As much as I try not to, I always seem to be making a mental list in the back of my head of all the ways Utah is different from Virginia. There's the obvious geographical and geological differences. But I'm talking about fry sauce, cost of living and others. Here's a few of the things from my list.
1. Fry Sauce- the stuff is wonderful. For you non-Utahns, fry sauce is a combination of ketchup, mayo and sometimes pickle juice or BBQ sauce. Every restaurant, fast food chain, etc has their own recipe for it. I will never understand why this stuff isn't sold in more places outside of Utah. It's amazing. Especially with Artic Circle Yukon Gold fries. Heaven.
2. Dry-cleaning- in the DC area you can pretty much find a dry-cleaners in most major strip malls. There's always a grocery store, Starbucks, random store and a dry-cleaners. Not so much in Utah. They are not in every strip mall. They are considerably farther and fewer between. I think this is probably because not as many people wear suits every day of the week here. And I can't remember the last time I saw a man in a nicely professionally pressed shirt. (I miss that clean crisp look.) Also, dry-cleaning is considerably cheaper here.
3. Checks- I can't remember the last time I wrote a check for anything other than my rent. Maybe an occasional bill, but certainly not in a store. Around here it is perfectly normal to see signs saying "checks accepted" or "checks no longer accepted after Jan 1, 2007." And it is very common to see such signs in fast food restaurants- a place I can't imagine writing a check.
4. Old Navy has a larger maternity clothes department than Juniors/Regular department. And most of you probably didn't even know Old Navy carried maternity clothes.
5. Crab- I had this one pointed out to me last night at Red Lobster. I ordered crabs. The waitress immediately asked me if I was from the East. I said yes and asked what tipped her off. She said only people from MD/VA say, "crabs." Her theory was that it is because in the east when we go get crabs, we mean multiple crabs, not just one. But in the landlocked states when they go get the delightful shellfish they say, "crab." I found this bizarre. And, for the record, the crabs were not that great.
6. Movies are cheaper- considerably cheaper. Some theaters are only $6 for full price, $4 matinee. However, movie candy is not cheaper. Today I paid more for the candy than I did for my movie ticket.
7. Church stuff- There's not much point in explaining the many ways Mormon Utah is different from the rest of the world. It just is. It's everywhere and just built in- like politics and the defense industry is built in in DC. This week the cultural shock for me was the big sandwich board placed in my yard announcing stake conference this week. (I'm the corner house. Everyone has to drive past my house to leave our street.) No one asked me first. It just appeared there. I don't mind it. If anything, it was the only clue I had that this week is conference!
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