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17 observations about my move to Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Posted Jul 12 2010 4:30am

1) Indiana has The Flying Cupcake . Chapel Hill has The Flying Burrito . I’m glad my relocation hasn’t led to a lack of airborne edible objects in my vicinity.

2) There are three highways that all have the number 5 in their name around here and at one point they all merge into one before diverging again. This will not be confusing in the slightest bit, I’m sure.

3) “Are you a student?” No, I am not, but I might start saying I’m one if people keep asking me this. It seems to be the standard way to open a conversation here. (That, or to check that you’re not jailbait.) I suppose this is what I get for moving to a college town.

4) This place called Chapel Hill has lots of hills. Who’d have thunk it?! My little 4-cylinder Saturn is discovering gears it never knew it had when we lived in the post-glacial flatland of Indiana.

5) This city is very bike friendly. I’ve seen lots of bike lanes on the road and lots of cyclists actually using them. Makes me want to get out my bike and ride. Then I remember the hills.

6) The sales tax here is 7.75%. Ouch!

7) I went to update my Amazon Associates account with my new address information. (This is the program that allows me to earn a small commission on any purchases made through this site.) When I hit “Submit” I got a big red error message alerting me that citizens of North Carolina may not take part in the program. CRAP! Did some research and learned this happened last year over a tax dispute . Did some more research and found a legal way to circumvent the problem, but geez, get with the program North Carolina. Literally, get with the Amazon Associates program and work this out.

8) My neighbors’ unsecured wireless internet appears and disappears like Brigadoon. Is sorta annoying, but I’m thankful that I can get any Internet access at all since Time-Warner is making me wait over a week for installation. Somewhat tempted to knock on my other neighbors’ doors, get flirty, and ask for the passwords to their secured networks. So sad that I would think of whoring myself out for wifi.

9) The clerk at Best Buy asked me what my zip code was earlier this week, and I was like, Crap! What is my zip code?. Quickly remembered, but figure this hesitation will continue for awhile, particularly after I get my new phone number.

10) Am still getting used to new local news personalities, different focus on the weather map, and new grocery stores. There is no Kroger or Marsh near here. Now I have Harris-Teeter and Food Lion. We even have Kangaroos! Er, a Kangaroo Express, anyway.

Kangaroo Express

11) I would be the world’s crappiest mover. I am constantly banging furniture into walls and railings. Whoops! Hope you weren’t attached to that chunk of drywall!

12) Moving right before the 4th of July holiday weekend is awful timing. Everything closes down, your new smartphone is stuck in-transit at the Knoxville post office hub for days, and people light up loud explosives when you are the most exhausted you will be all year.

13) To turn on a gas stove, you must first turn the dial slightly counter-clockwise to the words that say “Light.” Wait a few seconds for the flame to light, and THEN turn down the flame to the adjusted height. Turning the dial directly to the number you want, like you did on an electric stove, will just make you look like a moron.

14) If you are listing your beloved Steelcase desks on Craig’s List because you’ve decided they’re too heavy to move, ask the respondent to your ad what they plan to do with them. If you don’t, you may come to learn they are hauling them to the recycling center to redeem scrap metal for pennies a pound. My poor, Steelcase desks! I’m so, so, sorry! Your death is on my hands. I hope you are reincarnated as something beautiful, and not just a water heater.


15) Chapel Hill is located in Orange County. That’s right, I’ve moved to The OC.

16) I was driving down the street when I saw a peculiar sign that said “Speed Table.” What’s that? I thought as my mind started to envision a spreadsheet with a table listing different speeds and—BUMP! Ah, that’s what a speed table is—it’s a big long speed bump.

17) When I was checking out apartments last month, I mentioned to the rental agent that I was from Indiana. “Oh, I used to live in Crawfordsville!” she told me.

“Wow, me too!” I responded, because I had indeed lived in Crawfordsville for two years as a kid. Crawfordsville is a tiny, little town—dare I say it, a podunk town. So it was odd to run into someone who lived there when I was all the way out in North Carolina.

Then, I set up a new bank account yesterday and told the agent I had just moved from Indiana. “Oh, I used to live in Indiana!” she said. “We lived near Crawfordsville, on Lake Holiday.”

“No way!” I said. “We lived in a rental house on Lake Holiday for a few months before moving into our house.”

So, I am now convinced that everyone in Chapel Hill is originally from Crawfordsville, Indiana. Prove me wrong. I dare you.

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