14 Dead Giveaways You're a Transplant in California

California Culture
by Laurie Koski Nov 16, 2016

You go ape-shit over avocados, or any other fresh fruits or vegetables.

There are three farmer’s markets within a mile of your apartment. In the landlocked state you moved from all you saw was flaccid cucumbers and soggy lettuce.

You’re not so smooth with the California slang.

You start saying hella, a lot. Did you just utter, “I hella love this avocado.”? You also have to get use to Californians using the term ‘dude’ and ‘man’ for both guys and girls.

You are amazed that you can wear shorts and flip-flops in November.

If there is a sunny day, you feel guilty staying indoors, even for a minute. Growing up on the east coast, if there was a ray of sunlight, you ran out the door and didn’t come back till sundown.

You get confused when long-time Californians talk about ‘the freeway.’

Where you come from it’s called the interstate and it’s actually free. In California, you get on the freeway, but it’s not free; there are tolls everywhere. In cities like LA, it sometimes takes you an hour to go four miles.

Your knowledge of wine consists of supermarket Chardonnay.

You are in wine country now where bold Cabernets and funky white wines rule. You sign up for a wine appreciation class — before you moved here you didn’t even know there was such a thing.

You haven’t done any on-line dating and you actually use the word ‘date.’

People in California swipe right or left, hang out, or hook up. Going on a date is too much of a commitment for a Californian. It’s meet up and get a quick drink, not dinner and a movie.

You haven’t perfected the art of brunching.

Bottomless mimosas, millionaire’s bacon, dungeness crab benedict — for $50? The days of going to IHOP and getting pancakes for ten bucks are over.

You get depressed around Christmas time.

No snowball fights? How can it be festive without snow angels and sledding? Your winter gear collects dust in the back of the closet.

You have love handles.

Your cardio isn’t up to par and you don’t own a pair of running shoes. Two weeks after you move to California you sign up for the nearest gym and learn what pilates is.

You have to learn to wait in line to eat.

Whether it’s that trendy ramen place with the never-ending line out the door or a celebrity chef’s newest Michelin-starred spot, Californians have no problem lining up for an hour or more to order melt in your mouth pork belly or honey lavender ice cream.

You freak out how expensive things are.

$15 for a craft cocktail? What the hell is a craft cocktail? You try to order a Bud Light and get a stern look from the cocktail specialist as she slides a bible sized drink menu your way.

You act like a five year old when you go to the beach.

Sand castles? You’re in! Bonfire on the beach? Best thing ever. You consider buying a surfboard and you actually have tan lines.

You have to ask what Burning Man is.

You listen as Californians drone on about how life changing it was and that you HAVE to go. You learn that it is a religion to some Californians as they tell you in great detail about their art car and the sequin hot pants they need to find before next year’s burn

You are ALWAYS on time for a social event.

When you say you are going to be somewhere, you are there. You have to get used to ‘flake culture.’ You get a ‘maybe’ or ‘I’ll let you know’ when you ask your new California friends to happy hour. You learn not to make dinner reservations. If they do show up, it’s usually a half hour late.

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