Sunday, February 26, 2012

Life out west

So, I haven't been the best about keeping in touch with everyone, which is not really like me but everyone gets that way from time to time. A lot has changed in my life in the past few months and the fun is just beginning.

Let's see, since the beginning of the year I moved to California, started a new graduate school program, started a new teaching job, searched for/recently found an apartment, planned a wedding and of course spent a fair share of time studying. Yes, I've been busy, but thanks to my wonderful intern who provides stellar weekly acupuncture treatments and my daily yoga practice, I am rolling with it all.

On to what I really want to share...funny happenings in California. For the most part, living in Orange County is very similar to Johnson County. In general, things look polished and suburbia is flourishing with restaurants, targets, starbucks and strip malls. Well, there are probably more starbucks here when compared to JoCo, but I suppose that is just in proportion to the number of people living here.

It's not all same, same though. It's far more culturally diverse than living in Kansas. This past Friday I went to visit a mosque in a Middle Eastern community with a Muslim friend of mine, followed by a deliciously authentic falafel lunch. One of the people I live with is from El Salvador, various Asian restaurants are just around the corner and a few of my saved radio stations are Spanish.

Then, there are the few things I've noticed in California that make me laugh, and it's definitely not the traffic. Well, that's not entirely true, one thing is how people react to rain, which is related to traffic. In short, it's a very big deal here. Just last week, one of my professors waited ten minutes before starting class because it was sprinkling out. The biggest concern of course is how rain affects traffic, or in other words, people's lack of the ability to drive while it's raining.

Ok, so there is one more traffic related topic...speed limit and lane changing rules. It seems to me that neither of these are enforced. I've seen people driving their BMWs like complete jackasses cruising five lanes over, no signal needed. Seriously? The term "texas lane change" had to come from LA.

There are other minor differences of course, but it's still the land of the free or at least that's the idea. Oh, and there happens to be this really large body of water about 30 minutes away, I think they call it the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, the majority don't seem to notice it or the way it's being so poorly treated.

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