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Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Jersey Girl in the Medium Sized City

So here I am.

Sitting in my apartment, on the floor, eating an icepop and staring at 16 & Pregnant. I just got cable/internet and I can feel my productivity reducing rapidly. However, that hasn't been the case since I've arrived. But let's start at the beginning shall we.

In November, I accepted a great internship opportunity at Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis. I hate that it's called an internship when it literally determines the large majority of my undergraduate career. This "internship" comes after countless hours of undergrad work, more hours of applications and interviews, followed by even more stressful hours of waiting. Then for six months we work at our chosen location before sitting for the board exam.

Six months. No stipend (at my location at least). Full-time Monday through Friday. Hardly deserves the title of internship to me.

But regardless, here I am in Indiana.

On Thursday I packed nearly my entire life into my (little) car and drove west. Several pandora stations, our first trip to KFC, and about three hundred miles on route 80 later, we were nearing Cleveland. After stopping for the night at DoubleTree (free cookies!) we got up early for the free breakfast and to check out the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Talk about inspiration. I've never wanted to be a rock star more than that morning....good thing I'm moving to Indiana? Standing next to the jacket from the Thriller video was a little much for me...but that's a story for another day.

Then it was back on the road and even more driving west. By Friday evening we were in Indianapolis. After we moved in furniture, ate pizza, and took a 1 am trip to Meijers (pronounced meyers for all you East Coasters) for pillows it was time for bed.

I woke up only to find a Indy 500 parade....standard Saturday in Indianapolis? Not so much. When I say parade, I mean parade. I mean, the little sister of the Thanksgiving Day parade. I've seen a lot of parades in my day (oddly enough) and this was a great one. Mostly because the people are so nice and move out of your way so you can see. But what a cool weekend to explore. After walking downtown, finding some lunch and seeing some celebs in the parade (hellllllo Silver Fox), we checked out the Zoo and the canal area of Indy.

Big day, huge day I guess. Another run to Target and some "bloset" (my bathroom/closet) organizing ended the day at 2 am....before Amy's 5:20 am flight.

As I drove home at 5:30 am through a city (that does indeed sleep, unlike NYC) that was new and unfamiliar, I noticed a tinge of excitement run through my blood. Here I am, on my own.

So here's where I'll start the point of this whole blog

Lessons from Landlocked America
(An East Coast girl meets the Mid-West)

From the point that I left Amy at security on I've been here, learning about the city and myself. I've read a book and a half. I've got a sunburn, I've learned that walking to the mall at 10:30 when its 70 degrees is a good idea but walking home at 12:30 when its 95 is a bad idea. I've donated to Indianapolis' own homeless, I've also learned how to avoid them.

But I've learned, above all, that people in this part of the county LOVE to talk. I think I'll fit right in..

No matter where I've been, or what interactions I've had....everyone wants to talk...about nothing and everything. About "the race", about my sunburn, about the price of corn, about the temperature, about the holiday, about the parking meters (oh the parking meters). There is nothing too mundane to have a 30 minute conversation about, trust me.

The Parking Meters deserves it's own explanation, as I've spoken to three different people about the meters and I've only lived here 6 days. The city of Indianapolis is switching to parking meters that you pay at those boxes instead of putting in coins...just like NYC...just like MSU's campus...just like...well, a LOT of places. But it is causing an UPROAR here in the midwest. People. Are. Mad. (as hell, And they aren't going to take it anymore)

The first person I heard talking about this was a rather large woman and her daugher (oh another thing, the obesity epidemic is HERE with a vengeance, more on that later). They were walking to the parade in front of Amy, Emily and I complaining about the change to the new meters.

The next time I heard about the meters was at my (new) local grocery store, Marsh. And yes, I did just have to go find my little key ring card to remember the name. The woman at the register asked me if I wanted help carrying my (2) bags to the car. I explained that I had walked 5 minutes from my apartment to which she responded "Well, at least you don't have to park at those stupid metered spots then".


The last time was this morning when my comedy/cable troupe of dumb and dumber came in to install my internet and cable. The first people I've met that didn't want to talk but seeing that my studio apartment has no where else for me to go, I had to make conversation. I talked about going down to the mall without realizing where this conversation would go. Yup, the meters. Note to self, ever need a conversation starter...ask their opinion on the meters.

So, lesson number 1, people love to talk.
Lesson number 2, the parking meters are a HUGE deal.

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