5 Things That Make Californians Weird

Monday, March 17, 2014

When you live in the same region for most of your life you come to accept certain things as the norm.  It can be easy to forget that the country we live in is huge and that each part has unique quirks and habits.  It wasn't until I moved to Chicago that I realized many of the things I thought were standard everywhere were in fact "California things."  So in honor of this morning's 4.4 quake (yawn) I thought I'd share a few of the things that make Californians a little weird...

1. We go to school outside



In eighth grade I really wanted to be sent to a local Catholic private high school.  Why? Not because it would have provided me with a better education (and definitely not because it was girls-only) but because it was an "indoor school" and the only time I had seen indoor schools was on TV.  In California many of the schools are what we call "outdoor schools"- that is, the classrooms are not connected and the hallways are all outdoors.  My high school didn't even have an indoor cafeteria which meant that on rainy days much of the school crammed inside the library to eat lunch.  Though the upside was that we often got to have class on the lawn... which made it much easier to sneak away.

2. We will take a longer route to avoid traffic


Perhaps this is just a So Cal thing, but it seems that every good Californian knows at least 3 different ways to get somewhere.  Traffic on the ten? that's okay, just take topanga canyon to the 101, then when that gets backed up just exit and take Ventura the rest of the way. Doesn't matter if it tacks on an extra 15 minutes to your drive; it's better to spend 45 minutes moving than 30 minutes sitting in traffic.


3. Avocados are a food group, not a condiment.


One time in Chicago I brought two avocados + some packets of salt and pepper for my lunch.  I never lived it down.

4. We talk to strangers

 Californians (and Angelinos in particular) have a stereotype of being rude and, while that very well may be true when we are in our cars, most of the time we really want to talk to you.  Whether we are standing in line for coffee or walking our dogs you will find that people here are apt to strike up a conversation with just about anyone.  The first time I encountered the "Seattle Freeze" I was shocked! Perhaps we Californians were just never taught not to talk to strangers.

5. We are always "20 minutes away." 


And it's always a lie.

What are some things that make your region a little weird?

Image sources: 1/2/3/4

14 comments

  1. This is way to accurate! Hahaha, I can't couldn't have put this better.

    Oh, I'd probably add that we own a few too many sandals lol, I know I do ;)

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    1. Haha so true!! I don't think I even owned close-toed shoes until college.

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  2. Hahahah I'm dying laughing as ALL of these are true for me!! Yesterday I went WAY out of my way to avoid traffic, and I WILL talk to anyone while in an elevator or a line! love this!!! xoxo Katie

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    1. Haha yes me too! I just can't stand an awkwardly quiet elevator...

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  3. My husband has told me of the So-Cal traffic but thankfully I've never had to experience it!

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  4. The traffic, oh the traffic. We work-out at Burbank high and love all the outdoor space. I don't think It's all out door, but it's pretty cool.

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    1. Oh that's so neat! I have a few friends who went to high school there but I've never been. I'll have to check it out!

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  5. i love reading posts like these! :) that traffic just looks horrible!!

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    1. That picture is particularly awful... thankfully since my husband and I both work & live in the city we don't have to deal with it too often :)

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  6. What?! We missed a quake?! So sad, I was in British Columbia once when they had a little one but I slept through it. :(
    I love this list! People are super friendly where I am from and when you are standing in line at the grocery store you are probably related to one or two of the others in line. But I definitely noticed Californian's strike up more conversations than a lot of the other places I've traveled to.
    I love that you have outdoor schools, I've only ever seen them on TV, with our weather they aren't very practical.

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    1. Yes, it was Monday! It was early in the morning but it was big enough to wake me up. I love that you know/ are related to so many people in your community. Sometimes a friendly encounter with a stranger can totally turn a bad day around!

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  7. We live in different worlds, but it's interesting to learn about. School outside sounds heavenly - especially with California weather!

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    1. It was pretty neat! Although TOTALLY impractical when it rained. Once I was allowed to go off campus for lunch I usually just ate in my car on rainy days haha

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