Re: Home

1

How long, after moving somewhere, does it take for the new location to feel like home?

When you start complaining about all the trivial bullshit the long-time locals complain about but visitors don't even notice, and get defensive about the serious problems that visitors notice, but the locals don't even notice.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 6:11 AM
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Screwed up my chiasm, booooo


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 6:13 AM
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I've lived in North Carolina since I was 3, and in Durham/Chapel Hill since I was 9. Inertia, bitches!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 6:19 AM
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For me, more than two years. That's the longest I've been away from my hometown, and it wasn't long enough to change where home was.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 6:24 AM
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Michigan only felt somewhat like home, by the time I left, but Austin felt like home within a week or two. It was a huge relief to move there.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 6:25 AM
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Follow up question: Which semi-realistic location would give you the deepest sense of dread, if you had to move there for a good reason?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 6:29 AM
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It's taken ten years for Pittsburgh to feel like home. Possibly because the streets are so confusing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 6:30 AM
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Depends what you mean by 'feels like home'. One early criteria for me is when my mental map of the place goes from being a jumbled set of bits and pieces anchored to transit stops to being a coherent whole. Another is when I know I'll miss the place when I leave (doesn't apply to living in small German cities).

there was enough childhood internalization for it to feel comfortable, fast.

When I moved to Poland after college the familiarity actually made me feel more homesick and out of place. There wasn't the pleasure of discovering something new, but all the displacement of actually living someplace very different. The same happened when I moved to the US for college. It felt familiar instantly, but was definitely NOT home. Every little bit that was different in a bad or even neutral way was a little stab of homesickness. For many years after moving away I got immense pleasure from just walking the streets of Geneva to refamiliarize myself and reconnect with what remained 'home'.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 6:32 AM
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For 6, I'm so burned by Michigan that I can't think of anything worse. Specifically the relentless low, gray cloud cover. That sucked the colors and life out of the world, and coated everything with that gray winter film.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 6:33 AM
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Apparently it takes me about a year. I'm a cheap date?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 6:34 AM
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I've been here practically all of my life, but cheesy as it may sound, I feel much more at home and a part of the community now that I have kids. I want them to know the history and geography of the area, see how their families lived here too. Before, I always felt like I lived here but really belonged somewhere else.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 6:37 AM
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9 Reminds me of my reaction to Poland - grey low skies, short grey days, grey concrete slab projects, grey muddy dirty open air bazaars, grey-black grime on everything from the pollution, grey grimy mud and slush, grey grimy coal scented air. I moved their at the end of the summer and homesickness started really hitting in October. Eventually, as I got to know people and the city, I got to actually like Warsaw, but it's not a pretty city. (What's the difference between Warsaw and Prague? In Warsaw every new building makes the city prettier, in Prague every new building makes it uglier.)


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 6:41 AM
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Which semi-realistic location would give you the deepest sense of dread, if you had to move there for a good reason?

I had serious dread about moving to New York City, but it ended up working out well and now I miss it.

At this point, I would dread moving to a large Asian city. Bangkok was on the table recently. The commute sounded miserable.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 6:51 AM
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Prague does have the big advantage of having been left basically untouched during WWII. How badly did Warsaw get it?

The cities that were flattened really got doubly screwed because the urgency of rebuilding meant that a lot cheap ugly stuff went up because it could be done quickly.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 6:54 AM
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6 isn't hypothetical for me, because I lived in Mississippi for two years. I lived in the South for nearly 20 years and never felt at home.

I have a very strong sense of "home," but also career interests that keep me moving. If I had a choice in the matter, I'd do what my younger brother did: buy a house within a mile of the house we grew up in, and stay put. As it is, I've moved from one metropolitan area to another nine times.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 6:54 AM
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Which semi-realistic location would give you the deepest sense of dread, if you had to move there for a good reason?

I'm a Londoner, so anywhere north of the Watford Gap, obviously.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 6:55 AM
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6: Florida.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 6:56 AM
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More seriously, I'll be able to answer this question better in a couple of weeks, when I move south of the river for the first time. Exchanged contracts yesterday.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 6:56 AM
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I'm on Metro Area #9 myself.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 6:57 AM
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Manchester, definitely. Or Frankfurt.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 6:57 AM
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Though I like "semi-realistic" which gives me a bit more scope. The Dead Marshes. Ringworld. Deep Space Nine.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 6:58 AM
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21: Still Florida.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:00 AM
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Though I like "semi-realistic" which gives me a bit more scope. The Dead Marshes. Ringworld. Deep Space Nine.

Only hard sci-fi locations allowed.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:02 AM
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How badly did Warsaw get it?

It got badly bombed at the start of the war, then the Ghetto got razed to the ground, then it got bombed and shelled even more badly during the Warsaw Uprising, then the Germans did their best effort at blowing up every building before retreating.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:03 AM
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Hawaii would fill me with agoraphobic dread. I'm sure it's lovely on a daily basis, but it feels so easy to fall into the pacific. Plus if I thought Texas was hard to travel from...


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:03 AM
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The South Bay.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:06 AM
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Took five or so years for the DMV to seem homey - a change of administration. But I've never entirely left my roots - "relentless low, gray cloud cover" and cool temps for a few days remind me forcibly of Mobyburgh. Moving back there would give me a headache, although I don't mind visiting.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:06 AM
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Or New Jersey.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:06 AM
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a student told me that his parents gave him the choice of an apartment or an RV when he went to Heebie U, and he chose the RV for good-hearted if murky financial reasons. Nevertheless, an RV kind of seems like a great choice for a college student in a rural area

Chemistry major, right?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:07 AM
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24 reminds me of a conversation last night with a Polish academic psychologist: "I am very interested in studying clinical depression. I think this is because I am Polish."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:07 AM
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In principle, I don't dread living anywhere; there are bound to be compensations, and you have to find them.

There was a period when I was just starting to do what I do now when it looked like good projects might often be located in small cities within a few hundred miles. I formed a plan then to live in a travel trailer if I got one of those and the pay made it worthwhile. As it turned out, I only once spent two weeks living in a friend's vacation cabin near one of those off-off sites.

But the travel trailer idea sticks with me: I can almost see the hanging shirts moving slightly in the breeze...


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:11 AM
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Is the question how soon one belongs somewhere new as opposed to the last place (or some other former place) or how soon one belongs somewhere in relation to the people already there? For me, the latter has more or less been never -- everywhere I've lived, I've lived as a person from somewhere else. On the other hand, this means that when I move from stranger in a strange place A to stranger in a strange place B, it usually doesn't take much time at all to feel like B is more of a home than A.

On the dread side, I lack imagination as to what might be realistic.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:16 AM
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Even semi realistically, I won't move anywhere else, but Dallas, Houston and the South Bay have been semi realistic possibilities in the past that filled me with total dread.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:16 AM
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From the bits I've seen of Atlanta's suburbs, and from the handful of Georgians that I've met, that smoking bar where you wait to change Delta flights is a local highlight. So Atlanta's suburbs would be a close toss-up with a town in Europe where I didn't speak the language, say Chemnitz.

But physical setting is only one tiny slice of what makes life hellish. How about needing to keep happy in a professional capacity a set of three influential individuals who hate each other and none of whom respect you professionally-- I nominate an unrestrained version of Paula Dean, a reincarnation of Mao with amplified OCD, and a crossfit-obsessed libertarian who always speaks too loudly and too long.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:18 AM
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Moving anywhere pretty much fills me with dread.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:20 AM
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Probably about 2 years for me.

I'm actually the only member of my family who has ever lived more than about 25 miles from where we were born.

Of course that was by the beach in Southern California, so maybe the joke is on me...


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:25 AM
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Oh, if financial reality gets factored in-- Tokyo is a nice place to visit, but holy shit being a foreigner there for any length of time would be really tough. Apparently commutes near 2 hours are basically normal.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:26 AM
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The thought of moving right now makes me want to curl up in a little ball and whimper. It's on the cards, though, as I hope to buy a house in a year or so. Making that a real home will be an interesting challenge.

My current apartment didn't feel like home for nearly five years, but that is because I put no effort into making it homey. Once I put stuff up on the walls and bought some furniture it began to fell like home.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:26 AM
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I always wanted to move to St. Helena.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:27 AM
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@39

I think you have to conquer most of Europe first.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:36 AM
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I always wanted to do that, too.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:41 AM
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I once seriously considered something in Delano, California. Brr.

One issue I have with myself is that I self-identified as an urbanite who wouldn't be happy elsewhere, but I don't actually take advantage of city entertainments, get to know new people, etc., with any frequency.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:49 AM
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I went to college after living in the same house for my entire life, but it never felt like home. I think it's because my mother made such a fuss about how awful the area was and how they were moving back to CA as soon as my father retired (which he put off for quite a long time). I thought they'd move a couple of years after I finished college. Northern CA and Maine, where my grandparents lived (and I visited basically every year) feel more like home than my actual hometown.

I feel at home almost anywhere pretty quickly. I think it's partly because I have a terrible sense of direction, so I never reach a stage of actually knowing my way around. I don't know which cardinal direction I'm traveling (unless there's a large body of water nearby), and I use GPS to get anywhere I don't frequently go. Even walking.

The only place I've ever totally hated the feel of was northern NJ. We went to a friend's wedding there, and I left petrified that I'd end up with a job there. I couldn't wait to leave.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:57 AM
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I think the flora keeps me from thinking of anything outside of the East Coast as home. Living in the Bay Area never felt like home. The dry rolling hills and lack of lush forests felt particularly wrong. Similarly, Utah doesn't feel like home even after living here for four years, but it feels like a place I want to stay because it's the right compromise. We almost moved to Washington and the idea of that was terrifying; however, I'd move to Virginia immediately if both me and my husband had solid job prospects there.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:01 AM
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42.last: That's me. I'm a committed New Yorker, obviously, but I have little or no interest in live music, theater, the fashion industry -- museums a bit more, but not a crazy amount -- world-class restaurants, non-world-class but seriously authentic ethnic restaurants, um, what else do people come to New York for? For me, it's about the subways and people on the streets who behave comprehensibly, and not needing a car to go grocery shopping, which is something that I'm vaguely phobic about. The idea of not being able to get food on foot disturbs me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:03 AM
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Where would I dread? Anyplace I had to get around by car, and walking wouldn't get me to any plausible destinations... I probably wouldn't mind it much, but I think it'd be bad for me. I'd turn into even more of a hermit than I am now.

Language barriers would bother me as well. But anyplace walkable in the Anglosphere, I'd probably be fine with.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:07 AM
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(I should say that I'm not phobic about driving. I'm kind of a lousy driver, because I've done it very little in my life, but I enjoy it and I'd be fine with a month or two when I had to drive daily. It's not the driving itself I'd mind, it's something about needing a car.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:11 AM
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Anyplace I had to get around by car, and walking wouldn't get me to any plausible destinations... ?

Oh, yeah, that goes without saying for me, as I can't drive.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:14 AM
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I think the flora keeps me from thinking of anything outside of the East Coast as home.

