- "sticky" culture
- December 6th, 2016
fact: when i moved to boston my roommates claimed i had a southern accent. i had no idea i'd had an accent, but whatever accent i had, i lost in under a year. for a while my roommates claimed it still came out when i was drunk, but i sort of doubt that's the case anymore.
fact: seattle is full of terrible drivers. i know, every goddamn city thinks their drivers are the worst, but seattle's are terrible in a specific way: they are all painstakingly polite. like, in boston, car accidents happen because two assholes tried to pull a fast merge on each other and collided. in seattle, they happen because some dumbass was trying to wave someone across an intersection, when that person really didn't have the right of way, but it's just nice to let other people go sometimes, and then that person gets t-boned because they didn't have the right of way, idiot. *
fact: my boyfriend is a seattlite but drives like a maniac. he claims this is because he learned to drive in Los Angeles. if this is the actual case then i am never driving in Los Angeles.
i was pondering these and other facts when i was wondering how "sticky" certain aspects of culture are. all things being equal (e.g. i know some people naturally pick up new accents more easily than others, i know a lot of this stuff depends on the extent to which you're immersed in a new community, etc), i wonder which regional tics you are most and least likely to lose? i'm not thinking so much about conscious cultural things, like continuing to be southern baptist in a city of liberal heathens, but the unconscious things that you may not even think of as being particularly regional on a daily basis: driving styles, saying "hello" and smiling at strangers, always being on time vs always being late, etc
half-baked theories welcome; i'd produce some myself but am too braindead to do so atm
* the way it was described to me once, by a friend who lived in all three of the cities he described: "in boston, everyone's an asshole, but at least they know how to drive. in seattle, everyone's fucking terrible at driving, but at least they're polite about it. in washington d.c., everyone is terrible and everyone is an asshole about it."