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  1. #1
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    Default 9 Months After Moving to Miami: How Do I Feel Now?

    I've been MIA (no pun intended) for a while. Just swamped with work and been traveling a bit. I thought I'd post how I feel about Miami now that it's been 9 months since I moved here.

    As a background:

    32 female, married. Working at UM-Gables on a 2 year contract as a researcher. Own a dog & cat. Not into party scene. Live in N. Gables in a condo building. Renting from out-of-country landlord in a 2/2 with parking, central air, pets, etc. for $1400/month.

    Oh, I'm original from Canada, then California, then Indiana.

    I have now survived a full summer (we arrived in late May 2009) and almost a full winter. I have been all over S. Florida, including the Keys and traveled as far north as Orlando.

    My daily commute is 3 miles on surface streets for a total of 15-20 minutes.

    My thoughts on various categories:

    Language/Culture: Everyone warned me about the Spanish and how I won't possibly survive if I don't speak/understand it. WRONG! I have no problems. I speak English and when I do, about 99% of people speak it back. I have picked up Spanish at work (cleaning lady doesn't speak English....I do know what 'basura' means now), and from walking my dog. I also work with young infants and I estimate that my Spanish is at about the level of an 18 month old. I soak up as much as I can and I ask people what words mean and ask them to speak it back to me slowly. I actually love it! It's kind of fun and an adventure :-)

    Crime: No problems here. I have not been the victim of a crime. I park my car in a protected lot though. I walk at night with my dog and no problems thus far. Our building had 2 break-ins back in June, but nothing since. Is there lots of crime reported on TV? Yes, but no more so than say Chicago or LA.

    Traffic: Again, it's not a problem. It's a large metropolitan city. If you think you're going to get somewhere in 5 minutes, then maybe you should move to Kansas or Indiana or something (yes, in Indiana I could drive 7 miles to work and be there in about 8-10 minutes). Again, traffic is MUCH LESS than California (Bay Area/SoCal) and much better than Chicago.

    Drivers are idiots: Um yea, this one is true. People here are just complete morons. They're not aggressive, they are just stupid. People run red lights, but then sit at a stop sign for 2 minutes. My dog and I have almost been run over twice walking across the street (yes, we crossed at the pedestrian crossing). People do u-turns in the middle of the street and then give me the finger. But again....you just adapt. Is it worse than other big cities? Not by much. In California people were just really aggressive....here they're just texting or talking and being absentminded. Be aware of your own driving and you'll be fine.

    It's too hot in the summer: I just survived this past summer. Was it hot? Yes. Was it a big deal? No. Now, I don't work in construction or another outside job. I have a job in a nice air conditioned building and a car with A/C. I chose not to go outdoors during the middle of the day. Dog walks happened early in the AM (long walk at 6-7 AM), a quick one in the early evening, and then we would do a long one just before the sun went down. Would I sweat? Yes. I'd also sweat in California when it was 100+ degrees....or in Indiana when it was 90 degrees + humidity. In the summer I wear lots of skirts and short sleeve tops with flip flops. No dark colored tops. Just common sense.

    What have I done since moving to Miami:

    1. Several visits to the beach! Ahhhh, you don't get these beautiful beaches anywhere else!
    2. Several trips to Key West. A little slice of heaven.
    3. We've been on one cruise and have 2 more booked!
    4. Disney World....always wanted to go and with the FL resident discount it was great!
    5. Sports!! I've been to all the major sporting teams (hockey, football, basketball, baseball)....I'm in heaven!!!!
    6. I'm currently planning a 2 week trip to S. America and another 2 week cruise out of Puerto Rico (plus a couple weekend trips to various Caribbean islands). Being in Miami makes it so easy to travel to these parts of the world. Direct flights that are affordable!
    7. Been exposed to so many different cultures! I've made friends from all over S. America/C. America/Caribbean. It's great!!!
    8. Great shopping!!!! Been to all the major malls :-) Love it!!

    There are very few cities in the country that you can do all this....and have great weather in january!!

    If anyone has questions about my experience so far....let me know!

    I will add though....my husband despises this place. He hates the weather, the people, the traffic, the drivers. So it's not for everyone! I'd live here permanently....but won't happen. Marriage is about compromise :-) I think it's all about your mindset coming in. I am very open minded and love being exposed to different cultures!

  2. #2
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    Twiggers, thanks for posting that! I agree 100% with everything you said. Still 7 years after moving here.

    I'm curious what details your husband dislikes? The whole not shoveling the car out of a mountain of snow? Scantily clad women? 15 minute trips to the ocean? Festivals almost every weekend?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by coach
    Twiggers, thanks for posting that! I agree 100% with everything you said. Still 7 years after moving here.

    I'm curious what details your husband dislikes? The whole not shoveling the car out of a mountain of snow? Scantily clad women? 15 minute trips to the ocean? Festivals almost every weekend?
    LOL Coach! It's mostly the weather. He really hates heat and LOVES cold. We are weather-incompatible :-)

    He's not a huge fan of the traffic either....but we got him a Sunpass and that is helping.

    The Spanish thing is bothering him. He didn't think it would be worse than California....or as pervasive. He has no desire to learn the language and has that attitude "If you're in America then speak English." We just agree to disagree on that point.

    He does love the beach....and had a great time on our last cruise.

  4. #4
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Yeah, see, your husband is experiencing what I warn a LOT of people about. Glad you like it here, twiggers. As you said, it's not for everyone.

    And if you've ever used the phrase "you're in America. Learn to speak English," Miami is probably not for you.


    But this, again, why this place is so transient. Wife may love it, husband does not. So 2 years and gone. But glad you are enjoying your experience here. Tell your husband everything is easier when there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

  5. #5
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Hi twiggers! Thanks so much for stopping by! I was wondering how things were going for you. I'm glad you're enjoying it so much, but I'm sorry that your husband isn't. Oh well -- try to make the most of it! You certainly have, thus far.

