Things I Have Learned In North Dakota
1. They actually expect you to know North, South, East and West when they give you directions on how to go somewhere in town. Seriously? Nobody from the South knows what direction they are headed. That’s because in our part of the country, a lot of the roads are laid out along old carriage trails, and they wind, and curve, and double back on each other. So telling me to head North is like telling me to close my eyes and pick a direction.
2. Soft drinks are referred to as soda pop. In the South, all soft drinks are called Cokes whether they are or not.
3. They actually DON’T talk the way they do in the movie Fargo. At least not in this part of North Dakota. It’s more a Midwestern twang.
4. They have two seasons: Shovel and Swat.
5. The state bird is the mosquito. The state tree is a telephone pole. (Thanks to Rose Chimera, who filled me in).
6. It is freaking cold. And there are no trees, or hills, or anything to block that howling wind. It’ll whip the hood right off your jacket.
7. Catholic hospitals don’t do birth control.
8. The process of fracking is turning small North Dakota towns into boom towns. People are pouring in for work and they can’t keep up with the housing. They can’t even put up trailers fast enough. And a lot of these folks don’t know how to drive on snow and ice. Driving is now dangerous in the winter just due to all the out-of-towners who don’t have a clue.
9. WalMart can’t have a pharmacy. In North Dakota, pharmacies must be owned by the pharmacist who runs them.
10. Serious Note To Self: 12 packs of soda pop forgotten in the car trunk explode. Violently. And you can’t get the soda pop out of the car, or expect it to dry up because it is frozen solid and stuck to the carpet. Not sure how the car rental people will respond to this.
11. I think I may be coming down with the flu.