I’ve been very blessed to have traveled the world, and to have been able to do so feeling very at ease in most foreign lands that I’ve found myself in—from Istanbul to middle of nowhere America, I love it all. Since relocating to the south, however, I’ve definitely realized just how “California” I am, and I have a new found love and appreciation for my sun-kissed soul. I think just acknowledging my soul makes me so California.
Viva la California! Here are some stand out ways I've noticed, that seem to make me noticeably from California.
1) Missing salad—when people ask me what kinds of food I miss most while I’m here, I always tell them salad…and Mexican. I miss good salads, and having healthy options easily at my fingertips. I have to admit though, Nashville has changed so much in the last year, and the options are getting better. As for the Mexican food, well, I am on a hunt for at least one really good Mexican restaurant here. So stay tuned for my adventures in that escapade.
2) Give me earthquakes—when there is an intense storm, tornado warnings, and whatnot, I sometimes yell, “Just give me an earthquake, I know what to do with those!”
3) Jaw drop—when I was told that the pool in my apartment complex was closed during the colder seasons, I thought, “Wait, what?” Since when does the pool ever close? And my jaw literally dropped.
4) Double jaw drop—when I was told that the pools around here are not heated. Que????
5) Biscuits & tea—one time, when offering a friend biscuits and tea, there was a bit of confusion. Finally, I realized he thought I meant biscuits—like the biscuits and gravy kind of biscuits—and sweet tea. No dear, no. (I realize that this doesn't actually make me Californian--it's just a weird side affect of my parents' rearing, but it still makes me a foreigner.)
6) Freeway vs. Highway—I use them interchangeably, but only recently realized that “freeway” is a Californian term, while I guess everyone else calls it the highway. I don’t know, but I was slightly baffled when someone brought this to my attention.
7) Blueberries cost $6 (a tiny box!)—I was shocked the first time I moved to Nashville, to find that produce, amongst other grocery items, is ridiculously expensive. Aren’t I in the freakin’ country? Where are all the farms? The bulk of what I buy at the grocery store is produce, but I refuse to pay $6 for a tiny box of blueberries, or $3 for a bloody avocado. I refuse. I don’t get it. Cost of living is supposed to be cheaper here, but the cost of eating is not.
8) Where are you from—when people ask you where you’re from around here, it’s only because 95% of the people in Nashville are transplants. In California, “where are you from” typically means, “What is your ethnicity?” But I like to piss people off and respond to the literal translation of that question, because let's face it. Some people follow that question with a more idiotic one when they ask you where you're from, and mean what is your ethnicity.
9) Overdressed in bright colors—the dress code here is generally very casual. My business casual here, versus when I’m back in L.A. is like the difference between going to a BBQ and going to a funeral. And sometimes I get annoyed that I have all these awesome outfits with nowhere to wear them, but I just wear them anyways. You can take the girl out of L.A., but not without her shoes! Also, when I first got back, I was wearing this very colorful, summery dress out to lunch with a friend, and he told me I needed to put the bright colors away, because it's autumn. I laughed. He said we Californians, especially southern Californians, have no sense of seasonal wardrobes. 'Tis true. But then an old lady at church, who was in awe that I had come all the way from the best coast, said, "No dear, keep your colors. We could use a little bit of California here." I love her.
10) Abbreviations—apparently it’s a very California thing to speak in abbreviations. I’m from L.A.—I swim in the Pac. Oc.
11) Green—I hate that recycling is not regular here. And I think people look at me weird when I walk into a regular grocery store like Publix or Kroger’s with my own shopping bag. At Trader Joe's or Whole Foods it's not as weird. They get me. But I don't think I've ever seen anyone else bring their own bag.
12) Sarcasm—apparently not a universal language.
13) Friends and foreigners—people here are very nice. It’s that whole southern hospitality thing, I think. It’s great. I love it. But it’s funny, because sometimes I can’t help but wonder why someone is being nice to me, or feel like it’s weird. I mean, I don’t think us Californians are cold people…we’re not New Yorkers! (Just kidding, I love New York, and New Yorkers). But here, people aren’t just nice; they’re really friendly. Not everyone is of course, but it’s rare to meet someone who doesn’t make you feel like you’ve been long time friends.
Wherever you hail from, and wherever you've picked up your quirks, just remember as different as we all our, we are all also quite similar. So love. Just love.
BIG LOVE & HUGS