Things You Should NEVER Say Or Do In North Dakota

If you're new to the area and need a little help getting settled in, this list is for you. While I take a funny tone in some of these, I'm 100 percent serious. Here we go...

  1. Say Anything Negative About The State - It’s no joke; North Dakota pride runs deep. I learned this lesson rather quickly after moving here. You say one bad thing and you can almost immediately see a look of resentment come across a North Dakotan’s face. Don’t do it. Ever. This is key to survival here.
  2. Never Say No To A Beer - If you’re offered a beer in North Dakota, you must drink it. We love our beer here; if you don’t drink it we’ll think you’re a snob. 
  3. Never Say You’re Cold - If you live in North Dakota, while you certainly can be cold, you’re never allowed to admit it. We are Northern Midwesterners... we show no weakness. I literally wore a coat to a gas station the other day (it was 20 degrees outside) and the attendants laughed at me. They said, “Look at that girl in her parka.” It was hilarious, apparently. And once you live here a while you will completely understand why people start wearing shorts and flip flops when it hits 30 out.  
  4. Spread Gossip - Even in the bigger cities of North Dakota, there's a small-town feel. If you get the sudden urge to trash-talk someone, chances are it will get back to them. Everyone knows everyone here. You've been warned.
  5. Let Your Gas Tank Drop Below Half A Tank - Again with the cold. You are most definitely asking for trouble if you let your gas tank drop below half a tank in the winter. You might think gasoline can’t freeze, and you’d be wrong. This year, we dropped down to –40. Anything can freeze when it’s -40.  
  6. Forget To Say "Thank You" - You've probably heard the term "North Dakota Nice." While North Dakotans are happy to help others, they expect some gratitude. All around, being well mannered is super important here. Honestly, it should be like that everywhere. If someone goes out of their way to help you, you better deliver, at the very least, a "Thank you."
  7. Go Without Sunscreen - I’m talking all year round. The tricky thing about snow is that it reflects the sun. It is possible to get a little sun damage even in those brutally cold winter months. 
  8. Forget To Stock Up - Never get caught with your pants down when it comes to stocking up on food in the Winter. It legitimately blizzards here; you may not be able to leave your house for several days. You can only live so long on buttered noodles. 
  9. Never Plan For A Short Road Trip. These are impossible. Sure, Fargo is only about 3 hours from Bismarck, but things are spread out in North Dakota. Plan your pee stops and get comfortable.
  10. Talk Negatively About Farmers - I'm not sure why you would, but definitely don't do it. The state of North Dakota has one of the highest percentages of farmers and ranchers. According to NDSA.org, the profession makes up a fourth of the state's employment. If you disrespect our farmers and ranchers, you might as well move. Not joking. These are hard-working individuals, so keep it classy, not sassy.

That's all I've got for now. Hopefully these will help you to become a true North Dakotan. Feel free to share your tips with me, I'll take all the help I can get.

TTFN!

 


 

 

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