8.12.2009

The Difference between Urban Philly and Suburban San Jose


Just got back from a week in San Jose tending to family issues related to my parents' car accident. Lots more to say but this ain't the forum for it. This post is far more mundane, just random musings under the heading of "Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore, are we":

* The car wash in my neighborhood is $2.95, and for another 75 cents, you get about 5 minutes of vacuum to clean out your interior. Here, even with a $4-off coupon, I still shelled out 16 bucks.

* Granted that with my parents being in different hospitals, there are unique circumstances. Still, I drove more in 5 days in town, in terms of number of trips and legs, than I had in the last 60 days combined in Philly.

* I was in a rush to run a quick errand at the local supermarket and so, without thinking, stopped in the middle of the entrance to fumble with my sunglasses and backpack. As I was stuffing my sunglasses behind my back and into my backpack, I basically clocked a guy in the head as he was trying to dart past me. Before I could even say anything, he said sorry to me. In Philly, fists might have flown; instead, I'm getting instant apologies for being in the way of my lazy elbow. (I swear, every time I'm out there I have one of these kinds of encounters. Two times ago, it was a DVD rental that turned out to be the wrong disc, which necessitated us turning our car around and me getting riled up to make my case to the cashier. Only five words in, he meekly apologized and said he's get the right disc right away. And I had prepared many more than five words to say to him, and had to put them in my back pocket and accept that I was going to get what I wanted without a fuss.)

* One morning, I took the kids to the park with another friend of mine and his kids, who all live in urban Oakland. As we headed into the meat of the park, we saw a couple walking their dogs, and my friend said to his kids, "It's OK, they're friendly, 'cause we're in the suburbs now." City kids know it's best to be wary at first when it comes to the canines.

* This isn't an urban/suburban thing but still worth noting. I had set a time to meet with friends at a local park. I appended a PS noting that there was no rain site, so if it was raining, there would be no meet-up. Two of my friends teased me by saying "it doesn't rain in the summertime around here, silly."
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