One of the things I don’t like about North Carolina is how freaking long it takes to do simple things, because no one here is ever in a hurry.
Another thing I don’t like is that there are only two highways in the Triangle. There’s one that has lovely Carolina pines on both sides and one that has shopping mall sprawl on both sides, and these two highways cross and recross each other like deformed Mobius strips, so that there are no workable landmarks. Oh, the Target? Next to the McDonalds? I know that one! Oh, you meant the Target by the OTHER McDonalds, yeah, sorry, I have no idea how to get there. Is it next to the big Wal-Mart and the little mall or the big mall with the little Wal-Mart? Another thing I don’t like is when I can’t understand what a Southerner is saying but I’m afraid of obnoxiously asking them to repeat themselves again. Another thing I don’t like is how far removed all the groceries here are from their original plants or animal form. Another thing I don’t like is how —
Wait, where was I going with this?
Oh! Right. So, the afternoon after we arrived, there were still a lot of Harold’s boxes to unload, but I had a work deadline coming up fast, and I didn’t get a thing done on the drive down, so I decide to walk into town with my laptop to find some internet. I discover that actually town is a good bit further than I’d thought, and also my shortcut was more like the long way around, and also this section of town consists entirely of places to buy frozen yogurt and light-blue t-shirts. By the time I find a coffeeshop that promised wifi, I’m pretty sure I’m going to working until closing and it’ll still be touch-and-go whether I make my deadline. I order some coffee drink from the posters all over the shop, thinking it’ll be quick and easy, and then wait for the cashier to call someone over to show her how to make it. (Listen, I really like Harold, and he’s southern, but the “trivia” question chalked up behind the cashier was What beloved high-fashion doll is actually named Barbara? Draw your own conclusions, my friends.)
I was trying to get my laptop set up when I got a phone call from what seemed to be a games industry recruiter. I’m really enjoying the work I’m doing for Lakoo, but I’m also seeking a job that’s fulltime and permanent, and since Next Island folded, I’ve sent about ten thousand resumes and applications, and I was pretty happy to get a call.
“How soon can you come in for an interview?” the recruiter asked. When I try to get the internet set up or a mattress delivered, I’m reminded that in North Carolina, quickly means within about a week, but in LA and New York, quickly means within hours. “I can set you up with someone from our New York office, and you can interview tonight.”
“Well, I’m based in Brooklyn,” I tell her, “But I’m in Chapel Hill right now.”
“Oh, Chapel Hill? Where’s that?”
“North Carolina.” I say.
“Never heard of it. Whatever are you doing there?”
I really, really don’t know.