Thirteen Things that are interesting about living in the South again

After more than 20 years of living in DC, Europe, and Hawaii, I’ve finally moved back to the South. It’s an adjustment for sure, but there are some things in the South that you just don’t get anywhere else. Some I like, some I don’t.

1. Grits (properly pronounced, in Alabama anyway, as gri-yuts); nobody cooks ’em like a Southerner (see My Cousin Vinny)

2. Barbecue. Big Bob Gibson’s Barbecue in Decatur, Al, has something like 9 world championships. Believe me, you know it too. Awesome stuff!

3. Southern hospitality. Yep, they’ll start talking to you at the gas station for no apparent reason other than just being friendly. It’s sort of startling, but kind of cool really.

4. Biscuits and gravy.

5. Fried green tomatoes. Tony’s Country Cooking makes the best fried green tomatoes!

6. Sweet tea. Dear Lord in heaven, this stuff will crack your teeth it’s so sweet. In Hawaii, McDonald’s regional specialty was spam, eggs, and rice. Here, it’s sweet tea for a buck.

7. One syllable words become two syllables. Love it! (see gri-yuts above)

8. At any given time, there are about 10 bass boats you can count on the Tennessee River as you drive over the bridge (if you drove up and down the banks, you’d no doubt get a ton more). I wonder where (and if) these guys have jobs because nothing stops those boats from going out.

9. Grown men named Junior.

10. No liquor sales on Sunday (at least in Decatur; Huntsville is more progressive thank goodness). In some places, no liquor sales ever.

11. Smoking allowed in restaurants. I hate that. Huntsville, fortunately, doesn’t allow it. Decatur does. (And, I should note, Europe allows smoking and doesn’t even segregate the sections. At least there are sections here, even if the smoke drifts into the non-smoking area in smaller restaurants.)

12. Alabama versus Auburn. I just don’t get it, but I’m sure I’ll learn. And, holy cow, how the firing of Mike Shula dominated the headlines for a few days! But that’s no different than living in DC and having to put up with non-stop Redskins reports. πŸ™‚

13. Sixty-degree winter days. We’ve had a few cold ones, but far more tolerable ones. It isn’t Hawaii, but I’m not complaining. At least I get to wear my jackets now. πŸ™‚

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