Sunday, November 28, 2010

Life in the Midwest

So, a question that I get asked frequently is, "it's a lot different here compared to Washington, isn't it?" On an every day level, it's really similar to living in the most rural part of Washington that I can imagine (Badger Pocket comes to mind, but I haven't actually been there). There are, however, a few key differences. These things don't come up in every day life, but always strike me a strange when I am reminded of it.

  • Drinking. Wisconsin has one of the highest drinking rates in the nation, and as such, they seem pretty   relaxed about it. Washington has some strict liquor laws, so it's a whole different world out here! On our first night out for dinner, we called around for the best prices on Fish Fry Friday (more on that later) and asked if we could bring Sora to the place we chose. We walked in, and by Washington standards, we were in a straight up bar. Where kids under 21 would NEVER be allowed. Apparently, there is no such law here. Any one of any age can be in any type of bar. I'm not sure that you even have to be accompanied by someone of age. Also, if you bring your kid to a bar, they can DRINK with you!! I think they have to be 18, but I'm pretty sure the 18 year old age limit is relatively new (before that, it was any age). Crazy!
  • Fish Fry Friday. Washington isn't a very religious state as a whole, and Seattle specifically is not very religious. In fact, it seemed strange to meet people my age that actually went to church. Here in Wisconsin, especially in the "northwoods", church is much more common. Every eating establishment around has a Fish Fry Friday special, and many also have a Broasted (or Roasted) Chicken on Saturday or Sunday. You don't have to be religious to partake, and we've really liked the one we went to.
  • Diners. Now, obviously things are more expensive in Seattle, but I've never been to diners that are so cheap! We went to breakfast this morning, and I ordered breakfast for myself and Sora (two separate meals) for $4.15. Kyle had the most expensive breakfast at $5.50. With 2 coffees, our total was less than $13! That is so crazy cheap!
  • Milk. Now, Kyle and I have never been milk people, but I feel like it was relatively rare to meet adults back home who actually drank milk on a regular occasion. Milk is for coffee and cereal and baking. Not just drinking! Here, we are the super weird ones for not drinking (or having Sora drink) milk. We literally use 1/2 gallon per week, and we've met others who use 10 gallons per week (with a 5 person family, but still!).
Those are the biggest things we've noticed. There are some minor lexicon differences (bubbler for water fountain, and supper for lunch), but nothing major. There are some things that are crazy cheap here (like real estate), but overall the cost of living isn't ridiculously lower. It's fun to discover the nuances that make up the mid west! 

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