The crisp, clean, green of this place is an environment that I embrace – very much like those cold, blue sky days up in Connecticut in the years that I was living here in the US. (And so unlike the piercing cold of air conditioning inside buildings in Miami where I have to carry a coat.) I had a chance to see many beautiful homes set in the woods and on the lake as we drove around visiting artists in the home studios on the annual ‘Open Studio Tour’.
The ‘southern drawl’ of so many you come across in the stores and restaurants gives North Carolina a special sense of place here within the US. I love it. At the same time, there’s many foreigners studying here or working in the faculties of the three main universities.
I’m staying with a good friend in this college town where UNC students seem to have free reign – as seen everywhere in the streets, in the eating places and walking or cycling along the paths through the woods. However, not one youthful face to be seen at the Symphony Concert in the Memorial Hall where the white-haired audience seemed to be as old as those remembered in memorial plaques going back to the Confederate Wars.
I got to taste true ‘southern hospitality’ on two evenings with dinner out one evening in a restaurant and another at a home where a tantalising aroma from the roasting beef tenderloin nearly knocked me over as I went through the front door. Wonderful!
These social outings also gave me the chance to witness first hand sheer despair of the so many people after their heroine Hillary lost in last week’s US election. Some were seriously wanting to leave the country, and others were severely depressed. (Apparently 82% of the voters in this County were for Hillary.) And calling on an old friend whom I haven’t seen in decades on my way to the airport this morning, his bookkeeper lady greets me with ‘What did you think of the election’? Not even a “how do you do”?