1. It's so green! Every place I turn, there are several trees, flowers, or even a small forest. I love driving to the church building because it's the most beautiful drive ever. I don't think I'll ever get sick of it. It's like a fairytale, because we drive on a road with trees on both sides, some bending over so it's like you're driving through a tunnel of green with the sun shining through the leaves but mostly having shade as you drive through. And it's a quiet road so it's just very peaceful. The best is listening to piano music as you make the drive. Cat said sometimes people feel claustrophobic or enclosed when they come but I don't feel that at all. It almost makes me feel safe...at home.
2. It is so historical. The road names are like Lexington and Concord, named after Revolutionary War battles, which I just think is so cool! There are so many old buildings and houses around too and it's like a little tour just driving around seeing all the different structures made of brick or other old materials. Some seem to fade away because they're so old, but this only makes them stand out more and make them more special.
3. The LDS community here is so close and so very welcoming. It's crazy, coming from a town where the high school is 95% Mormon to coming to an area where it takes 20 minutes to drive to church because the ward is so spread out. My aunt is really good friends with a lot of the sisters in the ward and she knows a lot of people in the stake because there just aren't a ton of them so they all know each other and they're all friends. The young adult group has been so welcoming. I went to church on Sunday and person after person kept coming up to me saying hi, treating me like we were old friends. I think people here don't take members for granted, like often happens in Utah. There, people all know each other, and with so many Mormons, it's hardly noticed or even a big deal when there's a new person. Here, when there is someone new, they're welcomed with open arms because there aren't a lot of LDS people here.
4. It's so diverse. For one, there aren't a lot of LDS people here, so there are so many more people who drink, party, swear, etc. I don't do that kind of stuff but it's really cool to see what more of the world is like. I realize how innocent I am because I have never been exposed to anything like this. This week I was talking to one of the other interns at Anthro and I was telling her about BYU and Mormonism and afterwards, I realized that it was the first time I ever had to tell someone about our religion. Before that, I'd never explained what being a Mormon was. Crazy, right? And then one of the other interns another day was talking about how she goes to all these concerts and they have to have a sober driver and she was like, "of course we have fake ids," and I was just like, whoa! It was all so new and different to me. It's also cultural diverse, meaning there are more than just white people here. There are a lot of hispanics, so a lot of people know how to speak Spanish and there are other nationalities and religions here too. Awesome.
5. Almost everyone has an iPhone. It's like seriously insane. I've never felt more left out in my entire life haha! Iphones are so big here and now I want one badly. I'm such a follower. :/
6. There isn't much customer service. In Utah malls, I walk into a store and immediately I'm bombarded by an employee asking me how my day is and telling me all their sales. Here, I walk into some stores, ready to be attacked, and instead all I see are employees folding clothes or working at the register. It's kind of weird, and I almost find myself missing customer service a little bit. I know, I know, I must be going insane to say that.
7. Sports. Are. HUGE. Celtics, Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins (basketball, baseball, football, hockey), you name it they're all really big. People are huge fans. It's always a conversation started when people are like, what team are you?! I just, "Um, the Jazz I guess? Now maybe the Celtics?" Who knows? I don't really care about them a ton, but the rest of Boston does, so I may just come back to Utah a big fan of all those teams.
8. People dress classy here. Think Banana Republic and Gap style. That's what people dress like here, because they are "Bostonian." Ok, well they're not snobby or anything, that's just what I've noticed. Utah people dress very mormon-y (think a Utah mom with blond poofed hair and shirts with ruffles and prints) but here it's definitely clean cut and classy. No crazy fashions or prints.
9. The hot dog buns. They're different. Instead of opening on the side, they open at the top. Seriously, who thought location would change such a thing as hot dog buns. But indeed it does.
10. The rain here is crazy! I mean it has been raining quite a bit, but more than that, it's super random. One minute it's pouring rain like no tomorrow and then fifteen minutes later the sun is out and had you been inside and not seen/heard the rain, you wouldn't even know it happened. I really like how much it rains though. It just adds to the beauty of this place. It makes sense for it to rain as much as it does or it wouldn't be so green here. The other night it was raining as I fell asleep and I decided that one of my favorite things in the world is falling asleep to the rain.
11. Polite drivers. In Utah, you could be waiting at a stop sign for like 10 minutes and still not be able to turn, but here I have noticed that when traffic is busy, drivers will stop and let you turn in, even when they have the right of way. I get surprised every time it happens because I'm not used to it. Its a nice surprise though, like an "oh that was thoughtful" feeling that makes your heart happy.
12. The way there is a church building on every block in Utah, there is a Dunkin Donuts on every block in the east coast. People need their coffee here!
I have to say that I am glad to be back in Utah but I miss Boston and the east coast so fiercely. I miss my internship. I miss Cat, Derick, Brianna, and Ellie. I miss the singles ward. I miss the roads and Route 9. I miss the history of everything and the trees that dot the earth there. I miss the smell of coffee (and I hate the smell of coffee!). I miss it all. I wish I could somehow have the best of both worlds and just transport my whole life over to the east coast, but obviously things don't really work that way. For now, I will just continue to yearn for it. Soon I will go back, and when I do, that will be a happy day :)