Californians in Chicago

There are quite a few Californians in Chicago. I’ve met more than my share already. I think its great that I’m not the only one from the Golden State that felt like they needed to get away and try something new. We all have a similar stance on the subject of leaving. The difference is, everyone I’ve met is from SoCal, (Los Angeles, specifically). I’ve been introduced to these people through the new friends I’ve made here, which has been nice. I do love meeting new people and I’ve managed to be really nice and social…or I try.

Let me say, I’m a west coast kid, we all know this. Born and raised three blocks from the ocean my entire life (Davenport, CA). I haven’t lived more than twenty minutes away seeing the ocean until I got here. Yes, Lake Michigan is SO huge that it looks like the ocean (which is actually very strange to me), but its not the same. There is no surf, there is no seaweed and when I walk around the harbor I don’t see otters or porpoises in the water. More specifically, I’m a NorCal kid. My California coast is mostly cliffs and rocks. Wind beaten bluffs and two or three “beach” weeks a year.

I am NOT from Southern California.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against SoCal. In fact, for the most part, I find it quite charming and a great place to visit and some of my besties live and are from there. Yes, I could live there if I needed to, but…that hasn’t happened yet, so I’m not going to worry about it. Meanwhile, if you don’t know, NorCal and SoCal are pretty different places. Culture, food, people, city layouts, its all different (they don’t even make their burritos the same as we do). Not bad, just different. There may be a slight SF/LA rivalry and it’s not just the Giants and Dodgers, its a city v city thing. Remiss that some may be to admit it, it does exist.

Let me layout the conversation I have with every Californian I’ve met so far…seriously. Every. Singe. One.

Mutual Friend (MF): Hey, let me introduce you to SoCal(SC).
Me: Ok
MF: SC, this is Royce, he’s from California too!
Me: Hi SC, it’s nice to meet you
SC: Nice to meet you too. When did you get here?
Me: Just a few weeks ago, still getting settled.
SC: Great, how do you like it?
Me: I LOVE Chicago, it’s a great city.
SC: I think so too. Where are you from?
Me: San Francisco. You?
SC: …LA.
Me: …Cool
SC: …Yeah
Both of us: …, …
SC: So winter should be fun for you.
Me: -resist the urge to sock him in the face or roll my eyes- yeah…I love jackets, can’t wait.
SC: Cool. Well, it was nice to meet you
Me: You too -we both walk in opposite directions-
MF: Um…isn’t he nice?
Me: Totally…

I’ve had less awkward conversations with my doctor about things going on with my boy parts. I know there isn’t much to be done about it. It’s just the way Southern Californians and Northern interact when first shoved together. We both know we’re from different worlds and other than our state ID’s, there isn’t much tying us together, at least not off the bat.

I’m seriously going to have to figure out another topic of conversation for the SoCal people I meet so it can be a little less awkward. Maybe I’ll ask them about their cars. People from SoCal love their cars, and freeways. Or…I could just start saying I’m from LA. Think I could pull that off? No one would know any different, right?


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