In July, I moved from a big city in Florida to a smaller-ish Midwestern town. Since being here, I’ve noticed some slight differences between the two locations.
Here: People smile and wave at you.
There: People give you the finger and steal your parking spots.
Here: Locals talk about having to go “way on the other side of town” which, literally, takes all of 15 minutes. It’s like they feel the need to pack a suitcase, load up the covered wagon with food and water for the treacherous 6-mile journey all the way out to the Westside Walmart.
There: A trip from one side of Orlando to the other consists of hour-long traffic jam delays, stopping to pay $.75 every 2 miles, mapping alternate routes due to construction zones that are NEVER manned by actual workers, road rage, running out of gas because your car’s air conditioning has just sucked all lifeforce out of the tank, not to mention encountering some of the most incompetent, inept, idiodic, incapable, inexpert drivers ever created in the history of the world.
Here: I need coats, sweaters, jackets, gloves, hats, scarves.
There: I needed a gun.
Here: The main thoroughfare through town is called Lloyd Expressway. There are traffic lights and no toll booths. If you happen to get caught by a light, you’ll not sit through more than one cycle, ever. I’ve been on “The Lloyd” at 4:30pm on a Friday afternoon in a construction zone and didn’t spend more than 5 extra minutes.
There: The 5 main highway arteries through Metro Orlando are the Turnpike, the 408, the 417, the Beachline and I-4 (dubiously nicknamed “Die Four” due to its numerous fatal accidents.) As the first four are toll roads, a personal loan approval prior to use is usually required. The 5th, well, let’s just say you’d rather jam rusty nails in your eyes before attempting a commute upon its cracked, bloody pavement.
Here: Me: “Hi, I’m new to town and just bought a house. I need to set up service.” Local utility company: “Well, welcome to Evansville!!! We’re so happy to have you here. Service should be on now. There’s no charge. Have a wonderful day!”
There: Upon calling the local utilities company to transfer service from one name to another, I was told it would cost $250 (regardless of my steller payment history, 12 years of exisiting service and exemplary credit), that they would not be able to complete the transfer for 7 working days and that they required a vile of the blood of my 1st unborn son.
Sale price – $100,000
This immaculate 3 bedroom, 2 full bath home sits on a qreat cul-de-sac lot with a mature tree line in the back! Features include: ceramic tiled eat-in kitchen, large master with walk-in closet and master bath. This open floor plan has french doors off of the great room leading to the new 12 x 12 sunroom overlooking the fenced area and landscaping! There is a new smooth top range, refrigerator, dishwasher, all window treatment, washer and dryer, and yard barn included with this home that is located close to Toyota, great schools, and upscale shopping!
Sale price - $100,000
Smoke alarm, carpet/vinyl, in city limits, sidewalk, close to bus line.
A sampling of local news articles…
Here: Reaction from people when I tell them I moved here from Orlando
There: Reaction from people when I told them I was moving to Evansville, IN
Am I saying that my new town is perfect? Not at all. But it has been nice to leave the bullet proof vest at home when I want to catch a movie at my local theater (Here: $6, commute: 30 seconds. There: $12, commute: 30 mins. )