Monday, January 01, 2007

City Life, Country Life

With my recent decision to commute from home to work, I've had a little time to examine the two lives that I live and make a comparison between them. On the one hand, I've been living "inside the loop" in Houston, which keeps me in the most populated region in the state. On the other hand, I live in a community located six miles north of Port Lavaca, on a waterfront property in the country. Here are some of my comparisons: 1. High Beams. The first time I took a trip home to the country after a long stay in the city I realized that inner loop folks don't know where their high-beams are as they never have any occasion to use them. It took me a few minutes to locate mine on the way home. Living in the country you MUST use your high-beams if you want to avoid impaling critters on your front bumper! 2. Stars. I had absolutely forgotten about the fact that there are stars in the country. I nearly froze to death when I decided to open the sunroof in order to look at the incredible stars on a beautiful cold night on a recent drive home. 3. Puppy Poop. Even after a full year of being an inner looper, I cannot get over the fact that people in Houston walk around picking up doggy doo every day. The first time I noticed the prim and proper in my neighborhood walking around picking up the droppings from their little jewels, my jaw dropped. Just so you city folks know, we in the country would NEVER stoop so low as to have to pick up dog's just not right! 4. Noise levels. If you decide to come and visit me in the country sometime, you may have trouble sleeping at night because it is so very quiet. Absolutely no sirens, car alarms, rumbling trucks, honking horns, stomping upstairs neighbors, or loud music will keep you awake. The occasional hoot owl might be a bit disconcerting however. 5. Convenience shopping. Finally, here's one in favor of the city life. When living in the city, I never have to worry about planning a shopping trip. Anywhere I go, at anytime of the day or night, I'm going to pass the grocery store, bank, post office, movie theatre, and an unbelievable variety of fast food restaurants on the way. Why would I every have to plan a shopping trip? In the country, however, a trip to town is a major event. I first have to decide whether the six mile drive to Port Lavaca will get me to a store that will have what I need, or whether the really BIG trip to Victoria (28 miles) is warranted. I have to make sure I have my list (because I won't be going again anytime soon), and that I have checked to make sure the store is going to be open when I need it. "Going to town" in the country can be a major event and requires planning in order for it to be executed properly! 6. Diversity. Another bonus for the city life is my exposure to the cultural and social diversity that makes life so interesting. In my country home, everyone I meet seems to be cut from a very narrow sliver of lifestyles. We have a large hispanic population in our area (including my husband Leo!), and a small slice of Taiwanese and Vietnamese in the area, although they do not tend to frequent the same places we do. I LOVE the diversity that can be found in all of my classes at the University of Houston, and miss that incredible mixture of people and cultures when I am at home in the country. I'm getting sleepy now, thinking about my 2.5 hour drive back to the city in the morning, so I'm going to bring my list to a close. Look for additional items soon, however, as I'm guessing that my new incredibly long commute is going to present plenty of opportunity for me to work on adding to this list in the near future.

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