Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Has anyone else had the experience of college kids yelling the color of their clothing at them?

Ah, I know places have their own flavor, especially relative to greetings. But I'm at my 2 month I hate everything phase, perhaps. It will pass.

I know, I know. There are like, different cultures in the world and the United States. Everyone on the Blue Hill peninsula in Maine knows everyone else. When Mark and I spent a few days there two or three summers ago, I still ran into people I knew everywhere, even though I hadn't lived there since 1996, and I walked into the pizza place and there was Peter and he said "Hi, Lorraine, what can I get you." I smiled but was so shocked I had to say "I don't know," leave and then come back to place my order. Folks there greet. But that's actually because they know each other.

US Cultural differences have always freaked me out--not because of the fact of the differences but because I feel a greater pressure to fit in. Outside of the US, I can go back to being a foreigner and delight in the learning process.

It took me a good 4 or 5 years to get used to DC, which was the most culturally suburban place I'd ever lived, and it will take me a while to get used to here.

There's always the possibility that I'm just becoming more uptight, I suppose. Ach! Get me to Oman for a family visit, and quick!

I drove to Target over the weekend and bought a jelly roll pan.

Many of my ESOL students had trouble with the fact that no one in DC really greeted each other politely.

If I think clearly, I will remember that Carlsbad was actually not really a suburb and more of a real small town until 10 years ago. Hence the greeting.

And yes--it's true that many people who know me don't mean me any good either, I know.


Logan Ryan Smith said...

YES! I have! Well, when I was in Boulder. I was wearing all black (I usually do, I guess) and a car roared by me, and they yelled, "BLACK!"

The CU kids in Boulder, however, were stereotypical frat f'ers, who were prone to yelling and screaming anytime they passed a person, especially if they could get really close before yelling.

Boulder's a dreadful place.

K. Lorraine Graham said...

Interesting. John Sakkis also reported this happening to him. With the same color. I suppose it was St. Patrick's Day weekend--I was wearing green.

I know nothing about Boulder. I have no context, I think, for most of the US. Hence my culture shock. Why do I always forget this? One day I shall visit Boulder. There are lots of interesting writerly folk in Colorado these days, no?

John Sakkis said...

see my other post...2 birds with one stone on two different days...

Logan Ryan Smith said...

there are definitely plenty of interesting writerly folk in boulder and denver these days, yes.

K. Lorraine Graham said...

I want to road trip!

John Sakkis said...


tmorange said...

really? you mean they'd yell at me today: "OLIVE!"

come one come all to dana point!


K. Lorraine Graham said...

Olive might too subtle. Perhaps I need to were fewer primary colors.

Yes, we'll hang out in Dana Point! This makes me so very happy!