I have officially lived in the South for over a year now. During my time in Arkansas, it has been a culture shock for someone that grew up in New England. New England is great, there they have four true seasons, a rich history of the country, and some amazing places to go on vacation and make memories at. And I knew living in the South would be different, but I didn’t realize how different it would be. Here I have put together the five things that still surprise me about living in Arkansas.
05. Drive-Thurs Everywhere
Personally, I feel like the South should be known as the land of drive-thrus. In the small town I live in there are around ten different fast food places you can get food from without leaving your car. But the drive-thrus don’t stop here, they also have them for different types of stores as well. The South has drive-thrus for liquor stores as well. Even though I personally have not gone through them, they are everywhere, which surprised me because of the don’t drink and drive law. You can also drive around and see drive through for smoke shops too. I’m not sure what it is about the South that loves drive-thrus and perhaps I’ll never know.
04. Same Country, But Different Food
I know the South is famous for its food, but I didn’t think it would be too different than what I had experience in New England. The South loves their fried foods, and they will try to fry anything. From fried chicken to fried catfish and anything in between, they will fry it all. The other huge difference that caught me off guard was the type of food in the grocery stores. You can even go to a store and get alligator nuggets to cook or you can hear stories of people hunting squirrels to put into their stews. But since I’m vegan I find that I’m going to stick to eating my fruits and veggies and leave it to more adventurous eaters
03. Rice Fields & Farmland
In New England, we have farms for both animals and food, but the farms in New England are nothing compared to the farmland in Arkansas. Farms in New England are small, with their land being maybe 2 acres if they are lucky. Arkansas has farmland everywhere! You can even look at a rice field for miles on end because of the demand for food the South provides. One of our friends that we have made hear owns a small farm of only 500 acres. 500 is a lot of land, but our friend thinks it small because he sold off a lot of his farm so he can semi-retire, and here I was being amazed by the farms in New England.
02. The People
One of the best parts of the South is definitely the people who were born and raised here. It doesn’t matter if it’s our neighbor, a friendly cashier, or a complete strange you can always feel the amazing southern hospitality that the South provides. There have been numerous times where our neighbor has helped us out or looked out for us when we had questions or needed help. Our neighbors are the best people you could ever ask to live next too and are always ready for a great conversation. Even just complete strangers can give you goosebumps because they are genuinely nice and curious about what brought my fiance down to a little town in Arkansas and how we are liking the town.
01. Can’t Run a Quick Errand
One day after my fiance and I moved here we placed in an order at a restaurant in town for me to pick up and bring home for lunch. They told us it should be ready in about fifteen minutes so I decided I was going to run to the bank before I got the food. Well that was when I learned you can’t just run a quick errand in the South. There I was inside the bank just wanting to deposit a check and I ended up having a full conversation with the teller about the mosquitoes that we deal with because we leave by the rice fields as well as how hot the summer was. It was great to have a genuine conversation, but now I know to give myself time when I have errands to run.
Leave a comment down below if you have moved someplace where the culture was completely different and let me know how you liked it!