Weather, food, driving, people
I am a transplant to Fargo. If you have read some of my other work, you will know that I am originally from Anchorage, Ala. I ended up in Fargo through what I liked to call a series of unfortunate events, which is to say, my dad’s job.
Fargo has brought me some good things, namely my boyfriend of two and a half years, Cole. He has brought a lot of joy to my life, encourages me to be a healthier, happier person, he has taught me a lot about myself and I have grown significantly. If I hadn’t moved to Fargo, I never would have met him.
Fargo has also brought me a high school diploma. I graduated high school in 2020 from Shyenne High School. I am on track to be a first-generation college graduate.
I also have fallen in love with some midwestern delicacies. Cheese curds are my truest love; sorry Cole. Also, German food is fantastic; I have never tried knoephla or lefse before living here. Needless to say, as much as I shit on Fargo for not being as cold as Alaska, there are some good things.
But, I don’t want to talk about the good things about living here, mainly because there are some things that bother me. And talking about the things that bother me is far more fun.
Y’all know I have to go there. When I say the weather is worse here than when I lived in Alaska, I mean that. Granted, winters in Alaska usually end later and begin earlier, but where I lived in Alaska, it is typically warmer than here in Fargo.
If it were just -10 in Fargo, I would find a way to deal with it. But it’s not just -10, it’s -36 due to wind chill, and I hate the wind. The wind is by far the worst part of living in Fargo.
In every season, the wind ruins a good day. Sunny day in summer, don’t worry, here comes hot wind to destroy it. Having to go out and shovel the driveway, here comes the wind to freeze your eyelashes and put all the snow back to the driveway.
Worse still, every time there is a snowstorm, I feel like all of Fargo comes to the grocery store to panic-buy everything on the shelf.
Also, I hate summer. I hate anything above 80 degrees. In the summer, it is so hot it rivals west Texas heat. I hate leaving the house because I feel like I will melt into a puddle.
I am far more accustomed to mild Alaska summers and long winters than the boiling hot summer and bone-chilling winters.
Now I did say above that I have had some good food in Fargo. And it is true; Wurst Beir Hall is one of my favorite places to eat here in town. They have vegetarian options, which is great since I don’t eat meat.
Blaze Pizza has pretty good pizza, Juice It has some fantastic smoothies and Kroll’s Diner has a wonderful homie atmosphere, and my boyfriend and I love eating there.
But I have also had some mediocre food here in town. I am not going to name places because that just feels cruel. But this town severely lacks authentic cuisines from other areas of the world.
There are exceptions: India Palace and Passage to India have gotten rave reviews. But I have had some genuinely awful Chinese food, Mexican food and even American food.
And for whatever reason, so many restaurants here serve pizza. I am over it; I want to see some more quality eats from worldwide.
While driving with Fargonians in the car, I hear them say that all the people who drive badly here are from the other side of the river, in Moorhead. That’s not true. Go to a Hornbacher’s parking lot, look at the parking and tell me it’s only people from Minnesota who drive poorly.
Last Tuesday, I almost got in two accidents and saw a third on 12th Street. Twice, someone almost got in an accident because they thought they were in the forward lane but were actually in a turn lane and decided it was acceptable to cut off their neighbor and nearly cause an accident.
Not two minutes after witnessing this deplorable driving, I passed an accident where someone rear-ended another car on 12th.
There was also the time driving downtown that someone rear-ended my car, cracked the tail light, didn’t leave a note and ran. Not to mention the speeding on I-94 and I-29; it’s so bad that if you don’t speed, other people on the road will get upset at you.
Now maybe I am giving Fargo a little too much crap about the driving thing; maybe it is just as bad everywhere else. But I am sick and tired of all the times I am in a parking lot and can’t park because of someone else’s poor parking job.
I don’t care much about manners or Midwest niceness. I grew up with a very blunt family, even at times a little too honest. When my mom is frustrated, she goes, “I am frustrated with you that you’re not putting your dishes in the dishwasher,” and I go, “Sorry, mom, I will start doing that”
And that’s the end of it.
There is all this beating around the bush and sugar-coating in the Midwest, and I don’t care for it. It wastes time, and people will always find a way to take something as a personal critique.
We have talked about this in my communications class, and it’s very much a cultural difference. When talking to people at work, I have to be delicate and intentional in my word choice.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s an excellent skill to give criticism and have conversations that aren’t overly harsh. I see the value there, but I still don’t like doing it. I am not Midwestern nice; I am blunt, I like to get uncomfortable situations over with and all the sugar-coating makes “bad news” more unbearable for me.
It’s a skill I have been slowly acquiring in my time here in North Dakota, but I don’t like it.
As I have said above, there are good things about living here. I have met some good people, formed lasting relationships and have grown a lot as a person. But I am a human being, and some things bother me. Not enough for me to move yet, but they bother me nonetheless