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SoCal: Not in the Midwest Anymore! 10 Things that are Bound to Annoy and Startle a Midwesterner Moving to SoCal
Where are We? In a modern era, where the world is at our fingertips, one wouldn’t expect to be so surprised about nuances of living in a new environment. Myself, my husband, and my roommate all are transplants to SoCal from the Midwest and we are constantly talking about things that annoy us about California. You think that it would stop with the traffic, the humor at any deviance in the weather from a warm and sunny day, or perhaps the accents, but there is so much more! These are 10 of our favorites!
1: Sign Twirlers Street signs and yelp are apparently not enough, Californians need people (sometimes oddly dressed or exceptionally skilled in their trade) to twirl and spin a message of needing their taxes done or that they are hungry for tasty treats. We have yet to go to an establishment because they had a nifty sign being twirled outside!
2: “Fast” Food There is an abundance of chain food out here. Anything you could want! At first you’re like a kid in a candy store having so many of your favorite food places all so close, not to mention finally having access to the infamous In N’ Out! Eventually you realize everything is a chain! Even if you are happy with having your favorite fast food on every corner, it quickly fades when you go to the drive thru as it takes 30 minutes to get your “Fast Food!”
3: Helmets First it is an adjustment to get used to seeing every motorcyclist wearing a helmet, even on mopeds and the second passenger. Then you start realized any child on a wheeled vehicle, no matter how slow or safe, is wearing a helmet. They take their helmet laws seriously out here!
4: Left on Green Only We are not talking about only at busy intersections, but every intersection! It takes forever to get anywhere! I find myself trying to find a way to only make right turns because not only can you turn right on red, you can do it from the second right turn lane if there is one! I guess SoCal drivers cannot look and see if a car is coming from the one lane going the other way before turning left, yet they can see if a car is coming or making a u-turn if they are turning right. Confusing!
5: The Water Tastes Good but is Poisonous Ever seen Erin Brockovich? Not only is that chemical, hexavalent chromium, in the water, riverside county also enjoys the presence of nitrates from fertilizer, pesticides, arsenic, and uranium in our water. Our water is rated the second worst in the country! Riverside county is not the only county with these issues. SoCal is drought ridden and our fresh water reserves are tainted by flesh eating amoebas and other organisms and chemicals. Drink and swim at your own risk!
6: Water isn’t the Only Worry Apparently even the McDonalds food causes cancer and birth defects? I never remember seeing these signs in Wisconsin...
7: Tattoos When you think about California in the Midwest one is programed to think of silicone implants and plastic surgery, but tattoos would not have been at the forefront of my thoughts. Ink is very common and prevalent in SoCal.
8: Grocery Carts Everywhere but Where they Belong I’m not talking about the occasional stray cart by the light pole. We are talking all over the parking lot. Whats more is there are cart returns every 5 spaces, yet no one seems to be able to walk them to the return!
9: The Cause of Traffic Everyone knows that California is known for its traffic. What you don’t know until you live here is that is strikes at any time of day or night. What is more startling is the cause of the traffic. You finally get to the source only to find it is a car changing a flat tire or a pulled over car. When this happens, not only do all 6 lanes of traffic going your direction STOP and LOOK, so do all the cars going the other way! Accidents seem to happen often, even if it is sunny and dry...can’t seem to wrap my mind around that either. What if it was to snow???
10: Lack of Real Mailboxes Walking to get the mail just got more complicated. It is not at the end of your driveway in most cases. Its down the street, take a left, then a right, and cross the street. Inevitably there will be a strange car parked there picking up their mail, too. It takes some getting used to, but at least you know if any pets are missing or if someone is having a garage sale (which are only allowed to operate before noon, FYI).