By Tim Notier
I now realize that I was harboring a bias based on nothing more than a false perception that Arkansas as a whole was populated by rednecks, or people who would not want a “Yankee” like myself as a friend. I didn't think there would be anything there for me.
Though it would be wrong to say that Arkansas does not have any rednecks, believing that I would not find friends or that people would not accept me, could not have been further from the truth. In fact, I have made life-long friends during my two years of living here.
Seeing how wrong I was about my apprehension to move to Arkansas also taught me a valuable lesson. If I am to travel the world, I must be aware of the stereotypes already engrained in me, and I must follow the innocent until proven guilty standard. “Mexico is not safe,” “You will get ripped off throughout Africa,” and other statements may give fair warning, but should not be stamped broadly across an entire country, state, or culture.
- Someone from Arkansas is called an ArKANsan, stress on the KAN.
- It doesn't matter how clean you are, cockroaches are everywhere.
- In fact, all insects are everywhere in Arkansas. It's pretty much a jungle with lizards, bats, and snakes. They're just missing monkeys.
- Confederate flags are all over the place, except half the time they're Arkansas state flags. There's a slight resemblance.
- Catfish and crawdads are genuine food items.
- Flying squirrels are real, and are real cute. We had a family of them living in our shed. See our video below.
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Well, Arkansas was certainly a diamond in the rough, and a wonderful surrogate home. Though I'd never claim to be an Arkansas native, I am proud to have been an Arkansas implant.