1. Thou shalt cook Mexican food.

We have been eating chorizo since we were walking and you’d better know how to provide. Learn to make a halfway decent salsa, don’t mistake those hard shell abominations for tacos, and when it doubt, go breakfast burrito.

2. Thou shalt protect our oceans.

After growing up on the coast, we will always have a special connection to our oceans. In elementary school, we went to the islands for outdoor education. We kayaked through kelp forests, dissected squids for science class, and learned about the peril our beloved oceans are in. We never, ever liter on the beach and attend at least one beach clean up a year. You should follow suit.

3. Thou shalt drive if it is raining.

This is probably more for your safety than ours, but either way, if the heavens have decided to bless our arid land with a deluge (or even a sprinkle) you had better be prepared to take the wheel. Or Jesus* can, whichever you’re more comfortable with.

4. Thou shalt love the sun.

As the aforementioned rain comes about twice, maybe three times a year if we are lucky, you had better learn to love our beautiful, sun-shining rays. If it is a glorious day outside, we will be outside. You may ask why it’s such a big deal that the sun is shining, after all it does that a lot down here, but it’s better just to go with the flow. It’s a scientifically proven fact that sunshine, and the accompanying boost in Vitamin D, makes people happy. Enjoy it.

5. Thou shalt not joke about wildfires.

Fire is a fact of life in Southern California and most of us have probably experienced at least a few days of orange skies, red suns, and ashy snowfall. However, wildfires are never something to joke about as they do serious damage in our dry, beautiful state. Many have lost homes and worse to the raging flames.

6. Thou shalt keep thy cool during earthquakes.

Rumbling ground, quaking light fixtures, trembling bed, these are all signs that you are experiencing an earthquake. As the San Andres fault line runs straight through California, we have our fair share of earthquakes, but for the most part, they are simply a little shake and then done. You’ll probably sleep through it so there’s no reason to make a big fuss about it. After all, we in SoCal get about 10,000 earthquakes a year.

7. Thou shalt learn at least a little Spanish.

It is a well-known fact that the best Mexican restaurants do not have English menus so you should start practicing your Spanish now. We aren’t asking you memorize any pretérito imperfecto (past continuous form), just be able to order without embarrassing us and never, ever pronounce Camarillo, cam-A-rillo. It’s cam-a-rEE-yo.

8. Thou shalt learn the In-and-Out secret menu.

From animal style fries to the Flying Dutchmen, you had better learn the dos and don’ts of this classic, super cheap, yet super awesome burger chain’s secret menu. Pro tip: animal fries are amazing…the Flying Dutchmen, not so much.

9. Thou shalt always have a jacket (for us).

For the most part, SoCal weather hardly counts as weather. We freak out when it rains and most of us have never seen snow. It is because of this gentle upbringing that we are weather wusses. We will always need a jacket if it gets below 60 F, but as it rarely gets below 60 F where we’re from, we will often forget to bring one. I suggest you carry two if you get cold as well, as yours will become ours. We apologize and thank you in advance.

10. Thou shalt embrace the chill life.

SoCal is the land of surf days eclipsing workdays, sunshine calling us outside, and post-work brews trumping post-work work. We live in an awesome place and like to enjoy that fact every now and again. Okay or every week, but can you blame us? The chill life is good for the soul, embrace it.

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