Yankee; an epithet I hate. My dad is from Louisiana, and despite living in Illinois longer than he did in the south, he still likes to use yankee as an insult. He says things like “that is so yankee” with such distain you can almost see the hatred dripping off his lips. I was always a yankee, and though my dad wouldn’t admit it, I think he was ashamed of it. Now that I live in Kentucky that title carry the same weight with the locals as it does with my dad. A heavy cross I have to bear, unless I change my accent, tribal identification card and marry a local all in the hopes of avoiding scorn. I think the term is “going native” when you’re out in the wilds of New Borneo or Los Angeles.
Like any foreigner in an unfamiliar country, the first thing I have to do is get the lay of the land. Until last night, I had being using a GPS unit as a navigational crutch, a monotone co-pilot. For the first time since moving here five days ago, I got into my car without the thing. Not intentionally, but it was cold and I didn’t want to walk the 15 feet back to my apartment to grab it. Besides, having the electronic map with me doesn’t always ensure I can get where I want. It has led me in the completely opposite direction of where I need to go.
The betrayal of the GPS fresh in my memory, I headed out into the world of Bowling Green blind. After several wrong turns and frustrating stop light conundrums, I finally ended up at Krogers (the location of which I only knew because the damn GPS had led me in the wrong direction the previous night). Except for lobotomy, dementia or drug induced coma, I will always remember where that grocery store is. So electronics be damned. Except for the computer I wrote this on, the Internet connection that let me publish it online, and the computer you’re reading it on. And cell phones. Mine has been invaluable since moving at least three and half hours away from anyone I know. I also like the electronics that make noise come from cards, that is good old-fashioned entertainment. Digital watches could and should be subject to a genocide and I would count it as a victory for the good guys.