the Beaches to the Corn Fields
am originally from Miami, so I can testify to
the enormous difference between Miami, Florida and Upland,
Indiana. As I boarded the plane
to embark on my new journey, going to college at Taylor University,
I was excited for what awaited me. I knew what I was getting into before I
came; I had visited once before. To my surprise, we got off the plane and
immediately realized that it was just as hot as Miami! It was
scorching in Upland
as we moved into Wengatz hall. With not air conditioning, we had to keep a
window open to stay alive. The hot arrival quickly gave way to colder
temperatures, however. These cities have nothing in common.
Miami is urban, good luck finding an
affordable large plot of land. Upland,
Indiana, where is that again?
Shelter will cost you an arm and a leg in Miami.
Home buying is a buyer’s dream in Upland.
Miami’s wealthiest live on man-made islands like Fischer Island, an island only accessible by
boat. Upland’s wealthiest live in two story homes on huge lots. A
tourist in Miami
is a common sight. A tourist in Upland
is obviously lost. Miami
is undergoing a huge construction boom. Upland
has the new prayer chapel going up. Miami has a
large influx of people, while Upland
has a fairly large outflow. Miami is a tourist town. Upland is deep in the rust belt. Miami has the Atlantic Ocean.
Upland has Taylor Lake.
Miami has a large uneducated segment of the
population but low unemployment, while Upland
has a large educated segment of the population but high unemployment. Miami has weak
has established institutions. Miamians care about self. Uplanders
see the value of community. Miami
has corrupt government officials. Does Upland
have any government? Miami
went for John Kerry. Upland
went for Bush.
weather is predictable. In Upland,
there is some wacky weather. Miami is extremely humid. Upland is extremely windy. When snow falls in
Miami, it is
the apocalypse. When snow falls in Upland,
it is just another day. When it is 50 degrees in Miami, it is front-page news with people
breaking out three layers. When it is 50 degrees in Upland, people start to break out short
sleeve shirts and shorts. Miami
requires an air conditioner. Upland
requires a heater.
In Miami, people go on
romantic walks on the beach. In Upland,
people go to “2.2”. In Miami, people
are from all over South America and the Caribbean.
In Upland, well, we have Illinois residents. In Miami, most people want to stay forever. In Upland, most people want
to move to a warmer climate, perhaps down south. In Miami, the official language might as well be
“Spanglish”, a mixture of English and
Spanish. In Upland,
English is actually used. Miami
has had songs, TV shows, and movies made after it. Upland has not had any, yet. Miami has celebrities from “Puff
Daddy” to “J-Lo”. Upland
has Jay Kesler.
Wal-Mart is the last place anyone wants to be seen at.
In Upland, a
Wal-Mart run is a cool thing to do. In Miami,
everyone thinks they are a gangster. In Upland,
everyone wants to be a gangster. Miami is a hub for drug trafficking. Upland is near a Wal-Mart
distribution center. Miami
has an extremely high crime rate. Upland
did not have a crime rate when I checked. In Miami,
anyone who is cool goes party hopping, while in Upland, well, people can go table-hopping.
has Calle Oche, while Upland has, well, Main Street. Miami has ridiculous traffic, while Upland has ridiculous traffic signs. In Miami, people have flashy
car brands like Mercedes-Benz. In Upland,
people have, well, normal cars.
In Miami, Catholics are predominant due to the immigrant
community from South America with many
participating in a sect called Santería, which lost a Supreme Court ruling allowing it to
perform animal sacrifice. In Upland,
varying kinds of Protestantism are practiced but
nothing out of the ordinary.
Miamians have the Marlins, a great team that has
won two MLB championships but whose games no one attends. Uplanders
roots for the Indianapolis Colts, a great team with Super Bowl rings that
everyone loves. Miami also has the University of Miami, usually a top-notch football
has Trojan football.
In Miami, the dangers are
alligator attacks, cars falling into canals, and hurricanes. In Upland, the dangers are
falling through frozen ice, the “Devil’s backbone”, and
As can be seen, Miami
and Upland are
as opposite as they come.
Jorge Eduardo Fernandez