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RQ 3: Why Is Jim In Missouri

RQ 3: Why Is Jim In Missouri published on 35 Comments on RQ 3: Why Is Jim In Missouri

Oh wow I spent more time on the maps then I did on the drawing of Jim. OH WELL.

This comes from every European exchange student I met in High School and most European international students I knew in college who said when they saw Springfield on a map they were excited because it looked really close to a bunch of rad cities like Kansas City and St. Louis and Chicago. However, they didn’t realize how spread out cities in America are compared to Europe, and when they discovered that Chicago is actually a 6 hour trainride away (with a 4+ hour car ride to St. Louis first) they were not happy to be stuck in the middle of flippin’ nowhere.



Yeeeah. That happened to my roommate’s cousins in college. They came over to visit her from England to the middle of no where Texas, and thought the other states were just a joy ride by looking at the map. They found out just how desolate Texas can be. Love the state, but geez, its spread out.

Ha! That’s a genuinely easy mistake for someone from a smaller country to make! We had friends in Scotland asking us why we didn’t go to such-and-such a place. We’d be like “Well, we live in South Dakota and all the places you’re talking about are at least a day or more drive away and several hours via plane.” They got this kind of shocked look on their faces and then proceeded to talk about how close everything was and how could Americans afford to go any place when things were always so far away?!

Even people inside the US make that mistake about Texas. I live in Austin and a while back, a friend from Missouri emailed me and was like “Hey! I’m going to be in Tulsa next week, do you think you can drive up and meet me?” I had to be like “Umm, no, I can’t do that, because it’s an eight hour drive.” Just getting out of Texas is something like five hours!

When I was in England, people kept asking me how close I lived to my cousins when I’d mention they lived in Denver. I’d always say, “Oh, they’re not far. It’s only like… 6 hours about.” They’d give me these shocked and horrified looks and then say, “That’s “not far”?!”. I’d always respond with, “Well, we have to drive 9 hours to get to my grandparents…” they’d remark on where you could get in 9 hours driving from where we all lived in Sheffield. Actually, I once sat with a friend and we figured out that you could get from pretty far north to the southern coast in the same time it’d take you to go from New Mexico’s northern border to it’s southern border. Good times!

It took my folks and I about… seven or 8 hours to get from where I live in south central Pennsylvania out to Aldan (a suburb, kind of, of Philadelphia), and that was on the Pa Turnpike. Though, we usually hit the rest stops in between because we’d have to pee by the time we got to them.

Same thing happens here in Oz, often Americans as well as Europeans arrive over here with every intention of doing a round trip drive of the whole East Coast or even through one of the deserts. It can get really tough to explain to them why that’s a bad idea… and then to explain to them why they need to carry extra fuel…

Yeah… In the US we’re used to long distance travel by car, but then again we’re also used to living in a fork-off huge country that actually has people living throughout it, little blink-and-you-miss-’em towns every 15-30 miles or so. We’ve just not considered the fact of Australia being just small enough that it’s more convenient to build big cities along the coasts and service them by sea but just big enough that you can DIE going overland without special preparations.

Speaking as one who has actually driven (or been driven since I was a tiny teen at the time) from California to Virginia… It takes a little less than a work week to do. If, y’know, you don’t want to stay up all night driving.
If you DO…. It takes two days.
For realz. Roughly 48 hours of driving to get across the country.
AND THEN YOU THINK OF PIONEERS. And you wonder how bad the relatives must be to make you want to get to California in the first place. I WOULD HAVE WAITED TIL THEY INVENTED TRAINS.

LOL it actualy shocks me to learn some people never been outside of the city let-alone the Provence. To me a six hour drive is a walk in the park. I regularly make a fifteen hour drive to visit a friend. To me US cities seem squished together I’m used to major cities being at leasta couple hours apart. But the I’ve just visited costal US cities mostly where two cities can be dvided bya single street

Holy shit. He has no idea how long it takes to get anywhere in the U.S.
My friend and I once drove from Los Angeles all the way to some little town up in southern Oregon called Brookings. It took us 14 hours to get there, with only bathroom stops. Longest. Car ride. Ever.

Heh. I’ve had the opposite culture-shock experience: moving to Germany from the US and finding out how *close* everything is in Europe. Man, we went EVERYWHERE we could afford to drive to– Wales, France, England, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria… It was great, you could hit three countries in a day easy.

Once while living in Florida I and some friends drove all the way to Pennsylvania in 29 hours straight, swapping off drivers so everybody got at least a few hours sleep. Driving across Europe was a snap compared to that.

I remember witnessing a different confusion of foreigners. As a student at University of Washington, in Seattle, I met some foreign students who thought they were going to the nation’s capital. Instead, they found themselves in the good Washington.

I once had to explain to a British friend that I couldn’t just take a train to visit a friend in Seattle because of the sheer distance involved. They don’t understand just how big the continental United States is.

Jim should have picked Dallas. I-20, I-35, and I-45 all pass through there.

Had an online friend who was visiting another friend over in Maryland, I was in Oklahoma at the time. He made this exact same mistake. Wanted to visit Florida, California, me, and a friend down in Texas. He was only going to be here four days. Got over here, pretty much stayed in the Maryland area. Haha.

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