While I guess there are some perks to where we live (i.e. my husband's job--being that he has one that he likes), I can't say that Mr. F. and I are ready to set down roots and call it home. One of the biggest deterrents to this place I would say is the complete lack of common sense and rational thought. This failing can be found many places, but it is quite prevalent in the city planning, or lack there of.
First, there are no shoulders on the road. While not life changing in and of itself, coupled with the fact that there are no sidewalks to speak of and suddenly, you find yourself in a situation where you risk your life and limb if you propose going someplace other than in a vehicle. (Don't get me started on public transportation). If there are sidewalks, they suddenly end. Randomly. Mid-block. And if you were so silly as to attempt to get someplace via a sidewalk, you now must resort to walking on a road. Where there is no shoulder. And in an area where they seem to give driver's licenses to anyone who asks for one.
But that isn't my current pet peeve. My current pet peeve is that people here seem to be against shade. I live in the South people! (Would Mid-Atlantic be more appropriate? Whatever.) It gets hot here in the summer. And the summer seems to drag on and on unlike in other places in the country. And if the heat wasn't bad enough, there is the humidity to consider. It would seem to me that shade would be a hot commodity. It drops 10 degrees in the shade. That is like a tall cool drink of water.
They have trees here, but either they plant trees that are strictly ornamental with no other purpose in life than to look pretty for 2 weeks of the year, or they take decent tall trees and prune them such that they look like large shrubbery, which as you can imagine, provide little to no shade. The greatest scene of travesty? Playgrounds. None of the playgrounds in this little part of the world is shaded. NONE. What were the Parks and Rec people thinking?! (Answer: they weren't thinking. See whole premise of this post.) You have to walk yards to get to the nearest tree from any of the playgrounds. And all of the playgrounds are covered in black rubbery mulch or mats from used tires so it acts pretty much like asphalt and absorbs all the heat. And of course the plastic play equipment just bakes all day in the sun so your child can get second-degree burns from just sliding down the slide.
*takes deep breath*
Can you tell that I have a rambunctious toddler at home that I would love to take to the park to burn off some energy? However, going to the park is akin to jumping into a raging inferno (or just a really hot oven). It's not much fun. Which is why we haven't been too often. We have tried to beat the heat, but when it is 80+ degrees at 8 o'clock in the morning......we would be better off going in the dead of night.
Like I said, no rational thought. And I would like to say that this failing was limited to road and park construction, but it isn't. I think I must quote Jane:
"The more I see of [this place], the more am I dissatisfied with it."