Growing up, my mental model of the world held that the default state of nature was temperate hardwood forest, with everything else being somehow weird and exotic. It wasn't until late in adulthood that I understood just how unusual that particular biome is globally, outside of the eastern U.S. and a little patch of Europe.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:15 AM
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47: I'm largely in the same boat. I love driving and we often structure long vacations around using a car, but I'd hate having to drive every day.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:17 AM
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I could probably adjust to living anywhere with a Mediterranean climate. Contra Liz, so long as there are dry mountains on the horizon, I could probably come to accept a place. But I can't imagine myself at home anywhere but west of the Sierras.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:18 AM
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I also could not handle speaking another language so poorly that I couldn't be funny. It would take years for me to get there with any other language, so those would be years of being thwarted.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:19 AM
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I feel impelled to speak up for the rootless cosmopolitans here. I've lived and worked in DC for ten years, but is it home? Meh. The free museums are nice and there are a few weeks in the spring and fall every year when this feels like a real place.

I do retain a touch of a childhood feeling that NYC is the center of the universe, which is funny because I've never actually lived in any of the five boroughs and I don't at all feel that the suburbs where I actually did live as a kid were home. Nevertheless -- New York is the City, and other places qualify as small-c cities only insofar as they share in some of its qualities.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:21 AM
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I also could not handle speaking another language so poorly that I couldn't be funny.

This.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:23 AM
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53.last: I've only visited NYC, but it's most definitely The City, with all others subsidiary to it. London feels a little bit like that to me, too.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:23 AM
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When I was living in Morocco about four months in I made the mistake of reading "Lake Wobegone Days" which made this native New Yorker seriously homesick. Which felt weird.

I would dread living in the deep south, Alabama or Georgia or Mississippi or the like but I'm sure I'd make the most of it. Or land up in the hospital for disparaging the stars bars and loudly proclaiming my admiration for the military genius of William Tecumseh Sherman.

I'm currently applying for some positions and if my first two preferences don't pan out I hope the one in a certain former Soviet Central Asian republic does. Should be fun.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:24 AM
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52,54: Reminds me that I need to get on my project of learning Spanish so I can retire to Belize and slowly go crazy.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:25 AM
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55: The funny thing is that I don't really feel that way. I mean, I'm attached here, but show me anyplace with a walkable commercial downtown and residential neighborhoods with sidewalks within easy walking distance of a shopping street, and I will recognize it as the same sort of thing as NYC. The difference between what I think of as a real city and everyplace else is much bigger for me than the difference between The City and lesser cities. (I mean, NYC is the center of the world, but that's just objective fact.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:27 AM
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My expat friend whom I generally trust to tell me about the world says there are only four true world cities. New York, London, Paris and Cairo. He is living in Hong Kong now, so I wonder whether he'll add that to the list. But I think I asked him about HK when we had that conversation and he thought it didn't cross into the same category.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:31 AM
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56.2: During the phase where my job horizon was two months, extended at the last minute for another two for over a year I was seriously considering going to The University of Alabama Huntsville to get a Masters in Aerospace Engineering. I have connections that would almost guarantee I could get in and have a good RA. But Alabama, man... Ala-fucking-bama. If it had been Florida or Washington or anyplace outside the Bible belt I'd likely have gone for it. But Alabama? I'd go nuts.


Posted by: toglosh | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:31 AM
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But Alabama, man... Ala-fucking-bama.

I know, I even hate that fucking song.

59 Cairo is great, if you're not female. (Although I've known some women who manage and a few, very few who liked it).


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:36 AM
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We've been in our current flat 4 months and it feels like home. But we've lived in the same London borough before and have friends within 5 minutes walk.

My nightmare location would probably be back in small town Scotland. Great place to grow up and I miss Scotland in general a lot but adult me could never live in Falkirk.

Other nightmare location, I'm in it. I don't really like London. Lots of specific things I like, but the pathologies of London living and how many (but by no means all) Londoners are, make the whole experience suboptimal.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:39 AM
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The thought of moving right now makes me want to curl up in a little ball and whimper.

That's my general feeling -- I hate moving.

I've ended up living in the same area that I grew up in, because there was a certain smell of sea air (and, as it turns out, a particular micro-climate of sea air) that I missed anywhere else.

Of places that I've been, Phoenix is the city that feels like it would be most soul-crushing. But Dallas would probably be worse, and I am terrible with languages so I'm sure there are cities that would be even worse.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:40 AM
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A university town, like Huntsville, in the south, is really truly fine. There would be a gigantic presence of transplants, and a sizable progressive feel. Really.

I mean, maybe I just don't understand how repulsive you guys would find being near conservative people, but like has been said elsewhere, the south is the same as ten miles outside any metropolis in this country.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:44 AM
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@63

My impression of Phoenix is that it's all the downsides of the L.A. basin with none of the upsides.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:47 AM
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64: I've heard good things about Huntsville, and in Mississippi, Oxford is tolerable.

Starkville, though, ugh.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:47 AM
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A university town, like Huntsville, in the south, is really truly fine. There would be a gigantic presence of transplants

JA! IS TRUE!


Posted by: Opinionated Wernher von Braun | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:47 AM
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Holy crap when did become ok to out oneself as a bigot? As long as the object of one's bigotry is a rural hick?


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:52 AM
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My nightmare location would probably be back in small town Scotland.

Noooo! It would be like a remake of Local Hero but with a (re-)transplanted Scot! (God, I love that movie.)
(Although I guess that is the plot of that cheezy television show. Oh no, his terrible London girlfriend is coming to visit! What will the bonny local lass think?!)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:54 AM
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68: Always?


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:57 AM
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If I get started on this topic I will write one of those endless, earnest comments that sits there like the last French fry. So I will just say "a long time, like five years" and sit here humming "Where is Love?", but in a confident, self-sufficient way.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:57 AM
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I confess that I do find being in the company of people who think,for example, that Sarah Palin is some kind of brilliant political commentator tedious at best. If that makes me a bigot, so be it. I dislike gun culture, jingoistic displays of patriotism, and evangelical christianity. I try to engage with people like that from time to time, but being surrounded by them 24/7 would wear on me in pretty short order. I get sufficient doses of that sort of thing from interactions with family, thankyouverymuch.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:58 AM
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My nightmare location would probably be back in small town Scotland.

It's nice to be reminded that one's idyllic fantasy is someone else's soul-crushing prior.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:00 AM
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71: I never really pictured you as a Haddaway fan.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:00 AM
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64. I lived in Columbus through grad school. The football worship and very strong sense of local identity was pretty polarizing. Either you belonged or didn't, very little possibile ambiguity.

However, unlike places where interaction with foreigners or outsiders is seen as a basically normal part of life, outsider attitudes were grounds for effective shunning. For me at least, the problem isn't conservatism, it's insularity.

I've enjoyed the company of lots of people with a pretty rigid outlook rooted in outdated assumptions. Usually, we'd find topics or pastimes that we agreed on, and wouldn't discuss religion or whatever. If a delicate topic came up, courtesy, mutual respect, etc. IME that's missing for a pretty big subset of cracker-Americans.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:01 AM
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@69 Local Hero is pretty great.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:02 AM
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68 At the risk of making one of those "one of my best friends is..." kind of comments, I've got no problem with "rural hicks" having owned and read and reread to pieces all of the Foxfire books when I was a teenager. It's the neo-Confederate nostalgia and everything associated with that that's become much more prevalent in the last couple of decades that sickens me.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:03 AM
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69 and 76 get it right. I'm also fond of "Comfort and Joy".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:04 AM
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I read 71 initially as Smearcase humming "What is Love (Baby Don't Hurt Me)" and imagined it as nostalgia for a very specific, yet generic, 90s nightclub.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:05 AM
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Follow up question: Which semi-realistic location would give you the deepest sense of dread, if you had to move there for a good reason?

Let's say Cleveland but anywhere like that. Chicago would be mixed joy and utter dread. I miss my friends there and Steppenwolf and The Red Apple/Czerwone Jabluszko and stuff but I spent four years there and it felt less and less like home.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:06 AM
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And to the OP: I think moving around as much as I did as a kid broke the idea of "home" for me. Even though I've lived in the Bay Area for almost 20 years at this point it still wouldn't necessarily occur to me to describe it as home.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:06 AM
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I managed to live in Lincoln, Nebraska for a little under 2 years without going crazy. I suspect this is partly because a college town - even a college town in Nebraska - is going to be a bit more liberal than the surrounding country side.

Also, I managed to not really talk about political issues with people. I assume many or most of the people I interacted with were more conservative than I am, but it just never came up.

I'm not sure I could have handled it if I'd been surrounded by belligerent tea parties or people waring confederate flag t-shirts.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:08 AM
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It's nice to be reminded that one's idyllic fantasy is someone else's soul-crushing prior.

It's worth remembering that ttaM's particular small-town Scotland small town is not Ullapool or Inverness or Oban or Blairatholl or Portree or anywhere like that: it's Falkirk. Whatever you think small-town Scotland is like, it isn't like that.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:08 AM
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79: it's like you didn't even read 74.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:08 AM
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Plus the point about great places to grow up not necessarily being great places to live as an adult.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:09 AM
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45: For me, having to leave my building and go outside to go grocery shopping sounds horrible.

The DC area is actually pretty friendly to mole people as long as you don't have any friends who live outside the approved areas (though I do).


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:09 AM
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I grew up in Cleveland. There are terrible things about the place, but it's actually a pretty great city in a lot of ways: nice housing stock, incredibly low cost of living, several decent restaurants, excellent public schools in a number of different inner-ring suburbs, truly terrific cultural amenities. I also spent several years in New Orleans, and that's a place that, despite being wonderful to visit, would be very, very hard to live in as a grown-up (especially with kids).

Anyway, we're about to move again, and we'll miss some things about this place -- especially our friends and the produce (it's pretty wonderful to walk into a grocery store here) -- but I'm not feeling especially sad. If we were heading back to Oklahoma, that would be a different story. Contra heebie, even a college town in Oklahoma is pretty horrible.


Posted by: Denny Crumb | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:09 AM
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86: I'm here to help you, Partner Benquo.


Posted by: R. Daneel Olivaw | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:09 AM
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Whatever you think small-town Scotland is like,

Headbutting, chibbing, unexpectedly fried foods?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:10 AM
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89: OK, fair point. But you presumably don't have fantasies about retiring there in that case.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:11 AM
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I mean ok I can't shut up about this topic so I'll say in summary the only places I've ever felt truly at home were Austin and New York, and New York took a very long time and still made me crazy even after it felt like home. (It felt familiar and like the right place immediately, but it took the aforementioned five years to feel rooted there, like I had a reason to be there.) Austin felt right when I got off the plane* and I was 20 and made friends in like a week, so...

*Yeah, plane. Long time ago.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:11 AM
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I get sufficient doses of that sort of thing from interactions with family, thankyouverymuch.

There are certain friends who can't resist trying to argue politics on Facebook. Best to ignore. Blogs are for arguing, Facebook for baby pictures.

Not looking at you, Ogged


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:11 AM
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Also, having to walk more than a block to get to a park with trees.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:12 AM
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75 gets it right. The problem with moving to a new place comes when the new place is particularly insular and aggressively hostile to outsiders. There's an overlap here with small town/politically conservative but it's not at all perfect.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:12 AM
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We are targeting fall of 2016 to live in Spain for 6 months, and at this point my Spanish is poor enough that it will be quite funny.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:12 AM
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incredibly low cost of living

I think I've said it here before, but boy do I miss that about Cleveland.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:13 AM
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Yeah, more to 75-- the attitude that bugs me is present among say some Guidos or rabid urban sports fans. It's just that in the bigger cities where I know the culture, those folks are a minority, easier to avoid, can't convincingly present their culture as normative.

