Sunday, July 13, 2008

In Vermont, “BBQ” Means “Cookout”

This post is about cultural differences. Sometimes, we don’t realize what our culture is until we’re thrust into another one.

Example #1: Yesterday, dinner was scheduled as “BBQ on the college green.” One of my classmates, Katie, and I were sitting on the grass reading our workshop pieces for the next day. “Are we having hamburgers and hotdogs?” Katie asked as the smell of charcoal wafted our way. “Because that would be odd since we had that for lunch.”

I replied, “I thought we were having BBQ.”

Knowing where I’m from, Katie understood my confusion. “Do you mean pulled pork or pulled chicken?” she asked.

I didn’t really. “I meant brisket.”

Katie asked, “What’s brisket?”

She’d heard of it before, but thought that it was some kind of Mexican meat. I further realized my ideas on BBQ when I went through the food line. I was incensed when people passed up the potato salad. Alright, so it was fancy potato salad with no mustard and made out of red new potatoes, but how can you eat BBQ without potato salad? I got potato salad and coleslaw, noting the lack of charro beans. As I neared the end of line, where people were serving themselves lemonade with a ladle, I set down my plate and began looking for the sweet tea.

I guess this proves that I lived in East Texas for four and a half years.

Example #2: I was sitting at a picnic table today, writing a letter, when a few scattered drops fell from the sky. I heard people say, “It’s raining!” and head briskly toward a building. I stayed and enjoyed it. My paper barely got a few drops. Later on, when the rain grew harder, someone said, “Take an umbrella if you go out. It’s pouring!” I came out (on my way here actually). It’s raining, not pouring. My bag didn’t even look like it had the measles, just some acne. If my bag and I aren’t soaked by the time I get from one place to the other, it’s not pouring.

So, those are just some of the cultural differences that I’ve noticed here in Vermont. :-D

P.S. It feels like early fall here, not the middle of July. Which is good, considering the dorms have no AC.

P.P.S. Some of my classmates and I played Apples to Apples last night, and “The South” won for “Distinguished,” so I’m not alone here! :-D

Friday, July 11, 2008

Airport Adventures

So here I am! I'm at residency! I'm thinking that I might make a new blog just for writing things, and I'll keep this one as my blog on life to keep friends updated.

So, adventure one! I didn't go to sleep until 1:00 am the night before my flight to Vermont. No matter how much I prepare for a trip, I seem to always be packing until late into the night. I got about three hours of sleep as Paul and I had to get up at 4:15 am to get to the airport by 5:00 am for my plane, which was scheduled to leave at 6:23 am. (They schedule planes to leave at strange times.) As soon as we got into the car, I started feeling extremely nauseas. My stomach had been upset the day before, and I thought it was due to lack of sleep, but I think maybe that I had some food poisoning. We got to the airport and I managed to check-in at the kiosk. Paul and I went over to drop off my suitcase with security, and TA DA!! the electricity went out! They had a few lights on a back-up generator. They kept blinking on and off, on and off. That did not help my nausea. All of the security stuff went out, so they had to do pat downs and manual bag searches. We waited in the security line for about an hour (Paul held my stuff while I sat on the floor and tried to ignore the lights.) The electricity finally came back on, about the time I ran to the bathroom and threw-up. I felt better after that.

My flight was an hour late in arriving, so I missed my connecting flight (by around 20 minutes :-( ), which meant that I missed the bus to get me the 45 minutes from the airport to the school. Thankfully, they had another flight late that afternoon. So I was stuck in the airport for around 4 hours. I had an expensive McDonald's wrap for lunch and read Nero Wolff. I wound up on the same flight as another new student, so we talked. We also shared a cab to the school with two other students.

We missed dinner, so I ate dinner around 9:30 at an Irish pub. I ordered a ham and cheese panini thinking that cheese meant cheddar. It didn't. So, I didn't eat much of my sandwich. I mostly showed down on the sweet potato fries. They were good, but I don't think they were as good as the ones I had in Montana.

Today is the second day of activities. I just finished a lecture. I should probably get to lunch soon, and then it's off to workshop and another lecture after that. I'm halfway through with my quota of lectures already! But I'll go to more.

Well, I just got hungry, so I guess I'm off. Hope everyone is doing well!!

P.S. I know more than 8 people getting married or just married this summer!!! Insane! But I'm so happy for everyone! :-D

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Paul and I went to the museum today. Admission is free from 3pm-8pm on Tuesdays. We packed up some sandwiches and ate them in the car after we had parked. The weather was very pleasant, with some rain and a nice breeze. We got into the museum at about 3:20 and we stayed until they closed at 8. We had a lot of fun. We got to see some old photographs (I thought of Visual Literacy) and a lot about wildlife around here.