Dakota Pathways HOME South Dakota Public Broadcasting
Glossary Frequently Asked Questions Links HELP!!

Big Towns and Little Towns 


It was an early Thursday morning. I just left my hometown of twelve hundred residents. My plane was scheduled to leave Sioux Falls for Chicago at 10:00am, so I was arriving at 8:00am. Interstate 90 was very busy. I figured all of the traffic must have been commuters traveling to Sioux Falls for work.
Sioux Falls Regional Airport
The traffic seemed to get worse as I entered Sioux Falls. I thought to myself, BIG TOWNS are for the birds. Vroommmmm, screech, OH BOY that was close. Sioux Falls is huge! How can people stand to live in such a busy community with so much traffic? After two close calls, I finally arrived at the airport.

Within the time it takes to eat a small snack and drink two pops, I was standing in Chicago. I was overwhelmed and scared. There were hundreds, maybe thousands of people trying to hail a cab. I felt like a precious flower in a field of aggressive, thirsty weeds. I finally caught one of the cab driverís attention. The driver said it would cost close to sixty dollars to travel to the hotel. Needless to say, my shuttle bus slowly made its way at parade speed to the hotel. A drive that should have taken fifteen to twenty minutes took close to three hours. I was already four and half hours behind schedule.

When I arrived at the hotel I looked up and could not see the sun because the tall buildings were obstructing my view. There were thousands of people on the streets walking home from work. Every block had a little grocery store. EeeeeerrrrrrrreerÖ, an ambulance and two police cars pulled up outside one of older remodeled buildings. No one seemed to care. People walked right by the emergency vehicles and did not stop or even look at the life threatening event taking place. In my hometown, people will leave the supper table to follow the ambulance or fire truck miles to catch a glimpse of the action. Later, I found out that ambulances arrive so often that people are immune to the sound of the sirens. From what I could tell, if you seem interested in the action, then you must be a tourist.  I was amazed to see an ambulance arrive outside my hotel about every 30 minutes. Then I realized that more people live in one building than my entire home town, maybe even the county.

The conference was over and I arrived at the Sioux Falls airport. Sioux Falls didnít seem so big anymore. The traffic didnít seem as congested and there wasnít as many people going to work; at least in comparison to Chicago. I guess the size of a town is relative to what a person is used to. Well, this fish likes to be a big fish in a little pond and not a small fish in a big ocean.

Main Website | Credits | Privacy | Contact SDPB

©2003-2005  South Dakota Public Broadcasting

The Story
Activity
Challenge
Teacher's Guide
Search


South Dakota Department of Education and Cultural Affairs



South Dakota Public Broadcasting