November 28, 2007

The Hood (repost)

(Previously Posted, recycled and renewed:)

Because I consider myself a temporary resident in this city , I live in an apartment. I never thought I'd be here this long, over four years now, but I still consider this arrangement temporary.

We have a great diversity of cultures in this neighborhood. Young and old, students, immigrants, factory workers, office workers, many different ethnicities, religions, many varied interests and lifestyles.

Since building a new Korean car manufacturing plant here, there are many Koreans living in this community. Some speak English well, others not at all. When I'm out for my walks and runs around the neighborhood I see many Korean kids out playing, they are always very polite, courteous. I love to hear them speak their native tongue to each other, its so beautiful, and many times they will write with chalk on the sidewalk, writing the Korean symbols for their language, looks very artistic.

We have a lot of Indians living here also, along with Muslims, orthodox Jews, etc, etc. You know one thing I've noticed. These "immigrants" to Alabama, are much friendlier, more courteous, and more interesting to talk to than native Montgomerians. They get along with everybody and each other without any problems. People that are from here are not friendly, and don't want to get to know you, or just stop and talk for while.

Not all of Alabama is this way, Montgomery is an exception. I lived in Birmingham for three years, and the people there were full of that Southern Hospitality we've heard all heard of, so was Atlanta. I also visited Auburn many times, the people are so much nicer there. Why not here? One reason is this place still has racial tensions. Most schools and churches are still mostly segregated here, not completely, most mostly. Black public schools, and white "Christian" and private schools. Go into any restaurant or business, and the employees are mostly of one race. Let me tell anyone who ever thinks of coming here, Montgomery is not a nice place to live. I have lived in eight different places in the U.S. and Europe, and Montgomery is the worst, in my judgement, because the life-long residents here are so unfriendly.

Thanks to the "immigrants" that live here, I have found friendly people, who have noticed the same things about Montgomerians that I've point out here. The running club I belong to is mostly people who have moved here from other places, and military people. I can't figure that out why people are so snobbish here.

Maybe it can be explained by one of the questions someone from Montgomery asked me, when I first arrived in town? They asked "Where do you go to Church?"

They seemed upset when I laughed.

Song for the Day: Alabama - Neil Young



azgoddess said...

i love the fact that you look at the positive of the situation

instead of the negative...


i had a korean family live underneath us when my kids were small...they are beautiful people..

pissed off patricia said...

My community is a fair mixture of different races etc. The snippy grumps are mostly the northern people who move down here to Florida and then piss and moan because it's not like where they used to live up north.

I agree with bbc, I think I would be outta there if it's possible. Why the hell do they care if or where you go to church?

Pam said...

oh dear...I can so relate to this. I grew up mostly in Alabama (in a suburb of Huntsville which is much better than Monty, but still!).

I couldn't wait to move out of that state! I'm so sorry you are exiled there!

KathyF said...

I found the same thing to be true in Austin. The first question you're asked there, in what is essentially an overgrown small town, is: "Where did you go to high school?!"

(You have to imagine me saying that in my Southern Girl accent, which I can still do pretty well.)

mad said...

It'll be mighty interesting to see how friendly the succeeding generations of the new immigrants will be. Must have some good ethnic restaurants there, though.

Anonymous said...

I moved here 10 years ago for my work. I only know my landlord who lives downstairs. I have made friends with the people I work with.

I can't relate to the religious questionings. People in Québec are a lot more concerned with the English taking over. The fact that I'm an English-speaking Québéquer could bother people a hell-of-a- lot more than my religious beliefs!

People rarely come up to me and strike up a conversation.. do you think it's me? Probably... ;-)