Wednesday, September 9, 2009

from hill to shining hill

If you're a Matisyahu fan , you may have thought of him when you read this post's title. What I mean by 'from hill to hill' is that in Philly we lived in an area called Drexel Hill but now we live in Chapel Hill. Since we've lived here I've been able to compare the 2 hills and have found some differences.

Garbage Men
The garbage men, or 'sanitation engineers' (the PC term) are thoughtful in Chapel Hill. They always put our trash can back where it was and they always put it right side up. This might seem like a no brainer, unless you had lived in Drexel Hill. There we were lucky if our trash can made it back to the curb once it was emptied. They usually just threw the empty can in the direction of where they picked it up. Half the time I had to either get it out of the street or out of the driveway.

Also, the first week we put our recycling out, I broke down all of our cardboard and put it into one cardboard box. The guys took all the cardboard out of the box and left the box behind. At first I was puzzled, and a little upset that they left it. But then I realized they probably thought that was my 'special box' that I used for putting cardboard out and that I might want to keep this box for this purpose. This went on for several weeks until I finally took that box somewhere else because I actually wanted it to go away.

Waving (Southern Friendliness)
I grew up in the South (Georgia to be exact, the buckle of the Bible belt) but haven't lived in the South for a number of years. So I am not used to the friendliness of people. I am used to the 'cooler' more distant East Coast way of treating people, otherwise know as acting like they don't exist if you don't know them. In our lovely Chapel Hill neighborhood however, people wave at us (and we wave back) whenever we go down the street. Not only that, people actually talk to us. In Drexel Hill, that never happened; People pretty much leave each other alone unless they actually know each other. I kind of like the Chapel Hill way a little better. It makes me feel welcome.

First of all, thank God for Right on Red!! In Drexel Hill, and the Philly area in general, almost every traffic light had a "No Right Turn on Red" sign. This always frustrated me, especially when no one was coming. I often still made right turns on red just because I thought I should be able to. But in Chapel Hill (and most normal places in the world) you can turn right on red!

Also, in Philly, there is a phenomenon called "The Jersey Left" by some and "The Pittsburgh Left" by others. I guess it depends on where you are from. Basically this particular maneuver happens if you are the first car at a red light with no left turn signal. If the first car wants to turn left, it just turns left as soon as the light turns green, even though they don't have the right of way. I hate this and tried hard not to pick up this driving habit. Since it was something I tried not to do in Philly, if I was ever at the front and wanted to turn left, I would just wait. But then the person across the intersection would wait for me to turn because they expected me to do the quick left. If I didn't, some people would actually honk their horn and wave me through. Even though I didn't want to.

Finally, in Drexel Hill and the surrounding areas, people didn't know what to do with turn lanes. I have seen way too many cars halfway in the turn lane as they were trying to turn across traffic. I would actually look for these people blocking my lane, get right up behind them, stop and lay on the horn. Thankfully, in Chapel Hill, people understand what they are for. Except for the Philly and Jersey transplants!

Anyways, we love this Hill much better then the last Hill. We are glad to call Chapel Hill home.

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