There is a reason the normal minute was modified for the people of New York City. Although technically the same amount of time, 60 seconds up here does seem to pass by more quickly. The hustle and bustle of everyday life is much more exhausting than anything I’ve experienced in North Carolina because it seems as if everyone is doing the same thing and going the same places. And for nine millionish people, going somewhere and seeing something is always an ordeal. As a tiny speck in a sea of unrecognizable people, the North has (surprisingly) taught me more patience than the South ever has.
Although there a many difference between the regions of the US, the fundamental difference between the mountain towns of NC and the NY/ NJ area is simple: up here, people are actually trying to get somewhere. The destination is always the goal, whether it be home, work or the coffee shop for a pick-me-up. Back home, the journey is half the fun; looking at trees and mountains, feeling the fresh air when the windows are rolled down (something that almost no one does up here, probably because of the smog), enjoying the sunlight… just crusin. One of my favorite things in the world to do is drive down the road with all the windows down, with my sunglasses on, hair down and the music loud. I think a lot of people do that in the South.
In Brevard, most drivers chug along at their own pace, which most of the time is slow. It can be incredibly frustrating if you’re in the car behind them, needing to go somewhere or wanting to get somewhere fast, which I do mostly. It’s common to be stuck behind someone and being unable to pass them- there are always chances to pass, but daring winding mountain roads is never a good idea. So I just sit there, fuming, as I go along at a snail’s pace, subject to one person’s discretion.
In the North, people are still going along at a snail’s pace, but for different reasons. There are so many people that the roads really are above capacity, and until the traffic light turns (probably until the traffic light cycles through four times) you can’t move. But the difference is people want to move; they want to go. They don’t care about the potential joy in the journey because the destination is the gold. As soon as there is a chance, everyone will be zooming to pick up the pace of the traffic, almost to a fault (going a mere 60 in a 45 is idiotic- even the trucks will run you over at that pace). So, I know I will get to where I’m going the fastest I possibly can, because everyone else wants that, too, so they can get on with their travels. And knowing that, it’s easy for me to be patient and accept that no one else is one bit happy about the drive; we’re all in it together.