Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What I didn't know about the South

So far, North Carolina has been an interesting place to live. We live on the Eastern side which is a little more impoverished than the rest of the state. And don't get me wrong, I have liked it here a lot so far (most the time), but here are some things I encountered that I didn't expect to:

- There are a few different forms of the English language. 1- The Southern drawl. 2- Normal English. 3- Country jibberish. We get these real country folk who talk real fast and I am pretty sure its NOT English. I catch a few words here and there, but it is WEIRD. I'd say half the people who were born and raised here have the drawl and half don't. Its kind of strange. After a long day of work I come home saying things like "Its right darn ..." or "Miss Judy said ..." or " If y'all ..." and normal Southern phrases. Things I didn't know before are phrases like "She was cuttin' up" (She was hurting/acting badly) "That was real ugly" (That was real mean/hurtful) "The youngins' (My children) "Co-cola" (coke ... I dunno why they don't add the 'k' syllable) "Pine straw" (pine needles) ... I'm sure there are more.

- If you are female and you are young and black your name will either have a La-, Ta-, Sha-, Shan-, -isha, ish, -ita, -a. When I first started at the hospital, the girls I met were Shankisha, Latasya, KaSheta, Tawanda ... definitely a cultural thing.

- SO, I hve heard Texas is the fatest state overall, but we have got some BIG people. McDonalds, Bojangles, and nearly every other fast food chain always have a line. Although, those are the biggest ones. People LOVE their fried chicken and french fries. Those are 2 big staples of the diet here. It could be that the McDonalds back home are just as busy, but I don't remember it. I also don't remember eating with all the other nurses everyday and seeing so much fried chicken. There is also a great love for macaroni and cheese. Since I also love this one I won't mock it too much.

- I would say one out of every 10 people I see a day is wearing an Obama shirt. In Greenville, about 4 of every 10 are African American. One of these people is wearing an Obama shirt. I think this is actually kind of cool. Since when was there that much support for a president?

- Laziness. I talked with a friend who had spoken with a girl. The government was going to pay for all her living expenses, pay for daycare, and pay for her school if she would go back and get a degree. This is a woman living on the welfare ticket. The girl's response? " They expect me to do that?" Like she was disgusted that somene would expect her to work. Also, I often have patients who in response to me asking, "What do you do when you are not in the hospital?" Say things like "Nothing." "Watch TV." Then it is no wonder that the entire family is visiting all day because none of them do anything either.

- This one is both a pro and a con. When I moved here I was so impressed at home many people went to church and how they would talk about the Lord blessing their lives and their belief in Jesus. I thought this was pretty awesome since in Boise you are either Mormon or agnostic it seems (I know there are exceptions). Anyway, so, I liked the openness and the fact that people were Christian. What I have come to dislike is the fact that many people do what they want and its okay because they are 'saved' or someting like that. Heaven forbid we would actually take counsel to heart. Overall, I think its a good thing, but some people get taken advantage of by preachers and some people don't see that there are commandments and actions that apply to us. (I'm sure this is hypocritical ... I am digging a hole).

- I guess this goes with laziness, but there is so much litter all over every road. It is pretty gross. Plus, there are dead possums, ducks, dear, turtles, raccoons and an assortment of small animals lining the roads.

- There are Southern Belles. There are 2 main schools in town. Pitt Community College and Eastern Carolina University. The Southern Belles go to ECU. They are high maintenance, boutique shopping, 600 $ per day spending girls. I work with nursing students from both schools. I have REALLY liked people from both schools, but in general the PCC students are paying their way through trying hard to get good jobs. Last week I had an ECU student stand around and whine to me about how she didn't want to be a nurse. "Okay, then quit. But I have work to do and I don't want to hear it."

- Gold Teeth. Thats the name of a shop in town. They can do same day work. I'm often surprised at how many people appear to have taken them up on this offer.

- I have met more women here who gave birth to their first child at age 15 then ever before in my life.

- I will reiterate I love the turtles. We saw a huge yellow bellied slider laying in a log sunning today. And a cute little box turtle still trying ot hibernate. A box turtle is the state turtle.

- Tyler got home so I'll wrap this up quickly. Last week I had 2 experiences that opened my eyes to race. Today, I had lunch with a couple people and one was from this area. He informed us that integration started taking place in the mid 70s here. Does that not seem unreal? Greenville is a little behind I suppose. Anyway, so last week I was talking to a 40-50 year old woman. She went off on how whites and blacks are different and people don't realize it. They have no family values, and they only ever join the church for the welfare program. The black boys always like the white girls and the black girls are mean to the white girls. I was a little bit in awe at hearing this. I would guess she has had some negative experiences. Then, 3 days later, my patient 'fired' me. Asked for a new nurse. I hadn't spent more than 3 minutes in the room before this point. She informed me I had an attitude, and I was rude, etc. I thought, "You haven't even met me yet ..." My bosses pulled me in the office to say they had lots of problems with this woman and thay most the white nurses had been fired. I thought they were just trying to make me feel better. But later a white resp therapist went in the room and she came out saying how rude the patient and her husband had been to her. She said "If you guys nedd..." and they interupted and said "Its Mr. and Mrs. So-and-So." That was a new experience for me. I am done ranting for now. If you read this, you are tough.


Morgan and Emily said...

It's amazing - I agree with everything on your list! And I'm from the "South" but didn't experience these things until I moved here! I'm blaming it on East Carolina and not the South.

Trev and Shan said...

Wow. Should I be scared to move to Kentucky? I have a feeling it's going to be quite the culture shock. :o)

Oh yeah...did we ever tell you that we decided on the University of Louisville for sure? Well, we did. We're moving at the beginning of June. I hope you guys come back to B-town before we leave!

Laura said...

You are a great story teller! Keep those coming, that was awesome to read!

Shawn AND Chelsey said...

What a fun adventure!!

Anne B. said...

Hahahaha! Well told.

Janica Ellsworth said...

haha i'd love to hear you say some of those things, i can just imagine it.

Kelly said...

Okay, you don't know me, but I am Heather Moss's sister, and she said I should totally read this post; first of all, it is absolutely hilarious! Second of all, I empathize, I work in a public library/free babysitting service. In a ghetto. Those same people, when not making your life difficult, watching t.v., or standing in line at McDonald's are on 'myspace' at the library. As for the English language...The what? For instance, a child asked to use the telephone to call her mama....The conversation went something like this: "Mama?" (Like she'd forgotten who she called or something) "Yeah, where you at?" I said by way of suggestion, "'Where are you?'" The child gave me this look and shrugged her shoulders as if to say, "I don't know, that's why I'm calling." She continues, "Huh? Naw, I'm at de liberry, on de compruter. Huh? Yeah, Naw, I cain't get in the house, you gotchore key?" All I could think was, 3 shelves away sits the complete works of Shakespeare, and this is what we've come to.....Anyway, enjoyed the post, very funny!

Tyler & Katie Rice said...

Kelly- I'm glad you appreciated it. I bet you see even more than I do. ... and I loved the story. sometimes hearing people talk here makes no sense to me.

Tieky Torch said...

I agree with you and Emily! I haven't seen it this bad and I'm from Raleigh! Daniel is getting tired of the lazy black people everywhere we go as well. I love having Christians around, but yes they are hypocrites to the extreme sometimes. Great stories!

Tyler & Katie Rice said...

its not lazy black people. its lazy all people. i think when i wrote this i had a lazy caucasian in mind.

Marina said...

Wow... that's all I need to say. I love the South!!!