Maybe I'd have similar gripes living/working on Staten Island or in Bridgeport as I think that I would in Atlanta.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:14 AM
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I like unexpectedly fried foods. And my mother, as a young woman, was in fact the headbutting champion of some bar in Queens Village*. So she could come visit.

*I'm not sure exactly how this came about, but old friends of hers did bring it up fairly often. Also, I once, in college, staggered downstairs the night after a largish party to find her in the kitchen being taught how to crush beer cans against her forehead by one of my housemates.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:15 AM
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Contra heebie, even a college town in Oklahoma is pretty horrible.

A couple of days ago I talked to someone who had done a clerkship for a year in Tulsa and loved it. She said basically there weren't tons of interesting people there but you met them all very quickly. I have weird fantasies sometimes of living somewhere like that but I recognize them for what they are.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:16 AM
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However, unlike places where interaction with foreigners or outsiders is seen as a basically normal part of life, outsider attitudes were grounds for effective shunning. For me at least, the problem isn't conservatism, it's insularity.

This is interesting to me. Is Cleveland (+environs) really a bunch less insular than Columbus, or am I just (insularly) only counting the academic/art student/food people/recently transplanted doctor types I typically interact with, while you're taking more of an average temperature? I do wish I lived somewhere more vibrantly dense, but it's definitely not a bit like the situation described in 75.

Also, is that sound I'm hearing some kind of rodent in my wall or is it just something scraping against


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:16 AM
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...the window. Not intentionally a tiny horror story!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:17 AM
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several decent restaurants

Sob.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:19 AM
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is that sound I'm hearing some kind of rodent in my wall or is it ...


Posted by: Opinionate H.P. Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:20 AM
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64: I've heard good things about Huntsville, and in Mississippi, Oxford is tolerable.

My memories of Huntsville are very positive, but then I was at Space Camp.

Headbutting, chibbing, unexpectedly fried foods?

Surely unfried foods would be unexpected.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:20 AM
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Obviously, Lincoln is a great place to live.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:22 AM
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Tulsa

Fair point. Tulsa is actually pretty nice. Still, no way I'm ever moving back to OK.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:22 AM
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I guess first, my CMH experience is now pretty far back (90s), the city seems nicer when I go back to visit now.

Second, the Clevelanders I knew seemed normal. Columbus, at least the social way I exxperienced it, seemed much more connected to the countryside than I would have expected. I got to know maybe two dozen people outside the University, so not the biggest sample.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:23 AM
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Still, no way I'm ever moving back to OK.

Get back to us on that in a few years.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:23 AM
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83: Oh--I'm definitely using an over-romanticized view. To me it's Kirkwall and a bunch of towns on the A9 (which, now that I think about it, included a stop in Blair Atholl, whose train station is the only place in the UK we found that had asphalt as bad as Pennsylvania). I haven't been in the central Central Belt; is Falkirk the sort of dreary mid-sized post industrial you can find anywhere (or at least are common here), but Scottish? Is it the Youngstown of the Lowlands?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:36 AM
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Is Cleveland (+environs) really a bunch less insular than Columbus, or am I just (insularly) only counting the academic/art student/food people/recently transplanted doctor types I typically interact with, while you're taking more of an average temperature?

I felt distinctly more cosmopolitan during the month or so we lived in your part of the city. Especially when I took a walk through the university area. It was really nice.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:40 AM
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There are also big differences in regional professional cultures that don't necessarily map onto the overall sense of the region. For example, I love NY and liked living there, but I would really really not want to be a business lawyer in NY, just a horrible culture. By contrast, living in Houston or Dallas has always seemed horrible but the Texas culture for lawyers is really great. (In general, obvs, both NY and TX are big enough to find exceptions in all directions). I'm sure the same kind of thing holds true for other jobs.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:41 AM
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109: pretty much, but now with a wheel. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falkirk_Wheel


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:41 AM
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And I don't think that "small town Scotland is incredibly beautiful" is an over-romanticised view; it's generally true. It's just that Falkirk is probably one of the bits it isn't quite so true about.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:43 AM
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64: It's a similar situation in Salt Lake City. The city is great and my only complaint is that they don't value art here. The best you'll get is a small museum at the University of Utah. But housing is cheap, there are plenty of great restaurants, they put on great plays at Pioneer Theater, the ballet has been reviewed in the NY Times, the symphony is excellent, I hear the opera is good, they get good standup comedians (Pauly Shore this weekend baby! Seinfeld and Tosh came last year), etc.

Outside of SLC it's hard to get food as a vegetarian and very hard to get any food on Sunday, the houses are cookie cutter and ugly, and the only attraction is nature (which is great for me) and really great natural history museums because Utah is excellent for preserving fossils.

Also, the legislature is only in session for six weeks every year, so if you avoid the radio during that time, Utah isn't too confrontational about their conservatism.

I went to college in Atlanta and it seems similar. Atlanta is great and I didn't venture outside of the city except to visit family in rural GA.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:43 AM
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75 certainly mirrors the experience of one friend who tried grad school at OSU. Of all the places she's lived (LA, Dallas, here, NYC, Boston, Portland, ME) she liked it the least and was the most isolated there. Although I think she caught mono there too, so that probably reduced the fun factor considerably.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:56 AM
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I lived in Alabama for four years and it was fine. It was a college town and the academics were socially pretty liberal (my supervisor had lived in AK when Pallin was mayor and had nothing good to say about her) if into hunting, fishing, and football. The students were super conservative but it was fun to be the crazy liberal/socialist. Because I was going to school there, I didn't even have to consider it as home, which is always nice. Same with my current NE-small-college-town which is also surrounded by super conservative people, just of the 'mind your own business' type. The outdoor activities were more fun down south for sure. Drinking on a kayak floating down the river? Starting in March? Yes, please.

That said, I would dread living in Atlanta. It looks like a city from far away and if you squint just right, but lacks pretty much everything I like about cities (needs a car, no downtown, culture is hard to find). I'd also dread living in Florida and refused to consider positions there even though my boyfriend at the time had a pretty good job there. It was this horrible combination of conservative, well off, touristy, and bad drivers. Just weirdly super sketchy. One of the only places I've felt unsafe going to a gas station on a highway.

I felt weirdly at home in LA and NYC but I blame that on so much media coming from those places - everything looked vaguely familiar.

I guess I don't expect much from a small college town so I'm pleasantly surprised if they even have a Indian restaurant (Auburn got one at the end of my time there, here doesn't have one but has several Thai). I have greater expectations for cities.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 10:00 AM
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Of course the main thing is that I've lived in the US for 8? 9? years and it still doesn't feel like home to me. I'm dragging my feet over getting some sort of permanent work thing because I just want to go home.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 10:02 AM
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I have a distant cousin working at retiring to Scotland. Having grown up in Saipan. She lives in Derby, and knows perfectly well what she'll be getting herself into.

Folks don't need to worry about being funny in a poorly spoken language. Your accent will make people roll with laughter when you say something simple, and if you're actually making a joke, they'll find it all the funnier. Yes, I know this from experience.

It's fun to live in a city where the balance tips decidedly left of non-coastal US center. And pretty easy to meet interesting people with whom one shares interests, because everyone who likes thing X knows everyone else who does, and once you get in, you meet them all.

I'm done for good with big metro areas.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 10:03 AM
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112: We were considering heading west just to see that become woah that's awesome, but the extra hours of travel time were too much and the Forth bridges are engineering spectacles themselves.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 10:05 AM
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116: I can't argue with the car part. They have public transportation, but it's unreliable and sketchy. My roomate tried taking the bus to class once and the homeless people on the bus tried to commandeer it to take them to the methadone clinic.

But the culture there is great! I guess it depends on your definition, but the High Museum is one of my favorite museums. The food is excellent. Emory offered plenty of cultural events.

Atlanta had everything I wanted as a young person. The job market isn't strong enough for patents to make me move there now, though. Also, the housing tends to be really nice places in gated communities surrounded by unsafe areas. I prefer SLC where things are generally safe unless you go to the west part of town. And the south has too many bugs. I'm irrationally afraid of cockroaches.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 10:12 AM
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Hawaii would fill me with agoraphobic dread.

There there. Children make me nervous, too.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 10:13 AM
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+1 on not being able to be funny in a language. When I was in the highly artificial environment that is Middlebury I think I wrote a blog posting in Spanish (because language pedagogy nowadays seems focused on Power Point and blogging) about what a drag it was having no personality in Spanish.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 10:15 AM
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I would dread moving back here, but I moved here before I dreaded it and now that I've lived here moving back isn't really realistic. Less than 3 weeks until I leave.

I have some misgivings about going to the part of the Bay Area I'm going to, since it's very car and sprawly, but it's just so much better for me in so many ways than here that that's the relevant comparison.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 10:20 AM
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the Forth bridges are engineering spectacles themselves.

I have mentioned before participating as a child in a socialist-realist-type musical about the construction of the Forth Rail Bridge. Great days...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 10:26 AM
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122: There's a particular vein of second-language humor that's kind of depressing: what happens when someone gets just fluent enough to be able to make primitive jokes in their second language, and enjoys them too much. It was part of my stereotype of foreign-born TAs, and then when I was in Samoa and got so I could speak Samoan a little, I realized that I was making jokes just like that. (Sample stupid joke -- the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, are tasi, lua, tolu, fa, lima. "Goodbye" is "Tofa soifua", and just "Fa" is a normal shortening, like "Bye." And "lima" is the word for "hand" as well as for "five" for obvious reasons. So if someone waved and said "Fa", I would wave my hand back, and say, "Lima!" And then I would giggle at how clever I was, and my students would refrain from braining me.)

Sally was commenting on a friend's Russian father making that style of joke -- another friend coughed after eating a bite of a chocolate cookie, and he said "I guess that's why they call it choke-alate." And giggled at how clever he was.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 10:27 AM
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125 It's all in the delivery, LB.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 10:37 AM
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And what would you do about the whole thing? Make some inadequate joke, and then hopelessly try to tell people that at home, you are actually quick and clever? Sigh and remind yourself of that time when you did make people laugh? There's nothing for it, but it doesn't make me want to live somewhere that I'm not a native speaker.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 10:45 AM
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I'd never want to live where I wasn't a native speaker. People have been surprised by this given that I am crazy mad for languages.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 10:49 AM
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This humor assessment is very interesting to me.

My claim: basically everyone thinks that they are funny and have good judgement. People will grudgingly admit things like "OK, only very close friends will lagh, and that only when they are drunk." But high confidence in one's sense of humor is really common, I think in the US particularly.

Judgement, same thing-- grudging limited admission "OK, I'm bad with money decisions" or "I'm a sucker for a pretty face", but basically nobody will openly admit that their life could be improved with better judgement. My life would be better if I had a better memory, if I were "smarter", if I lost weight-- people will make confessionsl like that. But not about judgement.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 10:51 AM
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I've only lived in L.A. and SLC and SLC has felt like home for a long time. I've been up here for close to 20 years now and it's a combo of having grown up in the west and so the vegetation and such is familiar and the fact that my mother's people have been here for 150 years and we used to come up here to visit when I was a kid so the place feels like somewhere I already had some roots.

