The week before last I was near Sarasota on a visit to family. I'll skip much of the whining I've done to friends and just relate two things.
I took a few runs through the subdivision and - creepy - simply sensed that if i didn't say hello to everyone i came across, I stood a good chance of being reported by the Neighborhood Watch. And because I wanted to run more than I didn't want to greet strangers, I said hello to all of them. Running in Central Park, I love being around all those thousands of other people but what I love just as much is that I'm not obligated to be fake nice to a single one of 'em. Also, while my nabe does not have Neighborhood Watch signs and I'm sure there's no group here, I've come home at 4 a.m. to plenty of civilians also coming in. I feel much safer back here. Perhaps for southerners its not about fake nice, but for me, it was.
Did i mention the giant confederate flag flying at one of the houses at the end of one of the cul de sacs in the next subdivision over? I just don't understand. It didn't comfort me that there was an equally giant American flag flying above it. I just don't know what to make of it, and I didn't have to guts to keep running right up to the middle-aged man sitting out on the well-manicured lawn and ask about it all. I turned right around before i got to end of the cul de sac, and kept running.
Typical liberal reaction.
Less seriously, and not Florida specific, but it was one of the first things that I heard off the plane and it still makes me laugh:
Overheard at the airport:
Grandmother (yanking her little grandson out of the path of the oncoming car at the terminals' curb): Do you WANT to get hit by a car? Is that what you want?
Many a time in the city I've wanted to ask the grandmother's question to my fellow nyc pedestrians.