Logan Sachon: Hey Mike, have you ever kept extending a weekend trip so that it lasted two weeks?
Mike Dang: No, up until I was working for myself this year, I never had the luxury of extending any trips—just cutting them down because of work.
LS: So you’ve taken a two-week trip and shortened it to a weekend?
MD: When are you flying back again?
MD: Clear skies ahead! (Finally.)
LS: This has been a good trip for me. I’ve reconnected with my cousins. Made some new friends. Seen a new city.
MD: Yeah, you spent like half a month there!
LS: Ha well the main reason I kept extending my ticket—”main reason”—is that every time it’s been time for me to fly back, I think of having to get home from LGA. And it’ll either take me two hours or cost me a million dollars. So when the cousins are like, “Just stay longer,” I’m like, “Okay.”
MD: Ha. It’ll cost you $65 max. Just do what you did when you first came to stay with me in the city. Pay $13 to get on the express bus to Penn Station. And then take the subway from there.
LS: Haha, I have zero recollection of ever doing that. But that is so many steps!
MD: “So many steps”—Two steps! Girl, this is how you save money.
LS: So first I have to get cash. And then I have to find the bus. And then I have to pay. And then I have to find a seat. It’s a lot of steps.
MD: Haha, I’m sure you’ll be able to find $13 in Minnesota.
LS: Okay, so real talk, OBVIOUSLY I know I am capable of getting home from the airport and figuring it out. I’ve done it before, will do it again! It’s just … the THOUGHT of it that exhausts me. It’s like taxes! Not that bad when you do them! HORRIBLE when you THINK about doing them! So when I’m sitting here on this couch in Minnesota and it’s like, well, I guess I better pack up all my stuff and get on a plane and a bus and train, it feels stressful.
MD: Which is why you’ve turned your initial weekend trip to Minneapolis into a two-week trip! You managed to escape the city while it was (and still is) in turmoil from Sandy. Tell me what life is like there and how it compares to living here.
LS: WELL. My cousins who got married (they weren’t both my cousins when they got married, only one of them was my cousin, and now I’m just calling them my cousins because that’s easier than my cousin and her husband or my cousin and cousin-in-law) live here. And I’m staying with them with my other cousin. And also three big dogs. And so I’ve really just been hanging out in this cozy house with cousins and dogs and the house is kind of on a little hill and you can see a lake, because there are lakes everywhere, and it’s really fun! And eating meat. So much meat. It’s a really good thing I stopped being a vegetarian because if I still was one I would either starve or require a separate meal every meal.
My cousin grew up on a farm, and this is Minnesota so there are a lot of farms? And so they do that thing where they buy like, half a cow or and a pig and get it butchered and put it in a deep freezer. It’s laughable how much meat they eat.
And it’s not just like, “Oh, this pasta sauce has ground beef in it,” it’s like, “This ground beef has some pasta sauce in it.” Last night I made dinner—sauted kale and then this bean and squash thing–and my cuz was like, “Oh, an appetizer.” ALL MEAT ALL THE TIME.
MD: Haha. Is food cheaper when you live near a farming community? Or is it cheaper because your cousins seem to be buying in bulk?
LS: I think it’s because they buy in bulk, and they have the opportunity to do that because there are farmers here? I mean that’s actually something you can do anywhere. I’M SURE there are folks who do that in NYC. I had friends who did it in Portland. COW SHARE instead of veggie share.
MD: Right, except it less likely that we have giant freezers here to store half a cow.
But you mentioned that haircuts are also a lot cheaper in Minneapolis. Have you noticed other stuff like that? Whenever I leave New York and go back to visit my folks, or go anywhere that’s basically not a big expensive city, I see these tiny differences. When I was in Dallas last month, I noticed that the coffee I bought at a Starbucks was cheaper because of the lower local sales tax there.
LS: Yes, Starbucks is def cheaper. I’m in one now actually and my hilarious SALTED CARAMEL MOCHA (grande) was $4.55. I think in New York it’d be $10.
MD: But, you’re coming back to the city this weekend (maybe? You’ve been changing the dates on my every time I ask you). What will you miss about Minneapolis?
LS: Sunday. SUNDAY. I’ll miss the fireplace and the dogs. And the company, OF COURSE. Someone making me dinner even if it is real meaty. But today I was walking down the street, and I remembered I live in New York, and kind of smiled and did a little dance and really embarrassed myself … in front of myself. That’ll last about until I land. And get on a bus, is that what we decided? A bus to a train. Or a car to a house. One of the two.