The last few years has been full of moving, either temporary or long term. Every time I relocate, I feel a bit out of place. Though it's always been in the states, there are definite cultural, legal and linguistic differences in each area. I made a list for our jaunt down to Texas last year so here's what I've noticed so far about Indianapolis.
- First of all, it's Indy, not Indianapolis. That's entirely too long to say. You'll be pegged as an outsider for sure.
- Driving a truck in Texas helped us blend in and be more socially acceptable. In Indy, however, we stick out like a sore thumb. Not only is nobody else driving a truck, the lanes are noticeably narrower since everyone else seems to be zooming around in smart cars and mini Coopers.
- Though we're still in what I'd consider the "midwest" and we have gotten a few inches of snow since arriving, nobody bothers to clear the sidewalks. Or their driveways. Or the parking lots. Or the ROADS for that matter. The closest effort I've seen is one guy sweeping it off the steps at our apartment complex and another throwing out massive amounts of salt to try and melt it all. Heaven forbid anyone break out a shovel.
- Though there are posted speed limits, they are mere suggestions. I try to keep up with traffic but five miles over is about my limit. Even then, everyone from semi truck drivers to police cars to little old white haired ladies pass me going at least ten miles an hour faster than us.
- If speeding wasn't enough, it's also a tight drive. If there happens to be a sliver of road between you and the cars around you, someone is going to squeeze into it. Of course, turn signals are optional but at least they're polite and wave their hand after you "let" them in. Perhaps this style of driving is why there was a 40 car pile up on the interstate, complete with circus elephants wandering the road. True story.
- We have looked at our share of houses and I have determined that we will either end up living in a mansion or a run down ranch-style house. They LOVE their ranch houses and mansions. There's not much in between (I'm sure hoping we weasel our way into a mansion).
- If having a pathetic ranch home weren't sad enough, they're all right next to the roads and have neighbors close by even if the home is surrounded by acres of farmland. Either people like being lulled to sleep by passing cars or they don't mind that drivers can peak in as they cruise past. Whatever the reason, it's weird to me.
- For a large city, there is surprisingly little litter on the roadways or downtown.
- Indy is known as the "Circle City" (I haven't discovered if it's for the Indy 500 or because of the beltway that goes around the entire metropolis). Oddly enough, all roads seem to lead to Chicago. Regardless of which interstate or highway taken, if you drive long enough, you'll probably end up in the Windy City.
- Some people's pronunciation is off here. I was speaking with someone and for ten minutes and I thought she was talking about tents. Turns out she was talking about tints.
I'm sure we'll learn more and more as we settle into our new home city but for now, I hope you find it helpful if you find yourself in Indy (remember, not Indianapolis).