Not to be confused with last week’s post.
1. It’s bloody cold here in the winter. Friends pre-warned me of the Arctic temperatures that last for two weeks in January last year. I laughed. I’m not laughing now. I’m freezing my freakin’ she-nuts off.
2. Lack of Technology: Just as one example, Bryan walked into a print shop two days ago with a disc in-hand full of documents he wanted printed and spiral bound into fifteen booklets. They wanted/needed the paper copies. “Well, I have my laptop with me–” he offered. “I’ll print it off on mine”, the owner growled, snatching the disc. “He probably won’t charge you for the copies…” said the lady. He came out, 30 pages later (for one booklet) and said, “that’ll be $0.20 a copy.” “Fine.”
3. Mullets: Now, I’m no expert, but hair doesn’t grow that way naturally. I think there needs to be an amendment in the Constitution that bans them. There are five people in my congregation at church with a mullet. And. They’re. Women. One of them has a natural wave/perm too.
4. This one’s for Bryan. He calls them Horse Women. He knows one personally. They don’t have enough food to feed themselves and can barely make their mortgage payment, but they board, tend and take care of their horse–all for a hefty $1500/month price tag.
5. Commuting to Missoula. I’m totally used to it now, but sometimes it’s such a task. We have to pack provisions just to go shopping at the stores “in the big city”. We moved from a prime shopping area where Target, Michael’s, Toys R Us, Barnes & Noble, Old Navy, Pier 1 and restaurants galore graced our lives just a sweet 5-minute drive away. Now it’s all 45 miles from us.
6. That said, there are local stores, but if you stay, you pay. Usually. Sometimes they have amazing sales, but you can generally pay anywhere between $0.50-$1.50 more for any item. They encourage locals to shop local on adverts on t.v.–I will if I’m desperate. We bought frosting one time at Super 1, it expired 4 months previous. We have one Big Box store: K-Mart. Why does every K-Mart smell like an animal up and died in the premises? Sick. And other thing! You would think living in the midst of a meat and dairy euphoria that it would be reflected in the prices. No. I’d rather pump petrol and drink it, it’s cheaper than the milk here.
But I suppose that’s nothing compared to the housing market. Thankfully we made a 20% profit on our last out-of-state home. We paid almost $100,000 more here for a smaller home. Thanks to the influx of Californians (well, that’s who they’re blaming) over the past 5 years, the housing prices have shot through the roof. It’s pure nasty.
7. Road conditions. Thanks to the washboard Interstate road all the way to Missoula for my pre-natal doctor’s appointments, I enjoyed 50 minutes of contractions every trip, there and back. During nasty winter conditions, local roads and pavements (sidewalks) are covered in sand, not salt. It’s disgusting after the snow melts.
8. There was a time in Montana history not too long ago when you could drive any speed you cared to. Those days are well gone. I can’t help but wonder who posts the speed limit signs here. Obviously someone with a good sense of humour. The back country 2-lane – sometimes windy – highway speed is 65 mph. It changes to 35 mph with no warning and no gradual decline. What’s up with that?
9. I’d love to have a bike. I’d love to go rollerblading. I’d love to walk more places when the weather is nicer. I can’t, there’s a drastic shortage of pavements. That ticks me off.
10. You’re sick. Well, I mean hypothetically, not in the head. So you head to the local pharmacy in Albertson’s. “We don’t have that in stock, can you come back in 2 days?” No further comment.
11. I could have lumped this with No. 6, but quite frankly, this deserves a room all by itself. Okay, so I admit this should be something I am used to from the UK, but I’ve been here for eight years and I was converted pretty early on. I can’t stand it that businesses close and 5 and 5:30 p.m. Bryan gets off shift at 6 p.m. and sometimes needs things at the last minute. Tough luck, Jimmy. We’re closed.
12. Amenities, or lack there of. No zoo (it’s in Bozeman), museums, bowling alleys, kid-friendly pools, etc. We have an indoor pool 6 miles away, but they cater specifically for adults. I really don’t care to drive an hour just to entertain the kids. By the time we get there, they’ve been asleep for as long.
13. Environmentalists. I say conserve what we can, use the resources we have and recycle if possible when you can. They were against putting in a local Wal-Mart (not my fave, but I prefer the grocery prices) and had them do an environment impact study. They changed their minds because it would have set back everything another year. The thing that gets me is there are loads of log homes here (probably filled with environmentalists). Where’s the conservation there?