Growing up in Beaufort S.C, a relatively small coastal town, I always assumed that I would leave at some point to pursue my passions in life. I chose to go to a school in Washington D.C., a bustling city with the National Mall, Capitol, and other national markers. I thought it would be great living in an area where I could have so many opportunities to push forward my life. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love it here, it’s great; but there are so many small things I miss about being in my nice Coastal town.
Anyone who was raised in the South knows that Sweet Tea goes best with everything. Going out with friends, everyone ordering a Sweet tea is a common occurrence, and honestly it is sort of shocking if someone orders an unsweetened tea. It's the complete opposite up here in DC. I thought that since I would still be in the “South”, I would be able to get sweet tea at least at some places. Nope. And side note: Adding sugar to already cold tea doesn’t work, it just doesn’t.
Small Talk with Strangers:
Walking on Waterfront Park, it was not out the ordinary to strike up a random conversation with a passerby. It wouldn’t be long, mostly small talk or just random greetings of the day, but it was a pleasant addition to the social aspect of life back home that I did not think I would miss. I understand when downtown D.C., people are in hurries, they have work to do, or they’re in groups. But on the sidewalk where it is not too crowded, walking past another person and I will say “Good morning” and what not, and if for some reason I’m not answered with a blank stare and silence, I’ll receive a half-hearted “Mornin.” The constant blaring noise of silence is frustrating, people are each in their own world and no one acknowledges anyone.
This might just apply to my area where I grew up, but rainfall was almost certain to happen every day. It wouldn’t be much usually, maybe thirty minutes to cool down the insane heat that we had, but it was nice and more often than not, outside plans were based upon the idea that it would rain, regardless of the weather station. It was great to be outside in it, maybe you were already fishing, swimming, or just out running. It was a constant part of life and it was soothing and refreshing every time it came.
Yeah I get it, southern food might not be as healthy and good for you as food from other areas, but it sure does taste a hell of a lot better. The southern classics such as fried okra, cornbread, the assortment of different pies truly cannot compare to DC food. It is even more cringing when people try to emulate southern food, it just doesn’t taste right. And no, frying everything does not make it Southern.
Idioms:Southern people have a unique way of talking, and about 90% of the conversation is going to be random sayings that you may or may not understand. Talking to my friends, I sometimes let a random phrase slip that they won't understand whatsoever. “Barking up the wrong tree”, which is a pretty well-known saying, but even if the person understands what I said, they are confused as to why I would phrase it like that. Having a conversation up here using only random phrases you might have heard your grandmother harp will cause the people around you to look at you like they're lost like last years Easter Egg.
Even though we are all Americans, growing up in the South is a bit different than the culture up North and these are some of the major things that I miss most about not being back in the 100 degree heat of Beaufort S.C.