Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day Two: Lexington to Clemson

I should probably begin with a disclaimer that further solidifies the last post's claim regarding Lady Antebellum: I AM ADDICTED. (And seriously, don't tell my brother.) There is something about hitting Kentucky (I love that state) and dripping down into Tennessee and the Carolinas that actually brings out my country lovin' soul (which I was completely unaware that I possessed.)

So, I may or may not have belted out American Honey pretty much from Berea to Seneca (you pick the two states that make the most sense) and have fallen back in love with the Smokies, and also have found a new infatuation with mountain tunnels and the fact that given one slight miscalculation, they could crush me. I like that. Not being crushed, of course, but the notion that I could be. I like these winding highways and misty roads...and being mountain-hugged. I enjoy not being sure exactly which state I am in but having a map inside of my head. I like adventure. And being alone for a bit. And going somewhere. And using common sense.

Anyhow, I eventually found my way to Clemson (even though the very last road that I was meant to turn on absolutely does not exist) and found that my roommate-less, spacious-yet-basement-esque apartment is way more air-conditioned than I had thought, which makes sense, because I would otherwise die. It's rough out there...and it's May. Really, South Carolina? I'm from Michigan. Take it easy.

The apartment is big but it's pretty dirty, which to me just makes it Becca-friendly. I don't have to feel bad that I already put a huge gash in the paint carrying the top bunk out to the living room as a makeshift couch, or that my blinds have already snapped in half. No big deal. It's air-conditioned. It's got a kitchen. I'm in heaven.

I drove around the area in search of a food store, and it's like being in a foreign country (I miss Meijer!) But I eventually found a place and went absolutely nuts. First of all, I was a little faint from heat/lack of food/confusion/where am I again? So I'm pretty sure that I stumbled around the store for a good few minutes attempting to acclimate, and during this time I'm sure I resembled a paranoid, mentally-disturbed American apple pie, all dressed up in my 4th of July outfit. Once I gathered my wits, though, I did WORK, and by WORK I mean carefully selecting my new kitchen appliances and food to be cooked upon them. I didn't feel like doing that whole Lunchables thing again. Yes, I did get a couple of frozen pizzas, but I've got some ideas. Stir fry being one of them. Spinach feta omelet bruschetta with thyme being another. Ranch encrusted chicken another still. I can still think when I'm heat-stroking and fatigued, see?

Also: I need somebody to explain Collared Greens to me. What are they? What do they want from me? And who eats Okra?

Since my fluorescent lights flicker (and who wants fluorescent lighting anyway?) I bought a couple of small lamps until I can find a Medusa lamp, meaning until I can find the Walmart that is supposed to be nearby. It's nice in here. I still need to decorate, but all in good time.

I've met two of the guys in the SARA program with me, as well as my professor, so all things seem well so far. Honestly, though, I can't condemn this summer to comparison with last summer. There's just no way. So, slate completely blank, I'm about to go off camping with the other interns for the weekend. Somehow I'm quite aware that I will thrive here. Somehow.

And again...why do I live in Michigan? Couldn't tell ya. I'm missing all of this.


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