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Moving to Iowa...I should be examined...
Moving to Iowa...I should be examined...
I moved to the Des Moines area two years ago. I lived in a hotel for my first two months given corporate relo issues. At that time, I sent an email back to my friends and family on the east coast as an update. I found it this morning and found it pretty funny so I thought I would share it with all.
Well, I've been in Iowa for about a month and I thought I should offer an update on how things are going. Things are actually great here. If Des Moines was on the east coast, it would probably be one of the best cities in the country. Iowa...well, there's a lot of corn in Iowa. I knew coming out here that Iowa was first in terms of corn production but I had no idea that first was quite so much. We had a saying back home about corn..."knee high by the Fourth of July". By the fourth of July, the corn in Iowa is taller than *****.
Here are a few other interesting things that I've discovered about the thriving super-metropolis of Des Moines and the nation's heartland:
1. It is very humid here...I mean monsoon humid. Des Moines has the largest elevated 'skywalk' system of any city in the world primarily because of the humidity.
2. When it rains (and so far that's been about 75% of the days I've been here), everything floods. It's pretty flat so the water has nowhere to really pool. It just lays around in enormous puddles.
3. Everybody here hates the Yankees. No one really cares about the Red Sox but that's better than being hated.
4. You can buy watermelon in Iowa for $.29/pound.
5. Velveta is sold in the 'specialty foods' section in the supermarkets.
6. Trampolines are a big deal in Iowa. While looking for houses I noticed that every neighborhood has dozens of them. I've asked about the reason for the popularity but no one knows.
7. People put salt in their beer here too!
8. John Kerry bumper stickers and yard signs out-number the Bush junk by a margin of at least 8-1.
9. People out here are tall...really tall. I would estimate that the average height of women is around 5'8", maybe more. Height doesn't seem to be that much of an issue out here though...thank God!
10. Grain elevators are taller than all but maybe thirty of the buildings in the state. There's one up near Ames, IA that must be 60 stories tall. And the tractors...let's just say that the tractors in Iowa are like the snow plows in Buffalo, NY.
11. Bartenders actually buy beers back in Iowa. After five years in Boston and NJ, this was a heck of a surprise the first time it happened.
12. People here are very genuine and very, very friendly. Again, no offense to anyone but Boston and NJ aren't known for their open and cheery hospitality. I had a five minute conversation with a guy that came out of a building while I was walking around in Davenport. We talked about corn but it was still a nice conversation.
13. By descent, most people are Irish or German. Damn Germans...they made all of the women tall.
14. Average Iowa highway speed between 6:00-8:00 AM: 80+ MPH. Average Iowa highway speed any other time of the day: 50 MPH.
15. People in the mid-west LOVE fireworks. I've spent four weekends in Des Moines and I've either seen or heard seven fireworks shows. There has been at least one show every weekend that I've been here. They aren't great shows but I guess that's not really the point. I was incredibly impressed on the Fourth of July. I looked out my hotel window and I could see explosions coming from every direction. Kids were setting off small rockets over the river even though they are technically illegal in Iowa but the police didn't bother anyone. That one night said a lot about the mid-west. It was good.
Well, I hope that everyone is doing well. Life on the prairie is going fine but I'll be happy when I am no longer living in a hotel suite. Like I said, I really am enjoying things here.
7/8/2006 8:33 pm
You've almost made me home sick. I say almost because I do not miss Iowa summers. A note as to why it is so humid: Corn. Corn thrives on humidity and it helps create it. The Gazette did an article on it a few years ago. |
Also, have you noticed that if you wait a few minutes the weather changes completely?
And as an Iowa girl, let me tell you I was stunned to learn that the average American man is about 5'9. Not the case in Iowa. But definitely the case here in the west. We grow 'em tall back home. I miss being shorter then most of the men around me.
Anyway, enjoy Iowa and spread the good word that it isn't such a backwards hick state after all.
~~"I can scream as loud as your last one, but I can't claim innocence."~~