Monday, June 2, 2008

Culture Shock: Part 2

I never thought I lived life in the fast lane back in Los Angeles. In fact, I often became annoyed with people who exhibited impatient behavior, whether on the freeway or in line at the grocery store. Really, does the five seconds you save by barking at the cashier really make that much of a difference in your day?

So I didn't think I would have any problem adapting to a slower pace. We were warned, after all. On one of our initial trips to Asheville, we met a woman who had moved here from a big city and ominously told us not to expect a quick meal at any restaurants in the South.

People here aren't in any hurry, it seems. And apparently, I am so used to rushing around, part of the big Los Angeles machine, always set to high speed, that I didn't even realize it. So now the wait in any line seems interminable to me. Oh my God, when someone asks "How are you?" here, they really want to know! And people will respond and tell them! At length!

Restaurants in Los Angeles want you in and out as soon as possible. No time to dilly-dally! But here, they seem to expect you're going to take your time and stay a while. The other night, our dinner of wine and cheese took two-and-a-half hours! No one seems in any hurry to bring or take your check, either. It's as if they think dinner should be relished and enjoyed and that conversation is more important than turn-over. What the hell?

I'm doing my best to take a deep breath and relax when I start to feel like blowing a whistle and hustling people along. "Move it! Move it! I don't have all day, people!" We came here for a change of pace, so I know I need to try to fit in and enjoy that. Maybe more wine will help. I'll start having an extra glass or two with breakfast. Don't worry, it'll be 5:00 by the time the check comes.

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