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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!”
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.
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...
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
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).