Today I’m going to deviate from my usual topics of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skills and borderline personality disorder and instead discuss all the things that I am not going to miss about Arkansas. Well, let’s be fair. I haven’t ventured very far out of Little Rock, so I would hate to imply these things about the entire state. I am also aware that the things I’m going to list are not exclusive to Little Rock. They are things that I have either not ever come across before, or not come across nearly as much as the three years I’ve lived in Little Rock.
A List of Things I Am NOT Going to Miss About Little Rock, Arkansas (in no particular order):
1) The pot holes – I was shocked at how poorly taken care of the roads are here. You can’t drive ten feet without running into a pot hole!
2) People stopping in the middle of…ANYWHERE – For some reason, people here think that it’s ok to stop their carts in the middle of the grocery store aisle and have a conversation. Or stop their car in the middle of the road. Or walk to the highest travelled area of a parking lot and block cars so they can catch up with friends. They just stop anywhere and don’t care about all the other people whose way they are in.
3) Not being able to understand half of what people say – People here mumble a lot. Not only that, they use strange sayings that I don’t understand. I’m not from the South, and I do not understand these expressions much better now after three years than when I first moved here.
4) The customer service – People down here do not know how to treat customers! The cashiers act like they are doing you a favor by allowing you to buy groceries. That is, if they even acknowledge you at all. Most are too busy talking to their neighboring cashiers or playing on their cell phones.
5) The way cars are parked – Not only do they think it’s ok to park on the street facing the wrong direction, they also think it’s acceptable to park DIRECTLY BESIDE no parking signs. I kept meaning to make a picture diary, going around town and taking pictures of all the cars parked beside the “No Parking Any Time” signs.
6) People thinking it’s ok to rip you off – People think they can short you in the money they give you back when you make a purchase, and in the product they sell you. They just don’t understand good business down here.
7) The lack of seasons – In Little Rock, it is either really really REALLY hot, or it is a little chilly. There is no Fall, and there is no Spring. There’s barely even a winter. I’m looking forward to moving back to a place that has all four seasons. And snow!!
8) The lack of Thai restaurants – When we moved here, I noticed that they had restaurants for almost every kind of food, except Thai! Pizza, Italian, Brazilian, Mexican, French, Indian, Korean. All kinds except for what I really wanted…THAI FOOD!
9) The limited variety of music – I had to stop listening to the radio. It is hard to find a good rock station, and impossible to find Oldies or Classical. All they really play on the radio here is rap and country music. I started making my own CDs and listening to them in my vehicle so I could listen to something I enjoyed.
10) The bugs – I have never seen bigger bugs in my life, except for maybe pictures of bugs that live in the Amazon and in rain forests! I’ve talked to people that live in Florida, and they said even down there the bugs aren’t as huge and populous as they are in Arkansas.
11) The laziness – People down here seem to think that if you are overweight, that means you can ride in the motorized handicap cart at the grocery store. You know, the one that is put there for people with REAL disabilities? I have never seen so many people riding in Walmart and grocery stores in those motorized scooters. It’s gotten to the point where I will see someone who truly cannot walk throughout the store because of a physical handicap, and my first thought is, “Why are they riding in that? They aren’t fat enough.” (Note: I am overweight myself and am NOT just poking fun at overweight people)
12) The aggressive males – Men down here seem to think that if a female steps out her front door then she is fair game to be hit on and harassed. I have had many a man here try to talk to me and tell me that they want to be my “friend”. That they want to “hang out”. Some just start by striking up a conversation, but it always leads to them asking for my phone number or making some wildly inappropriate comment. Their response when I say I’m married? “I don’t care about your husband.” Nice, real nice.
13) The lack of motivation – People down here would rather be paid by the government to pop out babies then to actually go out and work. I am not talking about the people who are looking for work and can’t find it. I am not talking about the people who are unable to work. I am talking about able-bodied people who have gotten used to receiving enough in government financial assistance that they don’t feel it necessary to work. By the way, the government is only really keen to help you out if you have a child. Or, like down here, at least seven children, all by different fathers, mind you.
14) The overzealous preachers – Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for spreading your faith if that’s what you believe you should do. I really don’t like coming home from work every day, though, and looking over to my left while I’m stopped at a red light to see a man in a long white robe and white hat screaming at me through a bull horn about hell and eternal damnation. What a way to “win a soul”.
15) The gunshot lullabies – Every night I go to sleep listening to the sounds of gunshots. There is not a gang issue where I live, just some people who like to pass the time by firing their guns on residential streets at all hours of the night. Holidays are exponentially worse. The gunshots seem to go all night long.
16) The personal questions – They think it’s ok to ask about all kinds of things down here that are none of their business. People have asked me numerous times about the race of my parents because I have curly hair; a question I find incredibly inappropriate.
17) The nerve of people – People think they can do whatever they want, regardless of any other person. I have already mentioned them blocking traffic in parking lots and grocery stores, and the parking on the wrong side of the street and beside no parking signs. They also like to just walk out in front of moving vehicles. Not just in crosswalks and parking lots. They do it during rush hour in the middle of busy streets. I almost hit someone the other night who was crossing the busy four lane street in the dark while wearing dark clothes, and acting like the street was completely empty. They just walk in front of cars, trusting that they will stop. I think if an example is made of just ONE person that would solve this problem. That’s my same solution for neighborhood children running out in the road, but that’s a different topic.
18) People trying to take my money – I donate my plasma twice a week so I can have money for things I need. Like food and gas. It really irritates me that, after I have waited to donate in a small lobby with 75 other people for almost two hours, and then spent 45 minutes bleeding on the table, as soon as I walk out the door somebody has their hand out wanting a couple dollars of my money. The money that I bled for. If I can go in there for three hours and bleed for a measly $20 bucks, so can they.
19) The cars that cut me off – I almost get into a wreck pretty much every day while I’m driving home from work. There is an unbelievably large number of people who will just cut me off; pulling out in front of me without enough room, changing lanes without looking, running red lights and turning left on green while I am in the intersection! I have almost run into another vehicle too many times to count – and it is usually because someone else is so impatient that they can’t wait the five seconds necessary for me to pass by.
20) The dogs roaming the streets – There are dogs that roam around our neighborhood. I can understand this. What I cannot understand is the dogs walking around on highways and other main roads. Dogs aren’t allowed to just wander where I’m from.
So, there is my list. Let me say again that I know all these things are not solely limited to Little Rock, Arkansas. I know that there are crappy people and crappy situations all across the world. It just seems to be more highly concentrated here.