Friendliness Boise VS Florida

The people in the Boise area are different than the people in Florida, especially South Florida where I hail from. To begin with, they rarely shoot at you here which is a huge improvement. In South Florida shooting at fellow drivers on the highway is legal, while hitting someone is sort of frowned upon. This falls under the famous “Stand Your Freaking Ground” law in Florida, which says that every Floridian has the right to stand their ground, your ground or any ground actually, be it in a dangerous physical altercation or just someone butting in front of you in the coffee line at Starbucks.

While some large metropolitan areas have installed car pool lanes on their highways requiring two or more people per car, the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area has a two or more gun lane. This levels the playing field for everyone.

This stems from the basic friendliness of the people. South Florida people would rather poke you in the left eye with the eraser end of a pencil than say Good Morning. In Boise, people won’t stop saying good morning to you! Hell, in the rare case where someone is robbing you in Boise they say “Please and Thank you” and wish you a really, really great day, after asking you about your weekend plans. (During summer weekends are near religious here.)

Grabbing a cup of coffee at one of the twelve thousand drive through coffee shops in Boise takes all day as the coffee attendants hang out the window asking about your day, what your plans are for the weekend, where did you get that watch, and their faces are so joyfully bright that you have to wear SPF 80 sunscreen to avoid smile burns. This intense friendliness extends to virtually all human interactions, be it at the store, mall, restaurant or DMV. In fact, there are 12 Step support groups for those who take it too far. “Feral Friendly” they call it.

The friendliness extends to driving too. In the Treasure Valley people rarely drive over 40 MPH except on the one interstate highway, I-84, but that is usually blocked in both directions by an 18 wheeler semi-truck crash, which seems to occur almost daily. Not sure what that is about?

Also, most people in the Boise area seem to all follow the same driving patterns. It is almost as if there is one driving manual they all adhere too. They signal when they make turns, slow for school zones and unlike South Florida, rarely drive into bus benches on sidewalks. Strange. When I first was driving here I felt like I was driving among sheep. I was cruising about 50, changing lanes repeatedly, braking randomly and making left turns from the right lane. That was just in my driveway! It took me several months to learn to curb my Florida driving traits. In Florida you are allowed to follow whatever the rules are in your home country or home planet’s driving manuals. Or make your own driving manual up. Florida is big on personal freedom and creative expression.

I have not figured out everything about Boise, far from it! For instance, snow shoveling is a mystery to me. Last winter it would start to snow, and after about 1 inches built up on the ground all of my neighbors would vault over their couches and blasts out their front doors to shovel their sidewalks. You would think they were competing for an Olympic event. The entire neighborhood would be outside dressed in coats and boots and hoods shoveling like crazy, while it kept snowing! Even though once it stopped snowing the sun would melt 100% of the snow from your sidewalk in hours.

I never understood that. In fact, there are many more things about living in the Boise area that I don’t understand. But I am learning a little more every day.