I haven’t been in Indy for very long, but in the past few days, I have learned a few things about my new town that quite frankly, shocked the hell out of me. I know I came up here once before the move, but I didn’t see very much of the area, I didn’t see our house/neighborhood, and it was such a whirlwind trip with the job interview I didn’t take the time to really notice much.
But now that I am up here and driving around and going places I am noticing some things that are pretty surprising, at least to me:
1) The weather? Kind of amazing. Before I got up here, every time I complained about how hot it was in Louisiana John would snootily reply with the (significantly cooler) weather forecast for the Indy area along with something along the lines of “if you were here you could be enjoying this.” He even called himself a “weather snob”, and now that I’m here I can see why. It hasn’t broke 85 since I’ve been here.
Granted, apparently it’s going to get really hot next week, but right now, this feels like fall to me. I took a walk with A last night and there was actually a cool breeze. I’m sure I will feel much differently about the weather come winter, but for now, I’m loving it.
2) Hoosiers are super nice. I mean, I kind of figured they would be; they certainly were nice when I visited in July. I’m from the land of Southern Hospitality, where everyone wants to know how your mama is doing, someone’s heart is always being blessed, and we’ll talk you ear off in the grocery store line without even knowing your name, so I’m used to nice. But this is a different kind of nice. It’s almost an uber politeness that just permeates the whole area.
A couple examples: Yesterday I went to go get gas and pulled up at the same time to the same pump as another dude (opposite sides, we weren’t like, fighting over the gas pump). We got out of our cars at the same time, and he nodded and waved at me like he knew me. When I was getting ready to leave, he did it again. I’m pretty sure that’s never happened to me at a gas station in Baton Rouge. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve always ignored others and been ignored by others at the gas station. Also, when we went grocery shopping yesterday, while I was waiting on my order at the deli counter, two different employees asked me if I had been helped yet. It should be noted these employees were not deli counter workers, but people working other parts of the floor. Also? The same thing happened at Wal Mart while I wandered aimlessly looking for things (why are they all different? Come on, Wal Mart, adopt a universal floor plan). That’s unheard of at any of my Baton Rouge Wal Marts.
So, anyway, people from the Midwest are absurdly nice…so much, in fact…
3) No one seems to have road rage. Or at the very least, I haven’t encountered it yet. And I do feel I would be the one to encounter it. If you live in the Indianapolis metropolitan area, I am the asshole in the blue Hyundai who has no idea where she is going. No, I’m not on my cell phone, I’m not texting, I’m not fiddling with the radio, I just had no idea that lane turned into a right turn only lane. I did not mean or want to cut you off. But no one has even honked at me yet, let alone flipped me off or cursed me out. They even let me over when I need to get in the lane at the last minute. Maybe it’s all because my Louisiana plates and LSU stickers advertise that I am New In Town and therefore clueless, so they just feel sorry for me. Or maybe they are really that cool behind the wheel. Native Hoosiers, please weigh in!
4) It’s really clean. There is, like, no litter. I saw my first piece of trash on the road yesterday, and I was compelled to pull over and pick it up because it looked so out of place. I don’t know if they are really strict about littering, if people here just take pride in their city, or if because so much of their livelihood depends on agriculture, but it’s very clean here.
5) There are trees. When I pictured the Midwest, I just pictured flat farmland (and there is a lot of that, it’s basically corn field, new development, corn field, shopping center, corn field, new development, as far as the eye can see), but surprisingly enough, there are actual trees here. Granted, they aren’t the tall pine trees or sprawling oaks I’m used to, but there are real trees.
These things all pleasantly surprised me, which is nice, because I honestly wasn’t sure how I would feel about this place once I got up here. So far it’s been a good experience. I start work on Monday, which I’m actually looking forward to, because lord knows I am in need of some adult conversation. On that note, if you do happen to live in the Indianapolis area, please feel free to contact me either by email at katy.hotshotmama (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet me @hot_shot_mama because I could use some friends.