Before moving to the New Bedford/Fall River area nearly 20 years ago, I had spent most of my life living in New York State.   And although the move took my only a little more than 300 miles from what had been home, I almost felt like I had moved to a different country.

Sure I had visited Cape Cod and Boston several times in the past, But I had never had a real taste of the culture of the Southcoast area if Massachusetts.   There were things and terms that were completely foreign to me.

What's this thing on the menu called a Quahog?   Why is this sausage called Linguica?   What's a Frappe?   I had heard of kale, but never tasted kale soup.   I also learned that this thing called coffee-milk is not bad.

When in came to speaking the language, why is Madonna's name pronounced like it has an "R" at the end, and the word "car" pronounced like it has no R?  I guess its a trade-off.   And where I had lived, my mother's sister was my ant, not my aunt.   Same for scallops, rhymed with al, not all.

Some things I learned the hard way.  The town of Assonet is not pronounced like it is spelled, nor is Crapo Street.  Oops.

I also learned that there are occupations called Lobstermen and Harbor Masters.   I'm not ever sure I had met anyone of Portuguese decent before arriving here.   The names Medeiros and Barbosa are as common as Smith and Brown are in New York State.   I had also never met and real life "New York Yankee haters" in my earlier life.  And I realized how passionate some people can be.

It was all a nice change from what I had experienced in my life prior to moving to Southeastern Massachusetts.   This has been a great place to live, and I will never forget all the unique things that make New Bedford, Fall River, and the entire Southcoast area so unique and so special.   I thank everyone who has made me feel so welcomed here.