Well, about six months have passed since I moved to Lebanon, New Hampshire, and I’ve come to a few conclusions about the place.
- It’s expensive — more expensive than Manchester. Gas prices alone are about twenty cents a gallon higher than in the bigger cities.
- Food prices, also, are higher.
- Having ducks in my back yard is beyond cool. Ducklings are incredibly cute, and hearing their voices develop from peeps to squawks to full-fledged quacks is delightful. And yesterday, I inadvertently interrupted a duck gang bang, as three males fought and took turns giving… um… “attention” to a female. Danged lousy time to not have a camera handy…
- Lebanon might not be the most ethnically and racially diverse, but it’s thoroughly diverse when it comes to politics. I saw two cars in one driveway — one had a big “PEACE” bumper sticker, while the one next to it asked “WHAT WOULD JACK BAUER DO?”
- And over in West Lebanon, there’s a little electrical transformer next to a highway offramp. It bears two bumper stickers: “VERMONT — WORKER’S PARADISE” in gold lettering on a red field, with the “E” in Vermont portrayed by a hammer and sickle; and right below it, ‘GEORGE BUSH JR. COULDN’T MANAGE A LAUNDROMAT.”
- The web site for the City Pool is remarkably thorough and complete. It has all the information anyone could want — except for one or two minor, trifling details. Like the address. Or directions. Or a map. Or a phone number.
- The local restaurant called “SUNRISE BUFFET” doesn’t open until 11:00 a.m. Apparently, the “sunrise” is a reference to its Asian orgins, and not its hours of operation.
- The people are remarkably nicer than in Manchester. I was once offered a ride by a complete stranger, and so did a colleague who was visiting and his transportation broke down. And neither of our benefactors would accept any money — just being neighborly.
- Just as I noted in Salem, New Hampshire, you see a LOT of out-of-state license plates. In Salem, they were Massachusetts plates. Here, it’s Vermont plates. In both cases, it’s largely people looking to evade the sales tax in their home state by hopping across the border.
- Vermont has more — and better — “gentleman’s clubs” than New Hampshire. And, I think, Massachusetts. For one, they’re non-smoking. For another… well, never mind.
Overall, I think I like it. I miss some of the big-city amenities, and my raise hasn’t improved my economic situation as I’d hoped it would (in fact, I might actually have taken a hit), but it’s been worth it so far.