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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The California way of life 4

I have now lived in Southern California for exactly 2 years. I have learned a lot about living in Los Angeles in this time.  Let me share with you just 3 of the items I've learned so far.


Freeways:  They have an almost human-like stigma.  They have their own personality, their own look, their own stereotypes.  It is strange.  
Allow me to show you two conversations.  

-The first is with someone from Minnesota-

Me:  "I'm going to The Mall of America, which highway should I take"

Minnesotan:  "Well, just take 35W north and you'll see it on your right."

-Now to a conversation with a Californian-

Me:  "I am going to go to Pasadena today, what is the best way to get there"

Caliornian:  "Take THE 10 until you hit THE 55 and then hook up with THE 210...but THE 10 tends to be a bit harsh this time of the day, so maybe take THE 15 north to THE 210 and take that all the way there.  But again, THE 15 usually get a little constipated around now........."  This would continue for about 10 minutes until we find the right freeways to take.  

This sketch from Saturday Night Live sums it up almost perfectly!


The Burrows of LA:  There are way too many to keep track of.  Here is a map of the different "burrows" of Los Angeles County.

 "The Valleys" - "South Central" - "LBC" - "Compton"...all of these places I still don't know where they are.  All I know is that I am in the "IE".  At least I know that!
 I won't consider myself a true California resident until I can easily discuss where I am by saying "I'm in the Valley".  


Earthquakes:  I am deathly afraid to experience my first "big one" (as they like to refer to them around these parts).  I have felt a few that were measured at 4.2 and 4.3 and I thought I was going to die.  Little did I know that unless it is a 5.0 or above people laugh at them and laugh at the people who, like me, are having a panic attack and covering their heads for falling debris.  

Until you've experienced a shake, they are hard to explain.  They are LOUD.  They almost sound like a huge gigantic truck is crashing into your building.  And earthquakes are unpredictable   

I'm a worrier, so now every time I feel or hear a truck go by I go into panic mode, and hide under my little desk!

For now, I've learned a lot living in the South Land.  I know I will continue to gain more knowledge as the days go on.  When I do, I'll be sure to never know when you might make the flight to California!


  1. i have only been to cali one time, when I was 13. i can't even imagine dealing with earthquakes!

  2. Yes Helene it is a daily battle! Good thing for wine, that helps ease the anxiety!

  3. California is glad to have you (yes, I speak for all of California)! Funny you mention the "the" in front of freeway numbers. I think it's a SoCal thing. Adam, who is from NorCal, does not use "the" when referring to freeways and he thinks it's weird that I do. Everyone here does it. Just part of the culture, I guess. I like how you referred to the roads as having human characteristics...makes complete sense! Also, when people refer to "The Valley," they usually mean the San Fernando Valley (although I always take offense because there are many valleys here. I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley, which is way better. What's so great about the SFV anyway?).

    1. That is fantastic Melissa...I'm glad Adam and I have the same thought process when it comes to the roads. I knew I liked him for some reason :)

      And I'm happy to be in California!


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