If you know me, or if you have met me, you know I was born and raised a southerner. I was born in North Carolina and lived there most of my life until I moved to Atlanta in May of 2012. I’m used to warmer weather and super friendly people.
Then my boyfriend dragged me to the north. Just kidding Jarrett! I was happy to move with him to the arctic.
Ever since my travels to the north began a few years ago, I have noticed some very apparent differences. It’s not always a bad difference, but it is definitely a difference. There are definitely certain things southerners in general should know before making this transition:
1. The fast food options are different. I sincerely miss Bojangle’s, Sonic, Zaxby’s and a few other typical southeast fast food restaurants. Burger King and McDonald’s are, of course, still around. I really do miss southern-style restaurants in general.
2. Sweet tea does not really exist. If you go to a restaurant and ask for tea, nine times out of ten it will be unsweetened. I personally do not like sweet and low, but that is what you have to do to get sweet tea. There are alternatives though! My favorite is raspberry tea and orange tea that most places seem to have. Again, McDonald’s still has sweet tea up here, but I swear it tastes slightly different.
3. Southern-style restaurants up here are not really southern-style. They’re just not. It’s different. Some are a good attempt, but do not be fooled.
4. Everything and I mean everything is more expensive. From gas, to general grocery products, to typical household items and more… everything will cost you more.
5. A heavy coat is the first thing you should buy. I actually had to go to Indiana to even find a big winter coat since they were nonexistent in Atlanta, but you definitely need a BIG coat. As I’ve learned, it is not exactly about being fashionable because everyone will have one these large, bubble-like coats around you. Get a long, thick coat. It is absolutely essential.
6. While you’re at it, you need a good hat, gloves, socks and other layering items. The wind up here is ridiculous and the cold chills to the bone. I do not leave the house without gloves and a hat. Most heat escapes from your head as I’ve been told. One layer does not do it and you have to wear socks or pantyhose/tights with every single thing.
7. Some people, not all of them, are just not as friendly. They’re just not. There is not a whole lot of small talk and people are busy and in a hurry. A lot of conversations are concise and to the point. People do not seem to help each other out as much either. It takes a little getting used to.
8. You have to pay to park EVERYWHERE. Do not leave the house without some change or some cash. It’s unbelievable. No such thing as free parking. If you do not have cash to pay, you will get ticketed and have to pay more.
That’s what I have learned so far. I suppose it is a bit comical to read this if you were born and raised in the north, but it is a different type of place for a southern girl like me. Hopefully I will adjust soon!