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How to Become Culturally Californian in 14 Steps

by Hana Nobel Jul 21, 2017

1. Figure out how to be outside as much of the time as possible.

Find your favorite outdoor cafe with Wi-Fi, learn which parks you can work from, answer emails from a ski lift or hiking trail, or squeeze in a surfing session before heading into the office, and a beach yoga class after work.

2. Find “your” Mexican restaurant and learn how to order a burrito exactly as you want it.

You should also be able to order with the correct Spanish pronunciation and know the difference between carne asada, al pastor, and carnitas.

3. Order everything with avocado on it.

And learn to love them, because they’re in guacamoles, tacos, sauces, sandwiches, ice creams, and even beers across the state.

4. Buy hiking shoes.

There are mountains and trails all over the state-and even in the middle of Los Angeles. Going for a hike one of our favorite go-tos.

5. Find your local farmer’s market.

California produce is hard to beat and you’ll see a lot of your neighbors snagging their fruits and vegetables at these stands. Your grocery store produce won’t compare to what local farmers are bringing to your neighborhood. Remember your reusable bag.

6. Pick your side: North or South.

There’s a friendly rivalry between Northern and Southern California. Some are loyal to where they live now, and some are loyal to where they are from. Find what’s best about your half of the state, and stay strong.

7. Get snobby about your coffee.

Folgers doesn’t work here. Find your favorite barista who serves up a free-trade, cold drip, pour over, topped with latte art cup.

8. Learn to speak Spanish.

If you’re non-Hispanic and you don’t know basic terms yet, you’re going to need it. There’s a large Hispanic population in California and basic Spanish will get you far.

9. Find your best way to deal with traffic.

Whether it’s Waze, driving at odd times of day, grin-and- bear it with a podcast, or just complaining to friends, traffic is a big part of the lives of many Californians. Find your coping mechanism and talk about it all the time.

10. Get used to earthquakes.

They’re real, in three-D and surround-sound. The big one is coming. Accept it, get your earthquake emergency kit ready, and don’t waste time worrying about them.

11. Prepare for the bizarre stereotypical questions.

Get your answers ready. “No, I don’t surf. Yes, I’ve seen celebrities. Yes, the weather is always great. No, I’m not always tan. Yes, I’ve been to Disneyland.”

12. Learn to like kale.

It’s in everything, especially smoothies.

13. Get used to astrology talk and blaming things on Mercury being in retrograde.

You don’t have to know what it means, but know you can blame anything on it.

14. Learn to do “juice”.

Juice can be a meal, juice can be a cleanse and juice is usually at least $10. There will be 3 juice bars on every street, so you’ll be an expert in no time.

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