I prefer SLC where things are generally safe unless you go to the west part of town.

And really, if you're not in the drug trade or a gang the west side is largely fine. At first I felt the same way about the lack of museums but I've realized I value the outdoor scene far more. Museums are the kind of thing I go to once in a while. The outdoor scene here though means spring-fall I'm often up in the Rockies fishing or hiking or whatever 2-3 times a week and we're also taking multiple trips to national park areas every year.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 10:51 AM
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And what would you do about the whole thing?

If you're not fluent enough to be funny verbally, you could always go with pratfalling.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 10:52 AM
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127. I have a comment here. First, CA is only formally a part of the US. In 127, you have no more of a shared culture or language with the rest of the country than you do with Scotland or the tens of millions of Bengali English speakers.

Second, as an immigrant non-native speaker, let me tell you that there are worse handicaps, and that the most serious may be invisible-- bad judgement, for instance.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 10:55 AM
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I would dread moving to Houston. Weather like the devil's choad, no mountains, murky ocean, and hurricanes? Fuck that.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 10:55 AM
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Once, just once in Ukraine I made a joke that was actually funny, and I made it at the same time as a Ukrainian friend. I felt so proud of myself. It was not a very funny joke, but infinitely funnier than I usually was in Russian. (I also had a bit of humor success in self-consciously using colloquial expressions in ways that were slightly odd, or at least odd coming from an American. Definitely laughing-at-you-not-with-you stuff, but it was the best I could do. I guess Yakoff Smirnoff in reverse.)


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 10:58 AM
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I'm not sure if it's that I feel at home fairly quickly whereever I go, or if it's that I'm not particularly at home anywhere, so it doesn't matter. But I have fond memories of all the places I've lived for any length of time -- Bethesda, Maryland, where I went to high school, Ann Arbor, where I went to college, even Chicago(objectively, a disastrous interval in my life), where I was briefly a graduate student. And Columbus -- there were definitely times when it felt awkward being a University of Michigan graduate here. But the first people I got to know were graduate students from around the country that complained all the time about how much Columbus sucked. There's a lot of those in Columbus (Ohio State has a lot of graduate students) -- enough so that I never felt like too much of an outsider.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 10:58 AM
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Living where you're not a native speaker is fine assuming you speak the language reasonably well.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:02 AM
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|| I'm not even a lawyer, but I just organized an amicus brief start to finish, begging free labor from multiple lawyers, and getting like twenty Congress people to sign on, in EIGHT DAYS. And on a high priority issue for the big banks too. My name or organization won't appear anywhere on it, but damn I earned my lobbyist stars today. The other side on this case is probably pulling in at least a half million dollars in fees, and this thing didn't cost a penny. Begging for free stuff is a core compentence for public interest lobbyists. ||>


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:05 AM
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I would dread moving to Houston

Heh. Whenever I think of Houston I am reminded of the scene in A Little Romance"where very young Diane Lane is living in Paris with her mom, Sally Kellerman, and stepfather Arthur Hill, a bigwig in a multinational corp. Upon hearing they must leave beloved Paris for corporate headquarters, Houston, Ms Kellerman grunts as if she has been punched in the gut.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:08 AM
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My name or organization won't appear anywhere on it, but damn I earned my lobbyist stars today. The other side on this case is probably pulling in at least a half million dollars in fees, and this thing didn't cost a penny. Begging for free stuff is a core compentence for public interest lobbyists.

Very impressive!


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:08 AM
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The outdoor scene here though means spring-fall I'm often up in the Rockies fishing or hiking or whatever 2-3 times a week and we're also taking multiple trips to national park areas every year.

so freakin' jealous -- I don't even like living on the east coast but somehow I can't get out. Skills like in 137 are useless in the real America.

Judgement, same thing-- grudging limited admission "OK, I'm bad with money decisions" or "I'm a sucker for a pretty face", but basically nobody will openly admit that their life could be improved with better judgement.

I don't know -- I will freely admit my life would have been significantly improved with better judgement at certain key moments. I would think lots of people realize this, maybe they won't say so openly though.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:08 AM
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I'm really not sure what feels like home right now. We were back east over break visiting family and it felt cramped and crowded and the traffic was horrible and the weather was gray.

I like a lot about Utah, but it doesn't feel like home to me yet. What's sort of mindblowing to me is that my son is going to think of the West as home and that sage is a normal vegetation instead of obviously weird deserty stuff and that having mountains in your backyard is just what is done.

(Not everything outside of SLC is cookie-cutter, Liz! But don't tell anyone -- I like my bench affordable.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:08 AM
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Nice work, PGD.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:09 AM
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127, 134. The more I think about this the stranger it seems-- I have lots of friends with rough english who have well-developed humor.

Praising the intelligence of a moron, the compassion of a miser, the wisdom of a politician, anyone can do this spontaneously with the grammar and diction of a child. I can't really manage it in a comment box, but it's definitely possible. Puns and jokes that rely on subtle cultural assumptions, sure, those are hard. But that leaves scope open for vary much humor.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:10 AM
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137: Very nice. I've always liked doing pro bono amicus briefs. Can you share what jurisdiction, or better not to?


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:13 AM
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Mmm. I'm thinking of a Russian friend-of-a-friend with a comically thick accent and Russian-accent style bad grammar. But he communicates well enough to be sharp and witty, he's just doing it in broken English.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:15 AM
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144: well, it's still not filed, so I'm probably jinxing us, but it's DC Federal District Court, in this case . (Link is to the bad guy's description of their case).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:20 AM
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3: I've lived in North Carolina since I was 3, and in Durham/Chapel Hill since I was 9. Inertia, bitches!

What's better than UNC winning?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:25 AM
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Interesting. Good luck. We've actually been adverse to some of those guys recently (they were an amicus supporting the other side). They were okay but not earth-shattering. Looks like they brought out heavier artillery for your case, though.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:28 AM
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Heebie should have titled this post "Hone."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:29 AM
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The one thing I enjoyed about foreign language classes was the low bar for humor. It's like being a kid again!


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:34 AM
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basically everyone thinks that they are funny and have good judgement

One of the tricks to getting suspects to talk in interviews is to realize that none of them think of themselves as giant shitbags. They all still think they're basically good people so you need to help give them an out whether it's the circumstances, their drug addiction, whatever. A bit of flattery goes a long ways as well.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:35 AM
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It took some time, but I felt like I had about the same humor level at Middlebury when I was in the Russian program. Maybe fewer straight up puns.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:35 AM
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I don't think I've felt at home since I left for college. The feeling implies a sense of permanence that I'd rather not apply to my current life.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:37 AM
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The answer to 147 just happened, BTW.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:39 AM
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153: Still eating off paper plates?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:41 AM
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154: Duke Energy's environmental malfeasance finally being acknowledged by regulators?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:43 AM
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Oooh, literally the only thing I care about happening in college basketball just happened.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:43 AM
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I don't mind Houston but I also haven't lived there.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:44 AM
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155: Over the sink. I don't want to reduce my sexiness by doing more chores.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:46 AM
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How do you go about getting that "good judgement" stuff? If it's age and experience or character, looking back with regret involves quite a bit of fooling yourself. Hindsight you know?

However we can look inside now and look ahead, and Home is where the heart is, and it may be a whole easier to change the heart than moving the damn walnut bookcase.

Seen the mountains, seen the ocean, and it looks just fine out my back door. Lived in Santa Cruz, and wasn't my impression that the natives were all that much happier. Serial killers, suicides, cultists, and other Republicans were around me back then.

I liked it because it was strange and I was moving on. There's a lesson.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:49 AM
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147, 154: Duke losing?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:49 AM
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Oooh, literally the only thing I care about happening in college basketball just happened.

The NCAA was outlawed?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:50 AM
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161 is right, but I guess I do care about 162 as well and would like to see NCAA officials jailed for violating the anti-slavery laws.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:56 AM
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I suck at jokes and I'm not the exactly the world's funniest person in general, but I'm pretty sure it makes no difference whether I'm speaking English, French or Polish. I'm not sure if it made a difference in German back when I was reasonably comfortable speaking it and if I'd stayed there another six months I'm sure it wouldn't have. That's really the threshold - are you basically comfortable and relaxed speaking the language. And that isn't directly tied to your skill level. Some people have a weird neurosis about their obvious non-nativeness. It's silly, native speakers don't care at least as long as you can speak well enough to understand them and make yourself understood. Think of your own interactions with non-native English speakers.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:56 AM
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161: There's a reason Standpipe has a blog.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:57 AM
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The reason is because 161.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 11:58 AM
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And U of Mobyland just lost to Ken Starr U.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:01 PM
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What CharleyCarp said in 32.

At this point, moving isn't very realistic. Tempted to say "Aleppo", but that was never very realistic. Cairo, maybe? I fucking hated Cairo even when things weren't as dire as they are now.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:02 PM
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And Jesus was crucified again yesterday.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/03/cbs-white-basketball-player-is-basically-jesus.html


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:03 PM
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Because NCAA and big sports crew here, a lame-ass Friday Sports Puzzler: name the 6 (I think--but only 5 coming to mind right now) Div 1 schools whose nicknames don't end in 's' or do not contain a color.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:06 PM
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169: A followup to his good (more general) article the day before.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:07 PM
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170: I got one! The Fighting Illini.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:12 PM
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Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Miami Hurricane
William and Mary Tribe
Naval academy Midshipmen
Illinois Fighting Illini
Bucknell Bison
Mashall Thundering Herd
North Dakota Fighting Sioux
NC State Wolfpack
U Mass Minutemen


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:13 PM
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172: Ah good, that's the sixth that I had forgotten!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:14 PM
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173: Hmm....


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:14 PM
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Bison
Phoenix
Pride


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:14 PM
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I never got the appeal of March Madness. Partly it's because the quality of the players is mediocre, partly because I went to a school where the only people who genuinely cared about 'our' teams were close friends of the athletes. To me the phenom is bizarre, as if tons of people in the US were crazy about second division soccer.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:15 PM
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Hurricanes is plural. The rest are all correct.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:15 PM
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Nevada is also the Wolfpack.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:15 PM
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I'm comfortable in new areas quickly, and would enjoy living new places, but inertia and history have led to me being quite the homebody.

My wife was amazed when she spent her 7th year here... and slightly horrified, I think, that of the big cities she's lived in that Fresno was where she was settling. Now it's her roots that are keeping us here... which is great, because this is my lifelong home. At least,, it's where I have lots of family and friends.


Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:16 PM
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178- I will take your word for it, but I thought there was a stink about it a while ago. Maybe they changed because of common usage. Or maybe I misremembered


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:18 PM
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William and Mary, a recent change but 6 was certainly an undercount.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:19 PM
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You listen to 103.3 Kings Radio, don't you? If I lived where I could get 103.3 Kings Radio, I'd never listen to anything else.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:19 PM
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I don't dread living anywhere, though the upper plains seems isolating out of the big cities, if only because of icy roads to drive and the tedium of driveway shoveling.

She usually bemoans Fresno's placid winters, but given the wallop her friends and family (mostly in Missouri) experienced this year, and the groaning of my Buffalo area friends, I'll take it.


Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:21 PM
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You listen to 103.3 Kings Radio, don't you?
Hmm... no, that's not part of my rotation. Of course, they scramble the stations every few months, so it might be one I was familiar with some time ago. I'll check it out!


Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:23 PM
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Arena Football is where you really want to go for these kinds of names. Teams include:

The LA KISS (owned by KISS)
Spokane Shock (the shock is it sucks even more than you'd think)
Portland Thunder
Tampa Bay Storm
New Orleans VooDoo (this is literally the absolute worst team name in all pro sports. Yay The VooDoo!)
Philadelphia Soul
Pittsburgh Power


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:25 PM
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I loved that stage of learning-while-doing French when my pronunciation skills far outstripped my vocabulary so I would just plop in a plausible sounding English word and rattle on. Would get the most hilarious puzzled looks, was finally explained to me that my absurd confidence sometimes caused people to momentarily wonder why they didn't know the word I was using, until they remembered I was just full of shit. Or merde!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:27 PM
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What's sort of mindblowing to me is that my son is going to think of the West as home

This, totally, and we don't even live in the deserty West. I've been here more than half my life, almost the whole time since I came out for school, but I don't feel from here. My daughters are from here.

I would love to live outside the Anglosphere again, partly because I'd like to learn a language and I don't have the discipline and motivation to do it in a place where it's not spoken. I'd also love for my daughters to have the experience, and they want it too, but post-divorce that will be difficult to negotiate.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:33 PM
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I loved that stage of learning-while-doing French when my pronunciation skills far outstripped my vocabulary

Am I correct in thinking that this is a stage most foreign language learners never reach?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:34 PM
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I have some envy of people with a lifelong home, even sometimes when it's somewhere I would not happily live (like people I went to elementary/middle school with.) That sense of security seems so nice. It's been interesting living all over but what's the real benefit of being deeply familiar with several different parts of the country?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:34 PM
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The reason is because Standpipe has a blog. Standpipe is the best thing ever to happen to the NCAA.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:35 PM
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I think the worst place I have ever lived was a suburb outside Gothenburg, where, really there was nothing entertaining to do but smoke dope with morons and go fishing. For the first nine months we didn't even have a car, and, come to think of it, I wasn't on dope smoking terms with the local morons. So, I would not go back to rural Sweden.

The absolute worst place in the world, of course, would be Birmingham, England. Possibly Birmingham, Alabama second. But we spent so much time moving when I was a child that I am another person who never feels at home much anywhere, or out of place much anywhere else. Hong Kong, says my son who lives there, is "NYC done right" and I can see what he means. London is a proper city, but it's so hard to get out of and I have a yearning for wilderness, and really need it for balance. So I suppose the worst place in the world for me to live would be Dallas, maybe LA even though I can see why people love it. No - who are we fooling? The worst place in the entire fucking world where any of us here might be offered a job just has to be Dubai.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:38 PM
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187 That's what I do when I try to speak Russian. I figure there's about a fifty fifty chance that the word is the same as in Polish so I go for it. I should also not that my attempts to speak Russian aren't too successful.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:39 PM
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I think I could probably be comfortable just about anywhere, with a few provisions (like access to at least one quality grocery store). My major hobbies are pretty easy to do anywhere; I enjoy getting to know new landscapes; and it turns out I'm fairly adaptable re: weather. (NB: I did not say that there wouldn't be complaining.) That being said, I'm rubbish at languages and would probably feel terribly isolated in a place where I couldn't communicate well. Back when I was in academia, though, I never minded the idea that I might end up in a tiny town somewhere I had never really wanted to move to. (Data point: I love Ohio, in particular. Cleveland sounds great to me!)

There are definitely things I miss about 'home' - which in one way will always be where I grew up, the Central Coast of California - but the penalty of growing up in a beautiful, expensive but relatively small place is knowing that you're probably going to have to leave at some point.

I feel at home here in the Shire; I've finally amassed the geographic, cultural, and social knowledge to feel like I'm local enough. I get asked for directions! And I can give them!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:40 PM
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The worst place in the entire fucking world where any of us here might be offered a job just has to be Dubai

Maybe underwater cities off the coast of Dubai?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:41 PM
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New Orleans VooDoo (this is literally the absolute worst team name in all pro sports. Yay The VooDoo!)

The Utah Jazz is the worst name in pro sports. Also indirectly responsible for the second worst name in pro sports, the New Orleans Pelicans, by stealing their rightful team name.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:41 PM
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189: I think many musicians get to this stage quickly - many years of training to reproduce sounds. At least that's what I chalk it up to.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:41 PM
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The thing that makes me feel at "home" is tiny: it's the fat, curly font on street numbers that you find in former Habsburg places. Takes me straight back to Belgrade, where I have not been since I was seven. But that was the nearest I got to home. And, yes, never Habsburg, but mitteleuropäisch.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:42 PM
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192 last is a good call. Dubai is the absolute worst of any plausible job-offering place. "Gosh, this 101 degree, 90% humidity, day feels great. Let me go to the soulless new mall to shop for things I don't need and can't afford, where I'll not speak with frightened, displaced ex pats and Russian prostitutes. Maybe I could drive into a pile of sand where there's also absolutely nothing. Oh hi, slave laborers!"


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:43 PM
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The inner circles of hell would be places like Houston and Phoenix, with Las Vegas at the center. I think I'd rather live in Yellowknife or Yakutsk or some other less godforsaken place.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:43 PM
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197: yes - the other day I met a folk musician in his eighties, who had lived in Stockholm in the Sixties for a couple of years. He still had a better accent than people I have known who'd lived there for ten or fifteen years.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:44 PM
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199: you forget the burkas. Freaked me the fuck out to see tubby middle-management types from Saudi shepherding four pillarboxed wives through the airport, or a woman feeding herself in the university(!) though two or three layers of cloth.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:47 PM
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Am I correct in thinking that this is a stage most foreign language learners never reach?

Depends on the language. With, say, Italian or Japanese you could get there pretty fast.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:47 PM
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I'd rather live in Birmingham than Coventry.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:48 PM
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203: Japanese? That I would not have guessed.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:49 PM
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Also, any job for which you'd get asked to move to Dubai would probably not be a real peach.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:49 PM
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That said, I would dread living in Atlanta. It looks like a city from far away and if you squint just right, but lacks pretty much everything I like about cities (needs a car, no downtown, culture is hard to find).

I'm sure this has been addressed, but Atlanta is super vibrant and interesting, and the fact that it's perceived as bland and suburban is racist-ish.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:50 PM
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Am I correct in thinking that this is a stage most foreign language learners never reach?

Fleur has this problem.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:50 PM
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206: Nah. Petroleum engineering, for instance. If you're with a big corporation, just lie back and think of home the ex-pat package.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:51 PM
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I don't know -- I had a stage of my career when I spent a lot of time talking to expats in that industry and did not form an impression of it as a great job.

Of course the day on which the lawyers for the corporate parent showed up was probably not the high point of the experience for them.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:55 PM
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A former colleague - a woman who was as much use as a chocolate caps lock key - is being very highly paid for her journalistic skills in Dubai at this very moment.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:56 PM
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207: You don't need a car and it has a downtown?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:56 PM
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205: I know, surprising, but the pronunciation is as simple as can be*, and you can pick up on the cadence pretty quickly. Also, the grammar is super regular.

*That said, I was in Japanese class with an English guy who had been there for nearly a year and could not manage the word for "okay". Couldn't pronounce it, acted as though he was completely unfamiliar with it despite having heard a thousand times a day. I tried to be sympathetic, because maybe he was just one of those people who can't get their minds around foreign languages at the most basic level, but I think it was just because he was a complete idiot.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:58 PM
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It has a downtown. It also has super interesting vibrant formal neighborhoods, many of which are each walkable within themselves, and have lots of personality, and the specific neighborhood "downtown" is one of these. On the whole, you need a car.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:58 PM
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202: my same expat friend lived in Kuwait for a while. He called Kuwaiti men "ghosts" (all white garb) and Kuwaiti women "ninjas" (all black garb). He said he was asked by a local whether Kuwaiti women were beautiful and was stumped. How would he know? He said they were cute as girls.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 12:59 PM
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You can live in a walkable area and walk to work and groceries, and take the subway to the airport, but I'm sure there'd be regular occasions on weekends when you'd want access to a car.

I don't really know - I haven't spent a ton of time there. But it's a place that people fall in love with.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 1:00 PM
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210: Like so much of this whole discussion, it depends greatly on life circumstances. And I'm sure they were grumbling, but then I'm sure that lots of people grumble when they they've taken the devil's bargain. Comparatively, they were almost all either raking it in and saving at a much higher rate than others doing the same work back "home", or using it as a base for nice travels. Construction workers from South Asia, not so much.

But yes, you must keep the focus on the external goal. And the mercenary aspects do tend to attract a lot of fundamentally unpleasant people. But keep you eyes on the bank account and/or the Roman holiday.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 1:06 PM
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129: I have terrible judgment about jokes.

Throwaway lines that I am unsure whether to even bother with get a tremendous response, and then jokes I'm super proud of but also think are pretty clear elicit eyerolls or worse, blank stares.

In one case that I thought was a pretty simple joke, someone told me (unprompted) that they finally got it a week later.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 1:11 PM
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A friend of mine just got back from an assignment in Dubai. He said the air pollution was worse than Beijing's.

Usually I loathe the regional semi- governmental agencies, but the Southern California Air Quality Management District really has improved the Air Quality in Southern California.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 1:13 PM
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151: I haven't spent a ton of time outside of SLC, so I shouldn't judge too harshly. Provo seemed like it would be great any day except Sunday. I've been to Ogden maybe three times and it seems fine. I went to Logan once in March and it was very bleak and had one pizza place open on a Sunday that will kick you out for swearing.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 1:13 PM
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218- That's hilarious!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 1:15 PM
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217 makes very fair points.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 1:17 PM
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I'm a little surprised by the Houston hate. I wouldn't want to live there, but it's not that miserable. The suburbs are a mixed bag. Sugarland is my personal version of hell, but near to the city isn't that bad. You can find good food. There are grocery stores that sell "ethnic" ingredients. Local politics aren't too depressing. It's hot and humid in summer, and there's not much natural beauty, and you need a car, but that's not unique to Houston. If I had to live in TX, I'd prefer Houston to Dallas or San Antonio.

My college roomate and her husband lived in Chattanooga, and they say it was the worst place they'd ever been. The only thing they liked was the pretty view (but it looked best in the rearview mirror as they moved away).


