We’ve lived in North Carolina for just over two years now, and I must say it’s proven to be quite the education! Here’s a list of some of the things I’ve learned since moving here:
1) “Bless your heart” does not mean what it means everywhere else. If someone says “bless your heart” where I come from, it’s an expression of endearment or sympathy; in NC, it’s a euphemism for calling you an idiot.
2) Barbecue is not barbecue in NC. When I think of barbecue, I imagine meat smothered in barbecue sauce. Here, it’s meat marinated in vinegar, and it takes an acquired taste to enjoy it. (I still have not acquired that taste, by the way.)
3) Bojangles is to North Carolinians as In ‘n’ Out is to Californians.
4) Sweet tea is everywhere and at every event, and if you announce that you don’t like it, people will stare at you like you have two heads. (True story.)
5) North Carolinians can handle rain, hail, hurricanes, tornadoes, you name it, but when a little bit of snow touches the ground (or even has the remotest possibility of falling), the whole state shuts down and everyone turns into doomsday preppers.
6) They take their Wolfpack vs Tar Heels and rivalriy very seriously, and it’s probably best to play the part of Switzerland and stay neutral unless you’re willing to defend to the death your college team of choice.
7) “Pig pickin'” is actually a thing. They literally cook a whole pig right in front of you and then you get to go pick off the pieces you want. Trust me, it’s way more disgusting to see than you can possibly imagine.
8) The drivers here are just as aggressive as California or New York drivers. Probably because half the population moved here from California or New York.
9) I had no idea what a tobacco plant looked like until I moved here.
10) You’re not a true North Carolinian until you’ve been to the fair.
11) People here call winter hats toboggans, and they don’t believe you when you try to tell them that a toboggan is actually a sled.
12) You’ve never known true heat until you’ve lived through a North Carolina summer.
13) The bugs here are out. of. control. Signing up for a quarterly pest control service is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.
14) If someone asks you to cut off the light, they’re asking you to turn the light switch off. Don’t get out a pair of scissors. Likewise, when you’re told to mash a button, you’re meant to press it. No kitchen utensils needed.
15) Despite the southern stereotypes, most people I know prefer Target to Wal-Mart, but good ol’ Wally World is still very popular.
16) Speaking of Wal-Mart, “goin’ Wal-Martin'” is actually a thing.
17) North Carolinians have a museum for everything. Seriously.
18) Fayetteville is to North Carolina as Compton is to California.
19) If you ask a local how far away something/someplace is, odds are they’ll give you the distance in minutes rather than miles.
20) If you’ve ever wanted to live in a place where people are as friendly as they were in Mayberry, where complete strangers wave to you and you’re welcomed to your new neighborhood with plates full of baked goodies, then North Carolina is the place for you!