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More Mexican restaurants than McDonald’s

September 10, 2008

One thing I’ve noticed on this road trip is that people seem friendlier here in Arizona than in Illinois.  Very surprising since the Midwest is considered a “small town, everyone knows your name” environment.  And I’d like to think that’s true 90% of the time.

But, when four people say “Good luck on your research” and a traveling couple turns you down for an interview but apologizes to you for it sincerely, I can’t help but think, what is it that makes it seem people are happier here?

  1. Sunshine.
  2. Retirement.
  3. Since we are close to Mexico here, Freedom.
  4. The many shapes of cacti. (Yes, the plural is ‘cacti’.  I looked it up.)
  5. 75 MPH Speed Limit
  6. Lack of cold weather.
  7. More Mexican food venues than McDonald’s.
  8. Sunshine.

No one has asked us if we were terrorists or if we were drunk or whatever.  There are more smiles than scowls.  More gazes than stares. More non-natives (Chicago, Mexico, Pennsylvania) living here than one would expect.

Is it any wonder that I want a vacation home here?  Of course, it would need to come equipped with a pool.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Crystal permalink*
    September 10, 2008 3:25 pm

    Sounds beautiful … and eye opening. I want to visit Arizona now

  2. Susan Schultz permalink
    September 22, 2008 11:23 am

    As a westerner by birth and in my heart, I’ll take this one on.
    You touched on it by pointing out that many of the people you met are not native Arizonans. Same is true in California. Most people are from someplace else, so they’ve all been the new person, the outsider without the lifetime of shared cultural references that people who stay in their hometowns have. They’re a little more open and forgiving of people who “aren’t from here.” Unless, of course, you’re here illegally from Mexico, in which case you’re subject to all manner of bigotry.
    I also think geography plays a part. There is something to be said for being able to see the horizon. Wide open spaces and big skies give you a feeling of freedom, that there’s enough room for everybody. While I love how lush and green it is in the Midwest in the summer, it’s almost claustrophobic to me.
    Sorry, St. Louisans, but y’all can be more than a little clique-ish.

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