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 1:20 PM
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My parents live in the Atlanta area, and I agree with heebie's assessment. I love Decatur! The only times I needed a car in Decatur were:

1. I had to go to a farther-away doctor's office because the Decatur office didn't have some equipment.

2. I was taking 2 cats to the vet and didn't want to walk a mile with an angry cat in each hand.

Of course, having a car makes it easier to get around.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 1:21 PM
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224: forgive me, planet, for I have sinned, but I was taking 2 cats to the vet and didn't want to walk a mile with an angry cat in each hand.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 1:26 PM
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My impression was that Houston and the rest of the Gulf Coast has just about the worst climate in the continental US, a sort of Winnipeg in reverse.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 1:27 PM
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I guess it depends on what bothers you. If hot and humid is your version of hell, well, it is like that for a good part of the year. If miserable fucking cold bothers you, Houston's fine. If 120 F and dry as a bone bothers you, then Phoenix is terrible.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 1:32 PM
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My impressions of Atlanta are as follows
A) You need a car to live there
B) Traffic is unbelievably awful
C) There are a lot of middle-class and wealthy black people, which is good


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 1:36 PM
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223: Yes. I had sort of a hate/love* relationship with Houston when I lived there. Hate % ranging from 95% to maybe 30%--but mostly dependent on my own life/companionship circumstances. The relatively cheap Southwest fares to points west made it more tolerable (relatively unencumbered). Would have been less comfortable raising a family there, however.

*Loved: decent cheap food, local architecture, art stuff, a lot of the music scene. Where we lived the 3rd time. Friends we had the third time**
OK: Where I lived for most of the other two times. Whole new area to explore. Friends in Austin.
Hated: Everything else.

**Most of whom transferred down with us. On the hate side, when my "division" got transferred down, there had been rumors for weeks that something big was going to happen. But I was on a two week vacation when the deal came down. Knowing something was up, I called a colleague on the day I got back:
Me: "Let me guess, we're all laid off."
Him: "Worse than that, transferred to Houston."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 1:37 PM
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Local man likes that successful black people have to deal with terrible traffic.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 1:38 PM
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I was taking 2 cats to the vet and didn't want to walk a mile with an angry cat in each hand.

A very fine sentence in a thread blessed with several very fine sentences.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 1:43 PM
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59 Cairo is great, if you're not female. (Although I've known some women who manage and a few, very few who liked it).

It's great, even if you are a woman. My expat friends in Cairo, both men and women, all have a love/hate relationship with that city.

A few months ago I made a list of every address I had ever lived for more than a month, and I came up with over 40. I'm 43 years old.

I've toyed with the idea of taking my show on the road and just working while traveling, unceasingly. I've done that for periods of time in the past but unfortunately it's kind of a pain in the ass and not conducive to doing good work.


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 1:45 PM
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227 Yes, for me with high humidity hell begins in the high eighties and I'm not too thrilled with mid eighties temperatures. For cold weather I'm not happy when it's in the teens, but that's fairly easily manageable if it's a regular thing - you just get a different set of clothing. Single digits suck if you need/want to spend an extended period of time outdoors unless you're skiing or doing some other physical activity. Once it's clearly below zero I just try to stay indoors if at all possible.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 1:47 PM
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231: I laughed.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 1:48 PM
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And now I can't read 224 as anything but beautiful found poetry.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 1:52 PM
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And now that I think about it 231 probably wasn't a CSN&Y joke, because that was a very fine sentence. I should get back to work.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 1:53 PM
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Hi dagger aleph. Lovely to see you. Did you know I visited Sana'a? It was so great.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 1:56 PM
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I heard a rumor about that, Megan, and I'm so glad you liked it. Old Sana'a might be the loveliest city on earth.


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 2:00 PM
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221: See, I actually can't tell.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 2:02 PM
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And such a good eating town!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 2:03 PM
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I'd prefer Houston to Dallas or San Antonio.

I'd choose Dallas over Houston because I have family in Dallas and some nostalgic associations. But as noted, Houston has some non-negligible selling points. San Antonio seems bleh to me but I've spent very little time there.

Oh Detroit might be my real Sense of Dread town, come to think of it, because I actually do have a friend or two in Cleveland. I dunno, the whole Frigid Midwest is basically my No Way Zone.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 2:04 PM
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241: I was there twice in Dec/Jan, and brought DC winter gear rather than Upper Midwest gear. I thought of your "arctic hellscape" comment as I unburied the rental car for the fourth or fifth time while losing feeling in my toes and fingers. I don't mind cold weather per se; I hate not having warm enough clothes to be comfortable. Also, it was sunny for about ten total hours over nine days. I like the city, but I was an utter bitch about being so cold.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 2:10 PM
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232: Cairo, as in Cairo, Egypt?

I know someone who lives in Abu Dhabi, and he fucking hates it. He hired a nanny for his kid, and he had the distinct impression that the nannies were really eager to work for them because as an American he was unlikely to beat them.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 2:12 PM
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215 -- When I've been to Kuwait, I have barely ever seen Kuwaiti women in abayas. And, obviously, guest workers aren't wearing them either. I'm not sure I saw any Emirati women while in Dubai -- other than those watching their kids ski, and they wore Western dress as well. Even in Kabul, nearly all the women I saw covered hair, but among 75% otherwise nothing much different, in coverage, from teachers when I was in high school (ie, non-provocative.) 25% in burkas. Although 10% might be closer.

I see in the news, by the way, that the Kabul hotel at which I had a meeting in 2011 was attacked yesterday, 9 people killed. The one I stayed at was attacked in 2012, with the first two perimeters breached. And again last fall. While I was there, there was an attack and 8 hour firefight at the other main international hotel. A couple dozen killed, iirc. I would certainly dread moving there, if somehow that were to come about.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 2:12 PM
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237-38 -- I really liked the old city as well. And got a lecture afterwards from a Yemeni guy I know, currently living in the tropics, how foolish and dangerous it was for me to have spent an afternoon walking there without a guide (I'd had one a couple days before, and speak 10 words of Arabic).


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 2:17 PM
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Yeah, Cairo Egypt. I just moved after living there for roughly two years (and lived there pre-revolution on a few occasions, for a total of about 2.5 years). It was the traffic and certain aspects of the post-revolutionary situation that drove me out finally, but I still love many things about it.


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 2:23 PM
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This thread reminds me that somewhere in the archives is part of a skit written for a German class involving Schroedinger and a cat.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 2:35 PM
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Oh, hell, yes, Dubai. UAE in general would destroy me. I got headhunted for a job there a couple of years back and I didn't even ask the salary because I couldn't think of an amount of money that would reconcile me to living in a giant shopping mall on the surface of a hostile alien planet.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 2:37 PM
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Really? Would you live there for $10M/year?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 2:39 PM
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I visited Cairo once for a week. I had long hair at the time, and I got sexually harassed constantly. Women would just caress my hair as I walked down the street. It was bizarre.

It did seem like a fascinating place to live, though. I found being there very intense. People would always stop me in the street, and half the time it was because they were trying to con me, and half the time it was just because they felt like asking me what I thought of Egypt.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 2:42 PM
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Wow Walt, that is bizarre. I don't think that's ever happened to anyone I know. When was this?

It definitely is fascinating, but it wears a person down.


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 2:44 PM
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246 I had to break my budget just to find a place in Cairo that wasn't absolutely crawling with cockroaches. I loved it though the traffic was wearying. And the dust. And the noise. But my ex couldn't walk down the street without getting harassed, and even tried wearing a hijab and saying she was Bosnian when asked but to no avail. So that was that.

I was all set to go to Sana`a in '94 for a couple of years, had plane tickets and a place set up and everything when the civil war broke out and nixed those plans. I never did make it there. Megan, when did you go?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 2:48 PM
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December 2011, I think? For about a week. Shortly after I got back the civil war broke out. Had you asked me, I would have said the place was calm as anything and totally safe to visit.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 2:52 PM
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251: It was summer of 2003. There were very few Western tourists, I guess because of the Iraq War. I heard a friend of a friend who also had long hair had a somewhat similar experience.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 2:56 PM
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253 I ought to make plans now while they're still between civil wars.

That is really weird, Walt. Glad I cut my hair before I left for overseas.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 2:59 PM
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Never had problems with roaches in Cairo, but my last apartment had a fucking rat that lived on my balcony and would come into the apartment if you left the windows or balcony doors open. I definitely don't miss that.


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 2:59 PM
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You should! It is totally safe to visit!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 3:00 PM
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A visit it would have to be. Alas, my plans of living the dream of studying Arabic by smoking shisha and chewing qat for two years have been dashed forever.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 3:12 PM
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My retrospective issues with Houston mostly have to do with the opportunity costs of living there in my 20s.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 3:17 PM
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Of course, if most of us were in the habit of totting up opportunity costs from our 20s we'd never get out of bed in the morning due to angst and regret.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 3:20 PM
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260: If?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 3:24 PM
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even tried wearing a hijab and saying she was Bosnian when asked but to no avail

Yeah, I tried that too, but dammit if it didn't just increase the amount of street harassment I was subjected to.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 3:27 PM
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All the cool kids have moved onto totting up opportunity costs from our thirties.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 3:27 PM
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261: You're right, what did I think "cry, cry, masturbate,cry" was referring to anyway?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 3:28 PM
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45: I'm a committed New Yorker, obviously, but I have little or no interest in live music, theater, the fashion industry

Resolved: a place only becomes your home once its objective positive qualities are no longer the reason you like it.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 3:28 PM
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"I like Tampa, but the strip clubs no longer interest me."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 3:39 PM
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There are a lot of pretty great things about Houston. Still, the prospect of being forced to move there would fill me with dread. San Antonio might be better than Houston, I think, though I know it less well. Dallas would be worse. Any of those would be better than Tampa or Jacksonville or (to live in permanently with kids) Vegas.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 3:44 PM
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Is there a worse place for kids than Las Vegas? Maybe Frederick, MD?


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 3:47 PM
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Need referral to Standpipe's blog for 268 last.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 3:53 PM
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257 to 256.last


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 3:53 PM
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260: It never stops, huh?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 3:53 PM
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I once considered a job in central Finland. The town seemed rather nice, and it was only nine hours from Helsinki, but I've since heard it was actually quite provincial.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 3:55 PM
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I used to have a job selling satellite dishes in Frederick, Maryland. Not a career I would recommend.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 3:58 PM
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if most of us were in the habit of totting up opportunity costs from our 20s

It was noted at the latest Pgh meet-up that, at first, "BOGF" seems unfair, but the more stories you hear....

Honestly, I can't imagine how much regret and self-loathing I'd feel if things hadn't turned out really great. If I ever write a "God has a plan for you" book, it will focus on how God wants you in a shitty relationship for half a decade so that you'll happen to walk into the right office on the right day. It'll sell millions, I tell you.

On the OP, I last spent more than 4 weeks away from Pittsburgh* in the summer of 1993**. Since January of 1996, I've lived in 3 domiciles. As I'm sure I've noted, I have every intention of living in this house until I die. If I outlive my ability to manage this house, there's an old folks home down the block. Oh, and the 2 prior domiciles were within 1 1/4 mile of this one. "Joe Cosmopolitan" is something I'm often called.

*I'm counting summers spent on the outskirts of the city, with frequent visits to the city to see BOGF, as "in Pgh"
**Oh hey, that must mean that I'm now at 50%+ of my life in this town. Or will be by the end of the year.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 4:18 PM
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I've been here practically all of my life, but cheesy as it may sound, I feel much more at home and a part of the community now that I have kids. I want them to know the history and geography of the area, see how their families lived here too. Before, I always felt like I lived here but really belonged somewhere else.

This is AB. She used to say, "When I married JRoth, I married Pgh," but now she mostly talks about giving the kids a hometown, something she never had (Germany until 3, Huntsville until 10, NoVA through HS, then UVA, Japan, Boston, Ithaca, and here).

