Can a New York City Girl Make It in Arkansas?


ID-10073589I have lived in New York City since I got out of college. If I have taken any time off since I arrived back in 1978, it’s only been a one –week vacation.. I have never taken a two-week vacation. And I am going to Arkansas for two weeks. It’s work not a vacation. And it is going to be a change of scenery though…in more ways than one.

I don’t drive. I don’t own a car.  I do have a license though. Everyone assumes because I don’t drive, I don’t have a license. But while I am in Arkansas I will be renting a car so I can get around for two weeks. I will drive myself to work and back each day after 30+ years of taking either a subway or walking to work. Hopefully I won’t have to parallel park.

So I got the keys to the rental car and the woman behind the counter said, “Oh, there’s no number assigned so just got out to the parking lot and look for a white Elantra.” Like I know what an Elantra looks like?

Thank goodness for all of the technological advances that have occurred since I stopped driving back in 1980 or so like GPS. But I will be Arkansas. Will the GPS work on my phone if there are hills? I asked my boss and she laughed at me and told me to get the GPS so I did. GPS is a great invention for drivers like me who have no sense of direction. So much “Surely,” the name I gave the GPS voice. I thought Surely would get me to the office, but Surely had to recalculate 3x before I reached familiar territory.

What am I going to do besides work? I’ve never been in Bentonville over a weekend. A NYC co-worker told me I had better take up a hobby like crafting.

Do people go to bed early in the suburbs? Yes.

ID-100217276Where are the grocery stores? I don’t want to live out of the minibar for two weeks. I ended up at the Kum and Go my first night and ate potato chips. This is a meat lovers town and not very suitable to vegetarians.

Will I get mugged and raped in the parking lot if I take a side trip to a mall? Malls in America aren’t that safe.

And where are the gas stations? Will I have to pump my own gas? I don’t know how to do that. I guess I will have to download a gas finder app. And how will I do laundry? I certainly don’t want to pay the hotel to do my laundry.

The hotel has a gym. I want to keep up my gym regimen. But there are only 3 pieces of equipment total. Eek! I’ll have to hit it early and avoid a crowd.

Maybe I’ll really like it and want to move to Arkansas. But I doubt it after 35 years in New York City. NYC is one place that gets into your blood and I can’t imagine myself living anywhere else. In the meantime I’m glad technology and social media will keep me connected to friends and family back home.


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