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Old 03-07-2009, 07:56 PM
Location: The Heart of Dixie
10,007 posts, read 15,398,751 times
Reputation: 6964


Hey, I'm a pharmacy student in Baltimore and for this upcoming summer, I have the option of staying in the Baltimore area and working in a pharmacy, or I can apply for an internship with my company that gives me housing in various parts of the country that they are trying to attract new talent to.

One of the districts covers Charleston, Huntington, and Beckley, West Virginia as well as Ironton, Ohio and Portsmouth, OH which on the map looks close to West Virginia, and perhaps culturally similar? I'm not even sure I want to do retail pharmacy after I get my PharmD degree but something like this would give me a chance to experience a new culture and lifestyle. I'm a 24 year old Asian American male who lived most of my life in the DC suburbs but despite this description I've always felt a bigger connection and affinity to "Red America" if you know what I mean. This has been reinforced on my 2 one-week rotations in small towns on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

So....I'm wondering if the Southern hospitality in West Virginia is just between natives or applies to outsiders...give that these tourists or newcomers respect the local culture and way of life and not try to change it? Obviously I will be driving around with a Maryland license plate and I'm from Baltimore which despite being more laid back and conservative than the DC area is obviously very different from WV. I'm of Asian descent but very assimilated and not very "ethnic" in the least. I do not even take offense to the Confederate flag because it is not the flag itself but the intent of the person displaying it. One can display that flag to show pride for his/her heritage, or to demonstrate hatred and racism. As is the case for the American flag which is used by the Klan, and the Mexican flag which illegals fly in their protests to show their arrogance and their racism against white and black Americans.

I'm not one of thsoe tourists or transplants who would tell locals what to do. People tell me I was treated better in rural Maryland than they themsleves had been, but unlike them I did not complain about people talking about church at work, about having to drive long distances everywhere or not having much shopping beyond Wal-Mart, or not having Indian restaurants. I treat people with respect and take the time to see what is likable and attractive about their way of life and I did not go with any stereotypes about "hicks" or "rednecks".

I'm a very laid back person with Christian values and am a conservative Republican in every sense. I am big on southern, heartland, and small town values like family, faith, integrity, hard work and independence. While I was raised in the suburbs all my life and still have to learn to hunt and fish, besides that I at least think I'm not that different from the typical Red American. Would southern West Virginia be a good place to spend the summer or potentially even start my career and settle down after graduation? What's it like in terms of being single and meeting someone? Most of the girls here are very yuppie and would never live outside of a major East Coast city, the opposite of what I want. Are the winters very harsh? I know Charleston is south of Baltimore but its also in the mountains vs sea level. Where I live schools close and grocery stores are swamped for 3 inches of snow and the entire newscast is devoted to it.

My other options besides West Virginia/Ohio are Tyler and Waco, Texas, Lynchburg, VA and staying in Baltimore. Being from the East Coast these places plus WV all really feel like the "real America".
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Old 03-08-2009, 02:21 PM
Location: Huntington, WV
4,865 posts, read 8,678,842 times
Reputation: 912
You'd fit right in in Huntington. Out of state plates are common due to Marshall University and there's plenty to do around here. The majority of people around here are welcoming but you may run into a few that aren't as with any place. Let me know if you need any info and I'll do my best to help.

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Old 03-08-2009, 06:05 PM
Location: Charleston, WV
3,106 posts, read 7,265,751 times
Reputation: 845
I have to sort of giggle - we have a good bit of people of Asian descent here in Charleston. You won't stand out in the crowd. We have Asian restaurants and markets owned/run by Asians. Additionally, Toyota has a plant outside of Chas - a number of the top execs are actually from Japan.

I also have to giggle that you called us a red state. True, we went McCain this last election. But we are normally a Democratic state. Well over 50% of registered voters are Democrat. However, we are not far-flung liberal Democrats. We have pretty much old fashioned values, etc.

You sound wonderful and we would love for you to come to Charleston.
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Old 03-09-2009, 04:07 PM
Location: Gary, WV & Springfield, ME
5,826 posts, read 9,467,097 times
Reputation: 17322
If someone offers you some shine, take a sip, cough til you turn green, gasp for air and then nod and ask for more...if you can talk... It takes a bit of practice, but once you have that down, we're pretty cool with folks with out of state tags.
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:31 AM
Location: Winfield, WV
1,946 posts, read 3,986,339 times
Reputation: 573
Originally Posted by AliceT View Post
If someone offers you some shine, take a sip, cough til you turn green, gasp for air and then nod and ask for more...if you can talk... It takes a bit of practice, but once you have that down, we're pretty cool with folks with out of state tags.
haha, that's pretty funny Alice.

Strange enough, in my 28 years of living in WV, i've only been offered shine three or 4 times, and two of those times were at WVU football games in KY and OH.
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:20 PM
Location: ADK via WV
5,802 posts, read 8,631,631 times
Reputation: 2319
Charleston is the way to go.
Big Town, with alot of culture and diversity. Lots of amenities, aswell as lots of friendly people.
And Huntington isn't as good as people say!!! HAHA Just Kidding
I just trash on them because Marshall is the
Go EERS!!!
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