Well, our lack of DSL means no pictures for another couple of days, but I thought I'd post a little bit of our Boston experiences thus far.
Our phone jack was not working when we arrived, and this of course spelled disaster for me--not for the phone, but for the computer (of course). So we called Verizon (and I mean "we" as it took several calls) and the repairman came out to look at it (we already tested the connection in the Network Internface Device (NID) on the side of the house).
No, I don't plan to detail the excitement of having a phone jack tested, but I did have an interesting exchange with Mr. Verizon Man. After asking about where we had moved from, I replied "California." Response: "Hmm. Whereabouts in California?" I told him Santa Barbara. "Is that near San Diego, like Southern California?" I told him we are considered "Central Coast" (as if that would save me from some sort of disparaging comment).
What was tremendously funny and tender to me was that he looked me straight in the eye and said, with all sincerity ,"It's a whole different ballpark with the people out here, eh? Don't make it nothing personal. They're just like that." I'm not sure where he was from, but I thought I detected a southern inflection to his speech. But I think he was genuinely concerned that my happy-go-lucky California self might be offended by all the cranky Bostonians.
So that brings me to stereotypes. Clearly this man had an idea that all Californians act like Shirley Temple on the Good Ship Lollypop while all Bostonians make Severus Snape look downright ecstatic. While we have run into a few Snapes, most of the Bostonians we've met have been, while not cheery, friendly enough and "no b.s." I think places with harsh weather conditions give birth to a practicality about life that we don't see so often in "Paradise." There is a economy of energy for social niceties. That said, we've run into plenty of folks willing to spare a "hello" as we pass through the neighborhood.
So, so far so good. We successfully visited our Trader Joe's, local supermarket and local KMart, so life can go on.