I am woefully behind on my taco tour blogging. I have gone to at least three, if not four, new places for tacos, taken pictures, and not blogged about them. But today, I will deviate from my standard, and tell all of you some things I never expected about Ohio. I think that culture shock here has been unexpected, because in many ways, I expected it to be similar to home. It is the small things that making living here so nice, and so, so, so strange. Today, I share the strange. When I first moved here I wrote at least one list of good things about living here that still stand. There are more that I will add in the future.
1. Ice in drinks even in the dead of winter. Even in the Polar Vortex.
2. It is so humid because the land is basically a swamp. Seriously, this morning I went for a walk/jog and was dripping by the time I ran into a friend.
3. I would run into people everywhere I go, and when I do, it is acceptable to stop in the middle of the road, when I am walking and they are driving, to chat. This is less applicable to the entire state, and more applicable to the small town.
4. It is fairly racially homogeneous, especially in rural areas, particularly when compared to the rest of the US. This gives me ample opportunity to think about social class. The state that has the 8th largest GDP in the nation but is 33rd in GDP per capita. (http://www.lsc.state.oh.us/fiscal/ohiofacts/sept2012/economy.pdf)
5. In the 19th century, Ohio had a war with Michigan. Over the city of Toledo.
6. Football is a thing. A religion, even.
7. The military is everywhere. I knew how I could sign up for armed service before I knew where I could get an Ohio driver’s license of register my car. This relates to the economic difficulties cited in # 4.
8. That POW flags exist, and are on display on the main streets of many small towns.
9. There is a pledge of allegiance to the cross. I have never heard it, just heard about it from my students. Thankfully never said in my place of work.
10. Mexican food is everywhere, but when geared towards Midwestern tastes, it is not as good as Mexican food geared towards my tastes. It’s also not chilango (Mexico City-an) food, so really, what’s the point?