Well my first week at Delta State has come and gone. The job itself is great. There is a lot to learn of course, but I have plenty of freedom to move around. There is also a lunch hour. Being that I live two blocks from work allows me to go home to eat and still have time to run errands. That has come in handy because most businesses in Cleveland close at 5 and aren’t open on the weekends.
Still the town has everything I need. There is a 24-hour Walmart Super Center. Three supermarkets (four if one counts Walmart), a Walgreens, Subways, McDonald’s, Burger King, Subways, three or four auto parts stores, an Ace Hardware, a post office, at least one gym, and an array of locally owned establishments some of which deserve their own posts here. About the only thing Cleveland doesn’t have is Indian food and a real New York Pizzeria. There is a Dominoes and a Pizza Hut in town, plus a local restaurant called Lost Dog Pizza Company that I fully intend to visit. Still, its not the same.
Little things like that remind me that I am far from home. Another example is the DMV. Those of you from New York know that those joyful letters stand for Department of Motor Vehicles. Mississippi, however, has none. Driver’s licenses are handled by the State Police, who are known as the Highway Patrol. Their office is a one story building that looks like a warehouse. To actually register one’s car it is necessary to go across town to the courthouse and visit the Bolivar County Tax Assessor’s Office. You see one does not pay a vehicle registration fee in Mississippi per se, they pay a tax on their car when registering. My three year old Civic cost over $350. I’d hate to have a beamer around here.
So somethings are a pain in the ass in Mississippi. But there is a lot that’s familiar here. For example, my preferred supermarket right now is called Kroger. According to Wikipedia the company has nearly 340,000 employees and over $90 Billion last year, though I’d never heard of them before moving to the South. They carry everything my old one in Albany (Price Chopper) did including Thai Curry Paste and coconut milk. Only Boboli pizza crusts don’t grace their shelves, but I can live without them. All of that really helps with the transition. Being able to cook the same foods and visit some of the same stores that I did in New York enables me to recreate anything I can’t find around here.