Thursday, November 15, 2012

This is a strange, strange place

Moving from Pennsylvania to Indiana was a bit strange. It has also sparked an ongoing battle with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. There are a few items that have caused me to experience culture shock and a few things that baffle me. One of the things that will seem strange to many people is the fact that the state has open carry. (I am not opposed to gun ownership, but I think people who insist they need military grade weapons are going a bit too far. U.S. law still requires every citizen to own a black powder musket and 24 balls of ammunition, I think. I'm not sure if that act ever got repealed or amended.)

Attitudes towards guns and other weapons are just one example. There are some things that surprise me. I still cannot get over the fact that you can walk into almost any store and buy beer and other types of liquor. Pennsylvania still has a state-run liquor store model that is a hold over from the prohibition days.

I am also surprised by the somewhat higher level of tact, although I am not sure this was something that was unique to my family. I am used to saying what is on my mind. This is often done without thinking about the consequences. As someone can imagine, this leads to some interesting discussions.

Perhaps the biggest change -- other than going from a small town to an actual city -- is the geography. When I first got here several months ago, I kept looking around to see tornadoes off in the distance. (Someone eventually told me that this was Indiana, not Oklahoma.) It's still strange to see prairie instead of mountains. ON the other hand, one of the best things I love about this place is that it is 700 miles from Shamokin. (Note: The area I'm from is not in the anthracite coal regions. Shamokin, about 30 miles away from my home town, marks the western border. Most of the anthracite coal towns are not pretty, but Shamokin is a very special case in many ways.)