Thursday, June 28, 2007

Things I miss about Saipan

I've been gone less than a week, and there are things I already miss. First of all, when I go out, there is virtually no chance I'm going to run into someone I know. I love this about Saipan. I can almost always go somewhere and see someone I know and like without planning anything. That isn't going to happen here in New Jersey because it is so damn big, and I've been gone so long.

Everyone here has a fancy car like a Lexus or something, so I'm back to being a broke ass high school teacher comparatively. New Jersey is a very wealthy state, and the wealth here is especially apparent after being in Saipan. The houses are just staggering -- including my parents' house.

People just don't smile and don't seem all that friendly -- all seem to be on their phones or listening to their IPODS, so the casual conversations with strangers don't get started. I'm guilty on the IPOD thing as well, but seriously, it is rare to see someone without one or the other going.

I'm close, yet the beach is an 80 minute drive through traffic, and the water is ugly. U G L Y. I will never go to the beach on the East Coast again.

If I want to go diving, I need to get on a plane and go to the Caribbean.

I have too much time on my hands since I'm not killing ants.

Traffic is so bad, it destroys some of the will to go places and do things, which is the reason for being here.

I see a lot of people who do look and sound like characters on the Sopranos. This used to annoy me when people would say this stuff, but I notice it now.

My wife and kids aren't with me. You take that for granted, and you never should.

The Paris Hilton bullshit is nonstop. It's hard to respect your own country when so much of the culture is so incredibly vapid and the worst parts are so pervasive. This stuff is easier to avoid in Saipan. The same can be said of professional sports, which I like much more. There is just endless highlights and analysis of pro sports everywhere. Too much. The sheer number of channels is staggering. I'm a compulsive flipper and by the time I get back to the first channel, I need to shave again.

The positives:

The grocery store is like another world, with far cheaper prices, more selection and much better quality.

I was looking up a Cuban Restaurant in Manhattan, and there are about fifty choices.

Any movie out is actually out. I have more choices than Wallace Theaters and their silly whims.

I'm going to Yankee Stadium, and the Yankees suck so bad I'll probably get a decent seat.

I experienced a few days of 70s temperatures, but now it is back to the 90s. It was cool to be cool outside.

I'm going to a comedy club and a museum on Friday.

I'm going to see the Dave Matthews Band a week from Sunday. I don't think they are stopping in Saipan this tour.

The government is just as bad, but it doesn't feel as close to home.


Missy said...

Going to a grocery store was the first thing I wanted to do when I went home in March, I missed them that much.

I was also shocked by the massive consumerism that is shoved down your throat at every turn when I was home. Nice to not have that here in Saipan.

Can you see me turning completely green with envy that you get to see Dave?!?! Last time I saw him was Jazzfest in N.O. in 2005, right before we moved to Guam. Wish they would come to Saipan, or at least Guam.

: )

BoReGo said...

Plus you missed the meet up!

Melissa said...

I went to Elementary School and grw up with Dave's wife Ashley... just a little remote link to a famous person. Of course, she was pretty much like Nellie Olsen from Little House when we were growing up, but I'm sure she's much nicer now.

Jeff said...

and richer, and cooler by proximity.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Be sure to stop by the Twin Cities down in the Barrens. That's THE twin cities of Vineland and Millville.

Have fun in the States but don't use any of your newfound Saipan driving techniques. Stopping on the street, THEN putting on your signal may get you shot in Newark.

A museum,,,,sigh. Wouldn't that be nice. Ours here is good, but after the 20th time or so, it loses a bit of it's luster. ENJOY.


Bruce A. Bateman said...

Hi Jeff,
I finally took the bull by the horns and started my own blog.

Come on over to to read what's going on as the Saipan Saipanuvian Speaks pontifically on many subjects. Some of which may even be mildly entertaining.

There is no content moderation so you can say whatever comes into your mind.

Please pass the word around and please link to the Saipan Saipanuvian Speaks blog. I will, in turn link to your blog (once I figure out how in the hell to do so).


This is FOrm LEtter 62D3b, please do not confuse it with 62D3/ (stroke)b as unhappy things might happen in rubber stamp land.

Jeff said...

Congrats, I got you a link already. I look forward to arguing with you.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Thanks, Jeff. Yes, I think we may have occasional differences of opinion. (:-)) I know it will be fun.

EJ said...

come back soon!

Rick Vaughn said...

Hey, don't knock Wallace Theater, they actually showed Fahrenheit 9/11, because they got enough requests for it. Go down there and let them know what you want to see.

Jeffrey C. Turbitt said...

They got it like 4 months later. Too many good things never make it there. They corner the market in stupid teen comedy or something. I'm knocking them.