1. The "end of the world" sirens. Do you know the ones I'm talking about? I hear these whooooooAHrooooooo! sirens all the time. Since childhood, to The Hubs and me, this is what you heard before a nuclear bomb was about to drop. When we moved here and heard one for the first time, we quickly looked at each other like "WTF?" and joked about waiting for the bomb flash.
Ok, I know I'm being dramatic.
The only other reason I'd ever heard a siren like this (in my entire life) was when a tornado was spotted nearby.
But really, either way...tornado or nuclear bomb....no bueno, right? I further investigated this sound and learned that fire departments use this siren to call to their EMTs and firefighters.
Ummm, not to be nit picky but, anyone heard of a cell phone?
But hey, who am I to judge? If this system works (and I'm assuming they've been using it for the last 200 years or so lol), then why change it? I'm just a dumb westerner! Click here to listen to what I'm talking about. Fire or no fire, this sound is freaky. The first 20 seconds is what I hear...
2. Fireflies. Not, not the song. The bug. Until we moved here, I had only seen a firefly once on vacation in Oklahoma.
The family and I were invited to a summer party this past May, and that's when the fireflies had first hatched. I remember sitting in the backyard with my spiked iced tea, watching the kids play, and seeing hundreds of fireflies come out of the yard's surrounding woods. It was so incredible...it was like the forest was literally sparkling. I was in total awe of the site. My kids loved catching them, and when they brought one over to me I learned two interesting things. One, they're ugly. They're not the cute, round colorful things you see in Tinkerbell movies (yes, I know, I'm lame). And two, they're BUGS. Ewwwww! So, as much as I appreciate a firefly, it's still a gross little bug.
3. Philly Accents. They're not as strong as a Jersey or New York accent, but locals here do tend to say "cwaffee" and "cah" for car. The letter that is most intriguing to me is their "a". I can do a jersey accent no problem, but I cannot recreate the way Philly locals say their "a"!! It's very frustrating when I'm trying to explain it in person! Oh! An exciting thing happened the other day - I got my first "you're not from around here, are you?" question!
What? Me? What would make you think that!?
4. Ages of kids when they enter school. Did you know that most folks here hold their kids back a year before sending them to kindergarten? Most kids start kindy at six. In the West, it's about 50/50, and maybe even more parents send their kids early - if their kids make the age cutoff. My boy made the cutoff by 15 days, so I sent him to school. He's a smart cookie - he was more than ready to be intellectually stimulated by someone other than me (thank god). While I understand why parents hold kids back - especially boys - it's strange to me that most of the kids in my son's class are more than a year older than him. But I'm proud to say my boy's one of the best readers in his class!
5. Philly locals like their pizza. There is a pizza place on almost every corner. Old pizza places! New pizza places! Hole-in-the-wall pizza places! Mom-and-pop pizza places! You want-a-pizzah!? You-a-gotta-pizzah!
6. Wawa's. What's the big effing deal about the Wawa? Everyone that heard I had moved to Philly said "You been to the Wawa yet?" Um YEA. It's a gas station. I got gas. I went in and got a pack of gum. I paid for it. I left. (pauses and waits for the excitement) I dont get it? It's just a gas station, right? And what's with the name? When The Hubs and I first heard a grown man suggest we go to the Wawa, we both snickered to each other....the what? The Wa....(giggle snort giggle).
Ok, that's it for now. I have more to share but I'll save those for a later date. And locals...I know you're out there - let's hear from you.