Ridiculously sick…and thoughts on Kansas

So, I was ridiculously sick last week and didn’t even feel like touching my computer.  But while laying in a cough syrup induced semi-coma, I began to think of some of the major differences I’ve noticed about Kansas and Michigan.  Some library related (well, only one), others not-so-much.  Though I miss Michigan and my friends, I’m enjoying Kansas and the life I’ve got here.  It’s fun to see something different and it’s kind of a different culture in some ways.  Keep in mind, I’m in a slightly more rural area of Kansas…so I’m not talking about Kansas City or Topeka or Wichita in my notes.  Need to go do more city safaris.

- No coney islands.  That’s the saddest thing about Kansas to me.  Those staples of metro Detroit life…the coney island restaurant, do not seem to be in existence here.  I’m going to start looking harder.  It appears that once you drive west of Chicago, people no longer need mousaka, chili dogs, or lemon rice soup available to them 24 hours a day.  Breakfast is only served in the mornings in Kansas restaurants.  These people have no idea what they’re missing!

- Now that said, the most positive thing?  The pace of life is so much nicer here.  People don’t honk much when driving down the road.  And for the post part, folks are very, very nice.  I have been in the grocery store and been asked by the employees there if I need help finding anything.  IF I NEED HELP FINDING ANYTHING!  As if it is their job to help me find the groceries I need if I am wandering through the aisles looking lost!  And then I realize…it is there job to help me find something if I can’t find it!  It’s just that in Michigan most grocery store employees try to avoid eye contact.  (I worked in grocery stores for many years…don’t tell me I’m wrong…I’ll kick your…)

- I do, in fact, have an accent.  And apparently it’s obvious.  And people find it humorous.  I uttered the phrase “out and about” (oot and a-boot) a couple weeks ago to the guy behind the desk at the post office and he just about turned his face inside out trying not to laugh. 

- Growing up in a small town in Michigan, I’m used to not having a big food selection at the grocery store.  But I gotta tell ya, the selection in most of the grocery stores in Kansas is lacking.  (I need Middle Eastern food…I was raised by a Middle Eastern dad and a girl needs tabbouleh sometimes).  But the barbeque?  It’s orgasmic.  (Read again…I said orgasmic…).  It’s incredible.  What’s that Japanese term…umame?  Kinda like savory, but better?  I think that’s what makes KC BBQ so good…umame. 

- There is a library system in Missouri that shall remain nameless, but I think they are privatized.  And from everything I’ve observed, it’s not pretty.  One professional librarian at every branch, all the other employees are paraprofessionals.  All cataloging and purchasing done at a main office.  It’s bad for two reasons…non-librarians without a decent amount of training are answering reference questions…but are they doing it well?  (I think there are a lot of paraprofessionals who do a lot of great work at the ref desk, but I’m admittedly a fan of librarians being on desk…it’s a whole other post).  And how can one office purchase for all branches?  You’d hope that a branch would be a reflection of it’s community.  I hope they at least look at circ stats before purchasing from that one main office.

As you can see, I’m feeling a bit fiesty again.  It’s good to be back.  I’m almost fully decongested!  Then I’ll be unstoppable!

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One response to “Ridiculously sick…and thoughts on Kansas

  1. Wow – this was so fun to read. I always wondered what living in other states would be like. I also suspected that we have an “accent”, although it’s way less detectable than my aunt’s from North Carolina (y’all).

    My husband’s brother and family live in Arkansas and they come up here every year to have Coneys. I think that chicken lemon rice soup is food of the gods.

    About paraprofessionals on the ref desk, words cannot express my displeasure. For shame. That is indeed a WHOLE other post.

    Hope you’re feeling a-okay now. Oh, and by the by, if your dad is middle Eastern, be sure to read The Language of Baklava by Diana Abu-Jaber. Her dad was Jordanian and her mother American and it’s a great memoir.

    Cheers from MI!

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