I moved across the country. After two months this is not a news flash to anyone. However, it is a huge change. And clearly I did know that I was moving to Washington DC. And I did understand that it is almost physically as far away from Washington state as you can get and still be in the United States.
Yet the actuality of this is still startling. There are the simple things, such as not recognizing any store names. A good example of this is World Market. There is a World Market near my metro stop. I assumed it was a grocery store. Wrong. It is in fact an import store for things, more like Pier One, I guess. Or Harris Teeter. When someone mentioned this store I literally thought they were speaking another language.
Another thing I never thought about is my accent. I mean, I’m aware of accents because I studied abroad in London. And I was a theatre major. Clearly accents come up every once in a while. I just didn’t think I had one. Apparently I do. Although people seem to think I’m from the Midwest…? So I’m not sure where that comes from, but I feel foreign in a lot of ways.
It is a long distance to be away from home. And I am a little oblivious. I know way less about the geography of this side of the country than I should. To the point that it is a little embarrassing. So maybe I should spend some time with a map? If anyone has any suggestions, I’m open.
And simply my attitude towards location and distance needs some adjusting. In Walla Walla, I would hesitate to drive an hour to go to a shopping mall. Yet here my commute to work is 45 minutes each way. And I considered going to school roughly a 5 hour drive from my hometown reasonably close. I think a 5 hour drive from DC would take me through 2 or 3 states. Maybe. Obviously geography is not a strength of mine. So maybe I’m not actually in a different country, but culturally I still feel a little bit at sea in some ways.