Today a man stopped me in the street asking me whether I was from around here. I said I was. He then asked me where he could find a great pizza place. I had no idea what to recommend him.
I wondered why he asked me about a good local pizza place knowing that I was from the area. The fact that I am from the area means that I have a home in the area. In my home, I must have a kitchen where I cook every day. Living in the area does not mean eating out. Living in the area means eating at home, therefore, not knowing local restaurants.
When I visited Florida as a tourist, I had no home there, nor did I have a kitchen where to cook. I stayed in hotels and ate in restaurants. There, he could have asked me for recommendation because I used local restaurants on a daily basis. But at home? One does not have a home in Boston to sleep in Boston hotels, and one does not have a kitchen in their Boston home to eat in Boston restaurants.
Now, obviously, eating out occasionally is a realistic possibility, but, frankly, there is a strong cultural difference here. According to my socialization, eating out is not as overrated as it is in mainstream U.S. society. In the U.S., living in your city without having visited your local museums is a venial sin, whereas living in your city without regularly visiting your local restaurants is a mortal one.
I might be cheap, overly cheap, according to average U.S. standards, but, at least, my system protects me from playing a role that I cannot afford. And this has an unquestionable advantage: I never spend more money than I actually have.