1. You consider tacos and burritos major food groups. When abroad, you miss Mexican food more than family and friends.
2. You know In-N-Out’s secret menu by heart. Your usual order: animal style, a fresh beef patty with mustard baked in, slathered with tangy Thousand Island and onions hot off the grill. When you’re feeling healthy: protein style, which swaps the bun for a lettuce leaf.
3. You shop for virtually any fruit or vegetable at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, unaware it’s out of season until you get to the cash register.
4. Either you or one of your friends is on a juice cleanse or raw-food diet.
5. You spend at least 30% of your day driving. Except on Sundays, when you just drive to the gym.
6. You own a bike, but the only time you ride it is when you load it into your Explorer, drive 20 miles to meet your bike club, tool around with your cycling buddies, then reverse the process and drive home.
7. You know how to surf, skateboard, and ski, as well as what jargon to use when engaging in each of these activities.
8. You always use the definite article when referring to freeways — e.g., “the 101” or “the 405.”
9. Regardless of distance, you tell friends it’ll take 20 minutes to get there, depending on traffic. This ensures accuracy since traffic can account for endless delays.
10. You have no idea how to ride a public bus. The only people who ride buses in LA are transplants, household help, and folks with pending DUIs.
11. You know you’ll lose friends if you ask them to take you to LAX. If that’s your departure point, you spend the 50 bucks for a shuttle, leave your car in long-term parking, or switch to a suburban airport in Long Beach, the OC, or Ontario if you want free, friendly transport.
12. You stress about jaywalking because you’ve copped one too many tickets for crossing against the light. You warn friends from abroad, but most ignore you and do it anyway. Except the Germans, who have similar rules in their country.
13. You know at least one able-bodied person with a “Disabled” sign on their dashboard, allowing access to prime handicapped parking at stores, restaurants, sports, and concert venues.
14. Cold makes you anxious, especially when temps dip below 65. Anything below 50 has you staying indoors with the heat on.
15. You only own one jacket, other than the goose-down number reserved for skiing and camping.
16. June is the saddest month, when you live with fog and gray skies.
17. You lose your driving ability when it rains.
18. Earthquakes are no big deal. If you lived through Northridge, you can live through anything.
19. You’ve never seen it snow. Sure, you’ve been to Big Bear or Lake Arrowhead for riding, but you’ve never actually seen white stuff come from the sky.
20. You consider flip-flops appropriate for most occasions. For weddings and funerals, you wear fancy sandals.
21. You’ve asked at least one friend, “Are yours real or fake?”
22. Most of your buddies have the same first name: “Dude.”
23. You’d NEVER refer to your home state as “Cali.”
24. “Dank” describes anything especially good, as in, “This burger is dank.” While Merriam-Webster defines “dank” as “wet and cold in a way that is unpleasant,” the word refers to tasty food or high-quality marijuana in LA.
25. You aren’t from Los Angeles, even if your address says so. Any pride you have about living in SoCal is overshadowed by loyalty to your ‘hood. Whether it’s Venice, West Hollywood, Silverlake, or over the hill in the San Fernando Valley (where everything is cheaper and water boils in your car), that’s where you hang.
26. Several of your friends are trying to break into The Industry. Between casting calls and auditions, they bartend or wait tables in Hollywood.
27. You’re smitten by at least one LA sports team. Whether it’s the Dodgers, Angels, Clippers, Lakers, Kings, or Ducks, you’ll watch them in action, live, or on the tube.
28. If you’re a Bruin, you consider USC students spoiled brats. If you’re a Trojan, every other student is beneath you.
29. You wonder why anyone would live any place other than Southern California.