Iris has already lived longer in one place than AB or I had until we were in our 30s.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 4:22 PM
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275: her mom or dad an Army rotary wing person?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 4:25 PM
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Home is the place where, when you have to go there, the ankle bracelet-monitoring says you are in compliance.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 4:28 PM
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The town seemed rather nice, and it was only nine hours from Helsinki, but I've since heard it was actually quite provincial.

Santa's Village near Rovaniemi?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 4:28 PM
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I also could not handle speaking another language so poorly that I couldn't be funny.

I'm not super-adept at German, but I can make jokes (that is, say funny things; I'd probably be abysmal at "telling a joke" in German). I'm not saying that to brag; I'm saying that to say that I think it's easier to be funny than you realize.

I lived in Miami 7 years without feeling like it was home. North Jersey (pace, ydnew) felt almost instantly homier. Pgh was a slow transition, because of the college thing. But because I had family roots here (my parents met at CMU), it fit my mental universe much faster than, say, Case Western would have. Regardless, by the time I met AB, at the start of '00, I was set in place.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 4:29 PM
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276: No, but people always asked that. Her dad is German, her mom American. They met when he was in the US for the German Army, then he used his [GI Bill] benefits to got to school in Alabama, where her folks lived (although she was a Philadelphian; she had never lived in AL). It's a weird progression.

She literally knows no one who lives anyplace she ever lived before she was... 23? In fact, the only places I've ever visited where she lived are the little German town where she was born, UVA, and Ithaca.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 4:34 PM
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Dagger Aleph!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 4:34 PM
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I've seen jobs in parts of the middle east in my field. Come staff our outpost of questionable educational purpose! NYU seems to be pushing their remote campuses. I looked at a listing for an NYC job and there was a big message reminding everyone that they also have jobs open in wherever (Dubai?).


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 4:34 PM
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Oh, and:

Dagger!

Sorry if you've been around, I haven't seen it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 4:35 PM
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268 was referring to hypothetical cancer cluster hypothetically related to not-hypothetical bioweapons at Fort Detrick.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 4:36 PM
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Hurricanes is plural. The rest are all correct.

I'll back this up. The 'Canes were the only college team I ever gave a shit about (because Miami in the '80s had only one pro team, which I hated), and I don't ever recall anyone trying to call it the "Hurricane".


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 4:38 PM
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ARGH I just scored 12,972 on that thrice accursed 2048 game.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 4:38 PM
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I already linked it in the other thread, but you might like this version better.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 4:42 PM
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Holy crap when did become ok to out oneself as a bigot? As long as the object of one's bigotry is a rural hick?

I have this weird thing where I've adopted the frame of Pittsburgh as the capital of Appalachia, and I really have a problem with hillbilly and white trash jokes. OTOH, I have unalloyed contempt for the politics of a lot of the non-urban locals. Which I guess is to say that I oppose bigotry towards white trash even as I think they're full of shit politically/weltanschauung-ly.

Last night we ate in a gorgeous old farmhouse pretty deep in the boonies. My dad was in from out of town and met us there. Before we arrived, he was at the bar chatting with a local who was bitching about Big Guvmint. What was the complaint? The building inspector wanted to make him install a sprinkler system in his great big old steel mill building, made of concrete and steel, which don't burn, stupid egghead! What was he doing in that building? Maintaining school buses. Because school buses are noncombustible!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 4:45 PM
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Hawaii would fill me with agoraphobic dread. I'm sure it's lovely on a daily basis, but it feels so easy to fall into the pacific. Plus if I thought Texas was hard to travel from...

Way late, but WTF? This is deeply bizarre. Also, airplanes.

OTOH, I guess if I squint just right I could see that as the other side of the weird feeling I get when I'm too far from salt water.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 4:48 PM
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288.last: I don't think the kids are allowed to smoke on the buses anymore.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 4:52 PM
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Reading more of the subthread on foreign language humor, I think the key is to abandon any effort at wordplay or wryness: you need to identify something humorous/incongruous in the situation, and point that out, such that precise word choice isn't the salient point.

I dunno; maybe AB's Austrian relatives think I'm a moron. But I think most people are actually willing to be goodhearted about such things: the laughter is at the participation and the apt gesture.

Convivial. I think it's achievable enough to convive, and thus to be in the social circle.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 4:52 PM
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weird feeling I get when I'm too far from salt water.

Somewhere in the archives I talk about driving through Kentucky, and realizing that I felt both shut in and disoriented. It took awhile before I realized that the problem was that I didn't know which way the water was -- my sense of direction works off the nearest coastline, and more than a couple of hundred miles away is too far for comfort. It doesn't have to be an ocean: Chicago was fine, and while I've never lived in an inland city on a big river, I think that'd be okay too -- like, the couple of times I visited Cincinnati, I was perfectly comfortable. But no geographically significant water is a definite problem.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 4:53 PM
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Pittsburgh has roughly the same water as Cincinnati but split. Does that work?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 4:59 PM
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I am maybe tired but 287 made me laugh unto crying.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 5:00 PM
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I'd probably feel isolated in Hawaii because even flying just to LA is more flying than I'd want to do as a "normal" route.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 5:04 PM
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293: Yes, but only because of the confluence. No confluence, and the city becomes instantly intolerable.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 5:05 PM
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Home is wherever Fresh Salt is.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 5:06 PM
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292: Huh, I think I remember that conversation. Or maybe not. Sometimes it's difficult to distinguish between memory and imagination these days.

I've lived away from where I grew up for long enough that it's sort of home but not really any more, and here for long enough that it's sort of home but not really because you're not really from here unless you grew up here. Maybe I'll try rootless cosmopolitanism next. Lots of places seem to have their charms. But there's a whole lot of flatness between western topography and eastern topography that scares me a bit.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 5:08 PM
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It took me a long time to understand that the rivers in Pittsburgh are a lot more complicated than the simple triangle at the confluence. They approach the Point from something very close to due east and due northeast, but within a few miles are meandering towards north and south. If you're navigating on a vague assumption that the river will be going in a consistent direction, when it's really making S-curves, you could be fucked.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 5:10 PM
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295: It gets pretty easy after you've done it enough times. And even on a small rock in the middle of the Pacific, there's a lot more territory around than I actually get to on a regular basis.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 5:11 PM
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I was maybe 12 before I really understood that "east" didn't mean "towards the Atlantic coast of the US (and really the Hudson River)". Obviously I knew this intellectually, but my intuitive feel with maps was predicated on my heuristic being true. And I realized that I'd look at a map and vaguely sense the "east Africa" was the bit that was closest to Manhattan.

Now I know that I had simply transposed the word "east" for the word "best".


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 5:13 PM
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Which I guess is to say that I oppose bigotry towards white trash even as I think they're full of shit politically/weltanschauung-ly.

Exactly. Not all are in the KKK, but sometimes it is best not to ask.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 5:16 PM
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I've seen jobs in parts of the middle east in my field.

I've just finished a degree in what I think is the field in question and what with my previous now somewhat rusty background in Islamic studies, Arabic and Persian, well, I'd love to get the chance to talk.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 5:27 PM
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Not all are in the KKK...

This is a point I frequently make myself when arguing with liberals/lefties who take the "Let'em secede line" which I abhor. Not everyone is like that and there's plenty there who struggle against that and it's wrong to consign them to the mercy of their troglodytic neighbors. I just wouldn't want to live down there with them is all.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 5:31 PM
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when arguing with liberals/lefties who take the "Let'em secede line" which I abhor

Well said, friend


Posted by: Honest Abe | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 5:38 PM
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303: I'm not sure I have much to add, but I'd be happy to talk at Fresh Salt (if we're both there) or I guess we could use "electronic" "mail".

But mainly I just see jobs on various listservs; I haven't been looking at jobs outside of the US. If you're not already checking it, the LIB/JOBS listserv has the most international selection of jobs I've seen. And you should also be checking this (or their listserv) if you're interested in IT-related jobs, though they're mostly US-oriented.

NYU has an Abu Dhabi campus, I see.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 6:02 PM
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Thanks, I'm already on the LIB/JOBS listserv and some other stuff like MELANET. I wish I had more coding knowledge. Maybe we can have another Python thread? I also do other stuff related to...well, we'll have to talk. If not at Fresh Salt then some other time (I'm still not sure if I can make it).


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 6:13 PM
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St Louis is my swamp of dread. It has some good bits and is fixing up others, but I've lived there twice and it all went wrong both times. Everywhere on the continent southeast of there is both familar and Not-Your-Home to me, but the air of an early summer evening there can still fell me with nostalgia. (Davis had the same summer evenings, less muggy, fewer mosquitoes. Velvet on the skin.)

Other than that, it takes me about six weeks to settle into a college town (get a library card, find a good evening walk, find a cafe or diner). I like talking to gardening ladies and retired men with garage woodshops, so I get someone to wave to and a little local gossip pretty soon.

I've now moved back to `chosen home' and am disoriented by how much it changed in the six years I was away, but exalted that plants I put in as slips survived and are now huge.

Reverse of the question: where seemed more like home than expected? Haarlem for me, even though I would never have been brought up properly. Suburbs of Tokyo, a little of the same. (Both densely used in 3D, very clean, very mannerly.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 6:25 PM
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I've moved a fair bit, and enjoy it, and really like being somewhere new for two or three years. Then I'm ready to move on. I come from a nomadic people. That said, after ten years, the bay area definitely felt (and feels) like home. Part of it was the weather and beauty, part of it was that there were just enough Iranians and I was never the only Iranian someone knew, but not so many Iranians that people reacted with "Oh, one of those."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:04 PM
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How many Iranians is that, exactly?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:17 PM
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42.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:19 PM
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Not having read the thread, I'm inclined to say that the timescale varies wildly from less than a year to more than four years, depending on how much I like the place. If I go back to Ithaca, it doesn't really feel like home, because it seems cold and alienating. But Santa Barbara does feel like home, even though the longest I ever spent there was about half a year, because I know my way around pretty well, I like the place, and I've visited repeatedly over several years. In some ways even Florence feels like home, although the longest I've spent there in one stretch is a month, just because I've been there enough times and established a sort of routine there and like it a lot.

A lot of people I know seem to think of Aspen as a second home, because they've spent a few weeks there every summer for a decade or more. Going there usually makes me feel a little awkward and out-of-place, so I don't think it'll ever be like that for me.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:42 PM
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I haven't felt deeply at home anywhere since I left for college.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 7:45 PM
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I'm confused, weren't there lots of Mexicans in ogged's place of exile?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:03 PM
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I hate moving and have only done it a few times, never very far. I like living in a place with four seasons. I like the Eastern Woodlands. I like my family. I really, really don't want to live anywhere else.

I have found other places to be pleasant-to-fun while traveling, with the major exception of Phoenix and several parts of Central PA.

Holy crap when did become ok to out oneself as a bigot? As long as the object of one's bigotry is a rural hick?

I'm not bigoted against rural people as such, but I do find parochialism pretty exhausting. It takes a lot out of me to keep focusing on being kind and courteous when the other person seems to be so unwilling to imagine that their experience is not everyone's.

One thing that has been happening more frequently overt over the past few years is that places I didn't have strong opinions about have been ruled out as desirable destinations on the basis of my experience there with friends/colleagues who are non-white.

