Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Scary Memphis Stuff

There are a couple of things that scare me about Memphis:

1. Tornado sirens: Before we moved here, everybody kept telling us that the weather would be awful, that it would be so hot, we would want to poke our eyes out with a fork, that we would hate how sweaty and sticky Memphis could get. Well, Kyle and I have called bullshit on that. It simply hasn't been THAT hot since we got here and, maybe the fact that we spent our summer in Germany has something to do with it, but we kind of have enjoyed the warm weather. It's summer and it feels like summer. Nothing bad about that. The tornado warnings are a whole different story, though. We have not had any actual warnings since we arrived but I have had tornadoes on my mind because the test the sirens, just in case. And the sound is unnerving, to put it mildly.

2. Our electricity bill: I am the first to recognize that the reason why we might not have suffered through the high temperatures/high humidity combo here is perhaps the fact that we have central air-conditioning and we've kept it on since we first got into our house. I've never lived anywhere else where that was necessary and anticipating our first electricity bill was quite scary. Everyone kept saying, well, be prepared to pay a lot more for electricity than you are used to... but nobody ever said how much more. So we just waited. We got our first bill and it was alright, but it only covered our first couple of weeks here and doesn't really count. I continue to live in a permanent state of horror. What happens if we get a $2000 bill?!

3. Walking in Memphis: Not as romantic as one would imagine. Most people drive everywhere and treat the sidewalks as extensions of their yards. When we walk around we usually end up jumping over branches of trees and other random yard waste that people dump on their sidewalk. Also, we are usually the only people walking, which can feel a bit eerie. Kyle and I distract ourselves by talking about architecture and checking out people's gardens. There's a woman down the road from us whose front yard is covered in rosemary bushes. It smells divine.

4. Memphis driving: One of the reasons why everyone drives in Memphis is that the public transportation system sucks. Because everyone drives, there's not much need for taxis. There's some, but not many. Because you can't count on being able to get a cab, you end up driving even when you probably shouldn't. Like, for example, when you are out getting slaughtered with your friends on a Friday night. Everyone is doing it. Everyone knows that everyone else is doing it. I'm confused. Confused and scared.

5. Big bugs: But I've already talked about that.

Photo by: Ravencrest Travel

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