First of all, I have moved East.
But to clarify, we’re talking New York City Metro area east, not like the land of the rising sun.
I’ve explicitly forbidden myself to become homesick – at least until 2017 – because out here, the city preys on weakness and I shan’t allow myself to fall victim like all the failed folk who came before me. So that’s not what this is. But as a child of the midwest, I must say … it’s difficult to get off the horse.
Okay so there are a few things I miss about my home state, Oklahoma and it’s surrounding turf.
For sure, you’re probably like … wait, what? But honest to god, in Oklahoma I can’t remember a time where I had a really bad experience with a homeless person. They were civil and mostly just asked you for money politely and took a ‘no’ solemnly and let you go on your way.
Here? I told a homeless person that I didn’t have any cash and his reply was “muh fuckah.”
Every time I get onto a subway, I think about the fact that I’m not (at this moment) physically conditioned to have a fight to the death defending my own life. But I try to make up for it by being at least 83% prepared for someone to come at me with a scythe, mentally. Cause it’s a battleground out here.
One of my visiting friends and I watched a guy argue with the subway wall from Times Square to Cortland Street, which – for those who aren’t familiar with New York – is long enough for someone to walk out on an argument. But this guy was committed to letting the subway train’s wall know the lay of his thoughts on whatever the disagreement was.
They scare me man.
This should’ve been right from jump, but really. Now I’m sure any midwesterners who are reading this are rolling their eyes, but let me tell you; people on the East Coast have no idea what the fuck is going on vehiclularly. And yes, I made that word up.
Get this, out here one really can’t shit the bed too bad, when it comes to driving.
In Oklahoma there are roads where you can go 65 mph, hell 70-75 mph on high ways and that’s the speed limit. Not accounting for the fact that people speed, right? And there’s enough space that people actually, ya’ know, drive fast.
Here, well there are too many people. So if you’re city driving you’re probably doing like 30 miles per hour for a block and then you’ll hit a stop light or some pedestrian will walk out into the road and just expect you not to run their silly ass over.
Sorry, that image was probably in poor taste. But really watch it. It keeps getting funnier to me, probably because I’m a bad person. Like the little girls glasses came off. And the mother! Her reflexes are apparently better than the two kids. They took it like champs though.
I apologize. Feel free to stop reading and never come back. I’d understand.
Anyway, the lack of space, slow driving speeds inner city, pedestrian bravery, among other things has resulted in East Coasters just forgetting how to drive. I watched a lady parallel park and hit the two cars in front and behind her like they were some sort of guides to know when to shift gears and move the car in the other direction.
Ambulances and fire trucks and police cars will be flying with their lights and sirens on, but no one really gives a shit.
I think horns are like a culture out here, cause it’ll be bumper to bumper traffic where there’s literally no where to go, a light will turn green and everyone immediately lay on the horn as if the lead person is supposed to just ram their car into the people stuck in the intersection.
If you are ever driving in NYC, I challenge you: don’t use your mirrors or signals, just merge into a lane without looking, even if a car is next to you. It’s such a train wreck on the street that someone will already be honking for something unrelated, so what’s another horn? They’ll probably make some rude gesture or something, but eventually you’ll arrive safely in your lane.
Or just stop your car in the middle of the road and just get out and go do something. Literally, nothing will be out of the ordinary.
Really there are no rules. Just do you.
Another weird one to the common man, but crime in Oklahoma… Well, it’s less dramatic. Our news features feel good stories. Local dog participates in marathon. New cookie shop opens up that is 24 hours. You know, there’s filler because it’s not all bad.
Well, last week several people started texting me at once asking if I was okay. At the time I didn’t know what the heck was going on, cause I was lying in bed binge watching Breaking Bad.
Meanwhile, a few miles away? A bomb went off in a local dumpster.
Couple weeks before that, a cop got attacked with a meat cleaver.
Now don’t get me wrong, Oklahoma’s no stranger to bombings. Actually I think the state holds the record for largest domestic act of terrorism. But that was in the 90’s.
I’d trade the chances of dying in Oklahoma vs. here any day of the week.
Seven times I’ve plotted the destruction of my own car because of parking. The only thing that’s stopping me is that I actually do enjoy having a car. There’s, I don’t know, freedom in a vehicle. Even if there is literally nowhere to park the damn thing.
Oh and there’s such a thing as street cleaning. Which means that even in my own neighborhood, I have to move my car on Monday’s, Tuesday’s, Thursday’s, and Friday’s.
On a completely unrelated note, if anyone knows how to safely blow up a car without becoming a terrorist, please let me know.
Mainly I miss the people in Oklahoma. Not the citizens, to be clear. Honestly Oklahomans are dickheads and that state never makes national news for anything respectable. It’s always something like “protestors greet the president with Confederate flags” or “school chants n-word on bus” or the like.
But you know, every state has those people.
Talking about family and friends here. Cause it’s hella’ far away. But I don’t want to go into that too much cause I plan on posting about how I’m actually enjoying the East Coast soon, and what the move has sorta meant.
And really, these things aren’t so bad.
Well, terrorism and crime are pretty bad. But mostly, this post was just about me bitching cause this place is different and I like to whine.
An old college mate recently quoted one of our professors who said: “You can hold your own. Remember… Life doesn’t start until you’re out of your comfort zone.”
And so it goes.