Sunday, October 17

Minnesotans abroad

I consider myself Minnesotan but only marginally. My driver's license is now from Washington, and I'll be living in Montana for three of the next four years. My parents are both transplants to the state. Canada was nearer than any other Minnesotan city. All of our television stations broadcast from North Dakota, and the largest local daily newspaper was printed there as well. I prefer the Packers to the Vikings and do cheer for the Twins but not to the extent of actually watching them lose every playoff series to the Yankees.

This is rather unfortunate. If I were more involved with my homestate, I would have an instant point of conversation throughout the world. Minnesotans are everywhere. When I spent five months in Germany and was taking to regular weekend trips to other countries, the only nation I didn't find a Minnesotan in was England. Paris, Istanbul, Cork, Munich, yes but none in Oxford or London. I hear that Ithaca College has a Minnesotan student club that screens Fargo every year, and I knew plenty of Minnesotans at Gonzaga. I never met any Minnesotans while in Nakuru, but my mom tells me that some members of our parish went on safari there the same time I was abroad. In Bozeman now Minnesotan license plates are second most common to Montanan. Minimal exaggeration, I see at least one new Minnesotan car every day.

Yes, it is very possible that this is confirmation bias and that Minnesotans stick in my mind for our tribal relationship, but let's pretend that's not the case. What drives Minnesotans out and into the world? To resort to a bifurcation, the only choice appears to be whether they are escaping state fairs and Scandinavian accents or are born adventurers, gluttons for adrenaline.

I prefer the second.


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