First (and this is the annoying one), far more people here smoke than I'm used to. I'm not sure why this is, but I haven't worked in the same office as a smoker in 10+ years, and now I'm working** with at least three of them. (It doesn't really affect or bother me, but I do worry when I hear them coughing so badly since these ladies are my friends.) Perhaps it's the change in geography, perhaps it's the change in work environment, but it's very, very noticeable to me. It hadn't occurred to me before we moved that South Carolina was a tobacco-growing state***, but it turns out that tobacco is one of the state's top 5 crops, which explains why so many restaurants around the area still have smoking sections. Disappointing, but I would imagine it's still far better than it was 10 or 20 years ago.
So that's annoying, but there's not much I can do about it. The second thing I've noticed, on the other had, is entirely my problem, and probably something I need to work on before I offend or bruise somebody. People down here take life at a more leisurely pace. They walk more slowly and talk more slowly, and I don't do either of those very well. Not that I'm one of those mile-a-minute, driven, Type-A personalities (far from, as anyone who's ever worked for me can attest to), but I don't like to waste time****, and I do like to get where I'm going and get my point across with as much efficiency as possible†. However, down here, there's no reason to be so, well,
Taking a deep breath to slow down may have to be metaphorical for a while, however. Between the smokers and the bright chartreuse oak pollen††† that's exploded all over EVERYTHING these past few weeks (which is a far greater problem than the smokers, incidentally), breathing is best aided by Sudafed and Claritin at the moment. Ah, the joys of the very first allergy season in a new home...
* I may have heard myself pronounce "hat" with two syllables last weekend. Maybe.
** No, I didn't get a paying job, I'm still at my volunteer gig (and still loving it).
*** For the record, southeastern Pennsylvania produces a fair amount of the stuff, but much of it is grown by the Amish for use in cigars.
**** Unless it's on my schedule. Then I can be a superb time-waster.
† Librarians are consummate multi-taskers, and if there's ever been a day in my working life when I had fewer than 20 completely different areas competing for my attention, I don't remember it. Spare time doesn't exist at work. Which is why I'm so good at relaxing when I'm not there.
†† This was brought home to me by three separate phone conversations where I had to slow my speech down by at least 50% or so before the person on the other end could understand me. Embarrassing. And I don't think the problem was my accent.
††† These (sniff) must be evil mutant oak trees (cough). Our oaks up North don't do (achoo) this; they stand there quietly and produce acorns the way they're supposed to (ow).