and the temperature is still 85 degrees. It’s like how everyone loves the snow when they only have to see it for a week.
2. A “drought” is when it rains every other summer afternoon, instead of every day.
3. Florida storms are unique in that they are very localized and usually intense. Sometimes, you can be in a massive downpour, and literally cross the street into the sunshine. I think that is … awesome.
4. Florida consistently ranks at the top of the road rage list. They say it is the combination of impatient young professionals in a hurry, and elderly people out for a sunday drive. I think they forgot to mention that the combination of people from New York, Chicago, practically every state in the nation, plus others from various Latin American, Caribbean, and other parts of the world all have very, very different ideas about the proper way to behave on the roadways. (Side note: I have actually seen a Hawaii license plate down here!)
5. South Florida, in particular, is isolated from the rest of the US — from Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, you have to drive at least 6-7 hours, just to get to the next nearest state. We are closer to the Bahamas and Cuba than Georiga! Also, since the everglades takes up most of the southern tip of the state, it’s a couple hours of nothing between the east and west coasts.
7. The road kill down here includes alligators, but the lobsters down here do not include large claws.
8. I’m a water quality engineer, and the water down here is almost literally backwards compared to the rest of the US. In most places, the surface water has the most organic stuff in it, the groundwater is clear, the highest demands for water occur in the summer when it rains and seeps into the ground. Here, the groundwater has tons of organics and is yellow, the surface water has less organics in it, and the highest demands occur in the winter when everyone comes to visit and it doesn’t rain. This is maybe not too interesting to many other people besides me.
9. It is really, really hard, if not impossible, to find deep dish pizza in southeast Florida. That makes me sad. However, the abundance and variety of other eating establishments is pretty good consolation for that. I have had enough cuban food since I moved down that I am actually starting to like Yucca… kind of. At least we have an understanding now.
10. Despite living in a popular vacation destination, one get surprisingly few visitors after actually relocating there.
Alright, thanks for reading! And now back to your regularly scheduled blogger…