A blog about me and my adventure as an ex-pat.
Because someone told me to... Thank you Gaby.

Friday, May 10, 2013

village life

I went to Vicksburg yesterday to meet a friend for coffee. An ice cold decaf mocha. Yum!

Vicksburg is a small village about 25 minutes south of where I live. 25 minutes south of the main shops in Kalamazoo. 30 minutes south of downtown Kalamazoo. Out in the 'countryside' by comparison to Manchester in England's.

There isn't much there from what I could see, just a few shops, a Church, a library, bank etc but it is a quaint little village with a main street that runs through it and it reminds me of home. I grew up in a small village about 10 minutes from town. My Mum would tell us she was popping out to the shops and would only be half an hour. An hour later I would be so worried as to where she was and it turns out she had stopped to talk to about 5 people as she made her way round the shops and that's why a quick trip into the village turned into an hour.

We got our coffees, my friend said hello to a couple of people she knew and we sat outside under a beautiful blossom tree. Within 2 minutes another friend walked past pushing a stroller. She lives 2 streets away and was out running errands with her son. So funny that we had just sat down and were discussing how nice small village life is, when a friend walks past as if just to demonstrate the point!

And that is what I miss. Seeing people. Bumping into familiar faces in the street. Getting to know the person behind the counter at the local shops. Community. Familiarity.

On my Wedding day I got ready at home and set off in the vintage 'bus' that we had hired, to go and get my parents. On the way we took a detour through the village to make sure we went past the local fruit and veg shop to see the owners. My family know them by name and they wanted to wave to us as we drove past.

I am often out and about in Kalamazoo but rarely bump into anyone I know. Everyone in the local starbucks, book shop and grocery store are very friendly but I do not know them by name and it's often a different member of staff each time I go in. Kalamazoo is a small town by America's standards but it is huge compared to the small town I grew up in.

Or maybe it is just that I lived in the same town for 30 years.

We are enjoying living in Kalamazoo and there is plenty to do here. We have made good friends and settled into a local school and Church. But today reminded me how nice it can be to live in a small village. I've made a mental note to visit more of the local villages, especially as this time of year is a great time to drive through the countryside, with all of the blossoming trees and sunshine.

This is the main street in 1909.
(Images courtesy of google)

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