In the last few months alone, I've had bogglingly racist experiences in Missouri, Kentucky, and (non-urban) Pennsylvania. I didn't go into the situations expecting those reactions, and maybe the unexpectedness made them feel more painful. Goodness knows Philadelphia has plenty of bigotry, it's just that I know what to expect and can brace myself.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 8:09 PM
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Dagger Aleph!

I thought of her when this thread started, without much hope she'd see or comment, but the subject was one where she'd made a strong impression on me before. Memorable voice!


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:03 PM
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||
Two items (one via Amazon prime) have shown up at my house this week addressed to me, but that no one here ordered. Now it is my birthday this week, so as yet unannounced gifts would be one sensible guess. However, the one package was seeds for a vegetable garden* (about 15 different packets), and tow days later a case/charger for an iPhone 4s (I have an iPhone 5, no else in the immediate family have a 4s). Hmm... Tomorrow I will see most anyone likely to send an unannounced gift. Or maybe someone who had once sent me something from Amazon chose the wrong shipping address for their own order(s).

*My wife had just been talking to a friend about how they should for a "seed group" since there are often far more seeds in a packet than one person needs. Which led to a confusing conversation with that friend when my wife asked if she had just taken the initiative and bought seeds for both of them and sent them to us
|>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:30 PM
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Pittsburgh's home now, but I miss the hills that I grew up with. The dissected plateau is great in its own way, but the endless undulations don't feel as substantial as something made in an orogeny.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:30 PM
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By which I mean that the trees in Michigan are precisely the right height.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:33 PM
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They just reach the ground.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:34 PM
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By which I mean they actually reach into the ground, but not that you can see when you are looking at them through the air which would be the normal way to look at them except maybe if you are diving in a flood.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:36 PM
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A western town is not a western town unless there is some nearby hill/mountain you can climb and look out over the whole town.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:37 PM
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They just reach the ground.

Yes, that's how you know they're old, they've reached their full height.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:38 PM
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I posted these during the election campaign, but some of the best riffs on that were via Felix Gilman:

Hu-man Michiganoids! I also love your lakes. I love their nitrate levels. I love their cold, breathable depths and plentiful wrigglers.

I love the beautiful women of Michigan, and the strong, hard-working menfolk, so similar to my own fleshsuit.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:45 PM
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324: Ha, awesome. I thought that was by far the most human thing he ever said. Lizard People from Beta Cygni can run a central bank, but it takes a person to fixate on and internalize pointless bullshit.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 9:52 PM
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||
Per earlier Malaysia Airlines discussions, it now looks like the earlier pings were retrievable and provide useful information.

Today, Inmarsat revealed some crucial information. "The ping timings got longer," Inmarsat spokesman Chris McLaughlin stated via email. That is to say, at each stage of its journey, the aircraft got progressively farther away from the geostationary satellite's position, located over a spot on the equator south of Pakistan, and never changed its heading in a direction that took it closer--at least for very long.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 10:29 PM
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|>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 10:29 PM
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326: Finally, although it'd be nice to have more details. That's just enough to fuel speculation.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-21-14 10:42 PM
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324: where do those lovely Michigan riffs come from? Goothing only tells me that they come from here. I love the Gilman "Half-made world" books though they did not appear on Kindle in this country for years, which is odd, until you realise that the demand for physical books is much greater on knife crime island, since they provide better protection against stabbing.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 03-22-14 12:34 AM
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OH, OK. rummaging through the archives finds this


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 03-22-14 12:40 AM
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This thread is interesting for me because I've been thinking about this sort of thing a lot recently. When I first moved to Anchorage it felt, not like home exactly, but comfortable in a way that nowhere else I had lived before ever had. I remember telling my mom at that time that it was the first place I felt like I could really see myself settling down permanently, not that I necessarily would. Since then I've become significantly less enchanted with the place, and with Alaska in general. I still like it, but it feels increasingly implausible that I'll settle down here permanently. Part of this is definitely the result of moving to a neighborhood further from downtown and generally less pleasant than where I was before, and when my lease on this place ends in a few months I think I probably will try to move to a more congenial area. That's not all of it, though. Another big element is that having been here a while now, and especially working for the state, I have a fuller understanding of the political and economic situation right now and its likely trajectory in the near future, which is not encouraging.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-22-14 1:19 AM
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As for places I dread, I feel like I could live pretty much anywhere if I really had to. Fairbanks would be tough, though. Most of rural Alaska too, although that's a lot less likely to be a possibility. Nome would be okay.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-22-14 1:21 AM
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I just spent two days in Fairbanks, which is why it's particularly on my mind. I would be fine with Houston or Phoenix.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-22-14 1:24 AM
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likely trajectory in the near future, which is not encouraging

How so?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-22-14 2:59 AM
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Re: the trees in Michigan, the lovely old hardwood forests on the western side of the state were cut down to rebuild Chicago after the fire. They were replanted with mostly pine trees by the Army Corps of Engineers or its equivalent, which were placed in a grid. Apparently, if you find a diagonal, all the trees and gaps align. So, they're both the right height and precisely positioned.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 03-22-14 5:40 AM
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Every time I see a forest like that I want to run down a row as fast as I can because it seems like you can travel miles through a heavily wooded area with no effort.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-22-14 5:54 AM
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334: Presumably related to this.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-22-14 6:59 AM
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329: I googled "goothing" which leads me to think it was a typo, but I'm also willing to believe that there's a parallel internet inaccessible to Google where all the really cool kids live.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-22-14 7:29 AM
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Would it have helped if he'd said "that goo-thingamabob"? Come on, oldster.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-22-14 7:32 AM
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I googled "goothing" which leads me to think it was a typo, but I'm also willing to believe that there's a parallel internet inaccessible to Google where all the really cool kids live.

That's where the all uncunting happens.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 03-22-14 8:01 AM
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I just turned 10 in Babylonian so I have no idea what you're even talking about. (Or anyone else, apparently.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-22-14 8:01 AM
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i meant goo-thing, rather than gooth-ing, a noun not a gerund. also known as the hoohole in these parts.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 03-22-14 1:59 PM
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How the hell did I transpose "the" and "all" in 340? I blame lack of coffee.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 03-22-14 3:11 PM
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334, 337: Yep. The oil's running out, and as a result so is the money. There's been all sorts of effort recently at changing the oil tax structure and developing gas pipelines and so forth, but as the chart in 337 shows, it's not realistic to expect anything like Prudhoe Bay to be discovered again. It's interesting to see, and not necessarily a bad thing overall, but the state is definitely in for some hard times (relative to recent history) in the next few years, and it's starting already.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-22-14 4:05 PM
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Late to this thread, but I'm another person who likes the spacious landscapes of the American West. Leafy forests are pretty, but will never be home for me.

I've never lived abroad for any length of time. I think I'd be lonely; I'm too diffident even when there isn't a language barrier. I could have done a postdoc in Europe a while back, though, and part of me thinks I should have done it, to force myself to become more outgoing.

One place I'd really dread to live is Narnia. Some of the interactions between Narnians and western expats make me really uncomfortable. They just hit too many tricky aspects of my own identity.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 03-22-14 5:47 PM
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My favorite landscape depends on whether we're talking living or visiting. For visiting it's mountains that start off with leafy forests and rise up into glacier and rock, for living it's lots of tightly packed buildings surrounded by sidewalks and narrow streets with occasional bits of landscaped leafy forest and meadow. Semi-arid western or Mediterranean landscapes can be very pretty but I think I'd feel a bit alienated if I actually lived in one.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-22-14 5:54 PM
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Semi-arid western or Mediterranean landscapes can be very pretty but I think I'd feel a bit alienated if I actually lived in one.

Actually the feeling of alienation might be what attracts me, because I feel slightly alienated all the time, but in the desert, everything else is desolate too, so you just shrug your shoulders, wave to the yucca and the Joshua trees, and go about your business.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 03-22-14 6:03 PM
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Riding your horse with no name.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-22-14 6:05 PM
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Actually, I'd kind of like to live in Dubai - where else to go where 90% of the people are as alienated from the local society as I am?

My impression of Cairo is probably colored by the fact that four of the five times I visited I ended up miserably sick.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 03-22-14 6:17 PM
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NC -> MXP was a very disruptive move. And I'll never be funny in Italian, but I'm not very funny in English.

Still approaching the three year mark it's starting to feel pretty normal.


Posted by: Simulated annealing | Link to this comment | 03-23-14 9:41 AM
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Semi-arid western or Mediterranean landscapes can be very pretty but I think I'd feel a bit alienated if I actually lived in one.

Being up against the Rockies makes a big difference here. Northern UT, MT, and WY have a lot of semi arid but Salt Lake and Missoula are not Phoenix at all. The view our favorite summer picnic spot and the public rec area farther up the same canyon.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03-23-14 11:28 AM
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Now I'm jealous, gswift.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 03-23-14 11:46 AM
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351, 352: dude


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 03-23-14 12:23 PM
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That's Big Cottonwood Canyon right here in the valley. It's maybe 20 minutes from our house to that picnic spot, Storm Mountain, an old CCC project. It's one of several day use areas right on the creek with firepits and it's maintained by the forest service. The two pics with lakes are at the top of the canyon at Brighton and Solitute ski resorts (you can see lift cables in that last pic). Almost all the land is national forest and the canyon also happens to be a protected SLC watershed area so motorized off road vehicles are banned up there along with any animals. You can't even take a leashed dog up there. It's nothing but open access hiking, biking, climbing, fishing, etc. I have Wed-Fri as my regular days off. My wife doesn't work summers and we go up on weekdays with no crowds all summer. You meet quite a few people here who transplant after visiting for a ski or fishing trip or whatever and then realize just how close all that stuff is to the city.

And that's just one spot. Little Cottonwood and Millcreek canyons are also both here in the valley, American Fork Canyon about 20 miles south, etc. etc.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03-23-14 12:31 PM
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I love little cottonwood canyon, having skied and camped there since I was a teenager. My wife has made pretty clear she would not favor moving to SLC, though. Does the smog in town get you down? It looks uniquely awful (though Milan is quite bad on that score).


Posted by: Simulated annealing | Link to this comment | 03-23-14 9:16 PM
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The smog here gets bad from time to time when we get those inversion layers in the winter that trap everything in the valley. Storms clean it out easily and in the spring and summer when there's a lot of breezes it doesn't build up. The really bad times are when it's coldest and people are least likely do be out doing things. We only show up on the pollution charts nationally for those short term cold snaps. For year round we don't crack the top 25 on either particles or ozone.

http://www.stateoftheair.org/2013/city-rankings/most-polluted-cities.html


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03-23-14 11:11 PM
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Actually, I'd kind of like to live in Dubai - where else to go where 90% of the people are as alienated from the local society as I am?

+1 win.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 3:32 AM
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endless undulations don't feel as substantial as something made in an orogeny.

Oso true.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 12:40 PM
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gswift, I have relatives in Salt Lake, and I've done some reading about it, and looking at homes online, etc. Which is to say, it's one of about a dozen Western cities I've semi-seriously researched as places to drag my family to. But I really can't get a handle on the Mormon issue. Granted, you're Mormon, so it might be funny rather than annoying to you, but how much a part of interaction is it if you're not Mormon, and how much might your kids feel like outsiders?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:00 AM
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