    Keep us posted.

  6. #6
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    Twiggers, thanks so much for keeping us posted and I'm glad you like it. I think having a beach and great weather makes up for the negatives of Miami. Enjoy the sun and beach as much as you can!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meltzer
    And if you've ever used the phrase "you're in America. Learn to speak English," Miami is probably not for you.
    I'm sorry, but if you ever use this phrase, America is not for you.

  8. #8
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    Thanks everyone!!!

    Matt: yea, that's the tough part of a marriage...the compromise! The only state the two of us can agree on is California....so hopefully a bunch of universities will be hiring from CA. I'd survive in any big city though and be happy....and that's probably one of the reasons why I love Miami. It has all that great big city stuff and the cultural component too. He does hate it for all the reasons you've talked about before :-)

  9. #9
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Twiggers, maybe you should write a thread on marriage, LOL!!! ;-)

  10. #10
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    Twiggers, I loved your post. Glad to see you back :coolsmile:

  11. #11
    Senior Member Marc Middleton's Avatar
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    Glad to see you've enjoyed yourself so much and really embraced the city. It amazes me when people move here and complain and never do any of the things you mentioned. They'll be unhappy and you ask them "Been on a cruise yet? Gone to some of the festivals (like the South Beach Food & Wine this weekend) ? Been to a Heat game? Spent a day at the 5th biggest mall in the country? " etc. etc.

    If your husband hates heat, then its not really fair to say he 'hates miami'. He would hate Orlando just as much, as well as Tampa and all other parts of Florida, Georgia, Texas, etc. I've lived in Orlando for many years as well as a Tampa for a bit and both are HOT and you don't get the breeze if you live on the beach side of town. In Orlando, there are no places to rent that are on the intercoastal as there are in all over S. Florida.

    People hate Miami for the drivers, Spanish people, high cost of living, traffic, etc. Same reasons they hate other cities in this country. The heat thing you just can't change. I use to think I enjoyed cold until I turn the news on ever winter and I saw 20+ inches of Snow in my hometown of Philly 3 weeks ago while i was complaining that it was too windy to go to the beach today :-) I'll never understand the people want to shovel snow in the morning or drive on icy roads hoping they don't crash.

    As far as the "this is america, speak english", unfortunately for him this country is changing and there is nothing he can do about it. If they are in a sales position, then yes, I understand they should know english. It does drive me crazy when someone with a clothing store on the beach can't understand english when english speakers are their main clients. There are plenty of puerto ricans in New York, Mexicans in Southern Cal, Asians in San Fran, etc. etc. Gotta adapt like you did if you want to be happy or become a 'real american' in some rural part of the world with no beach and a 30 minute drive to the grocery store.

  12. #12
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coach
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meltzer
    And if you've ever used the phrase "you're in America. Learn to speak English," Miami is probably not for you.
    I'm sorry, but if you ever use this phrase, America is not for you.
    Dude, no. I know this is going waaaay off topic, but if you want to move to a country, learn its language. Period. I've gathered over the years that not everyone in Miami subscribes to this, but if I were going to move to Cuba, I'd learn Spanish.

  13. #13
    Member sungal's Avatar
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    Many immigrants can move into certain neighborhoods and speak their native tounge without ever learning English...that's standard allover the country, not just in Miami. In my grandmother's neighborhood in NJ it's Polish all the way. The deli sells all Polish food, the pharmacy has Polish magazines, birthday cards, bath products, all brought in. And then you have the Jewish neighborhoods where you have to know Hebrew to talk to anyone. It's fun..I like that there's diversity.

    If people don't like it they can move to a cookie cutter development in the suburbs where you can dine at Applebees or McDonalds, and shop at Walmart. And you'll only hear English.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meltzer
    Dude, no. I know this is going waaaay off topic, but if you want to move to a country, learn its language. Period. I've gathered over the years that not everyone in Miami subscribes to this, but if I were going to move to Cuba, I'd learn Spanish.
    Hear, hear!
    I have to disagree on that this dosen't apply to Miami.
    I love it here, but it still bothers me that english isn't always the natural language. That is just plain wrong.

    I moved here from Sweden, but you don't see me speaking swedish all the time.
    Or perhaps it's about numbers. If I invite all of my friends and their relatives, then perhaps we don't need to speak english. :)

  15. #15
    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    An interesting fact that might suprise some of you is this country does not have an official language. Senator Hayakawa from CA, pushed a bill eons ago for this recognition, but it got defeated.

    Why ? I don't know. :roll:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Under the Sun
    An interesting fact that might suprise some of you is this country does not have an official language. Senator Hayakawa from CA, pushed a bill eons ago for this recognition, but it got defeated.

    Why ? I don't know. :roll:
    I know, it's a mysterium...

  17. #17
    Preferred Member lafemme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Under the Sun
    An interesting fact that might suprise some of you is this country does not have an official language. Senator Hayakawa from CA, pushed a bill eons ago for this recognition, but it got defeated.

    Why ? I don't know. :roll:
    Is this for real? I always made the assumption that English was the official language. Maybe it got defeated because of the huge diversity one can encounter?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horatio Caine
    Quote Originally Posted by Under the Sun
    An interesting fact that might suprise some of you is this country does not have an official language. Senator Hayakawa from CA, pushed a bill eons ago for this recognition, but it got defeated.

    Why ? I don't know. :roll:
    I know, it's a mysterium...
    The mysterium ( like this word) thickens.Congress passing is a bogus Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act latter today, yet no cred to a language that bonds the nation together. Congress prefers to stratify over uniting. Go figure ?

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