Regional Diversity…Reflecting on our First Month on the Road

As we’ve wandered,  we have covered more than a few ecosystems and cultures across the southern USA.  Here are a few of our observations: 

NOT ALL WALMARTS are the same!  Yes. It is true. We are quite the experts on this subject, now. 

Walmarts in general WANT us to stay overnight in their nice, big, secure parking lots.  Because we shop.  Every time. But in Yuma, AZ, we were actually TURNED DOWN for overnight parking.  This is a first for us.  Now we know that some Walmarts do not allow overnight parking,  but this is usually the result of municipal ordinances. We actually have an app that we consult before we arrive to make sure our target Walmart is not one of those.  Then, we always ask the manager.  Who almost always (always,  until today) sez “Of Course. WELCOME.”      Today,  the answer was an immediate “NO.” Almost a “HELL NO.”  I cannot fathom what injustice the last RVer did to cause this brusque treatment,  but I have visions of Uncle Eddie and a Hose…uggghhh.   Anyway, we took our disposable income and left the store.  That store WILL NOT sell us laundry detergent…no way!!  Pointing west to EL CENTRO California.

The El Centro Walmart Supercenter returned to the courteous and gracious column. ABSOLUTELY.  Please park here.   This Walmart was the BIGGEST WE HAVE EVER SEEN.  By a good deal!   HUGE. I would say easily twice the size of any other we have been to.  And we have some experience in this matter.      We did our shopping while gawking..  Some say that the ”Free” overnight in Walmart is the MOST EXPENSIVE of any RV Overnight option including some very fancy resorts and I think that is true because we ALWAYS go shopping. 

Other differences we have noticed: 

  • Walmarts in New Mexico and Arizona often have parking lots covered with Solar Panels…
  • Walmarts in Texas do not carry Hummus and when asked,  have no idea what that is. 

And while we are on the subject of familiar things that are not so familiar…

Seafood… Locally caught, fresh seafood is often (usually?) deep fried in Alabama and Northwest Florida. Sushi is non-existent. “Friday Night Fish Fry,” a staple of Midwest VFW lodges and Packer bars would be a strange phenomenon down here in Texas/NM.   Maybe Fish Tacos.

DQ’sare everywhere,  but their local marketing does vary.  Entering Texas,  we are informed by a large billboard that “DQ is a Texas Stop Sign.”  Not wanting to disobey any traffic laws,  we usually oblige.  Question:  If you use the drive-through, could you be ticketed for a rolling stop?

Spanish…In a large part of the southwest,  Spanish is the first language (or at least tied for first).  Leading to some thoughtful misunderstanding.

 Roadkill, too, is an indicator of where you are.  Often the species is not recognizable,  but when it is,   it might be: 

— Deer. Of course,  there are deer everywhere.

— In Florida and Alabama you might also see wild pigs

— In Texas,  Javelina.

— I have yet to see an Armadillo,  but I am told they are everywhere

— Rarely if ever do you see a coyote…they apparently are way too smart to get hit by cars.

Weather verbs and adjectives require translation.  For example,  “Cold” does not mean Chicago-cold.  It might mean temps that would prompt Chicagoans to  put on a long sleeve shirt (while the locals wear mittens and scarves).

1 thought on “Regional Diversity…Reflecting on our First Month on the Road

  • That’s interesting about Walmart. Go figure that you wouldn’t be treated the same….actually it sounded rude.

    Sounds like you guys are have some great adventures…..Enyoy.

    We miss you. Loretta

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