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A Country Mouse in the Big City

Posted on May 01, 2005. 0 comments

My home town had a population of approximately 22,000. I thought that was a lot. This was before I moved to California. My first experiences in California proved very enlightening and terrifying at the same time. Did you know city streets out here are bigger than Interstates? My first summer here I participated in a summer intern program at UCSD. They provided a place to live and a car wasn't necessary thankfully, because there was no way I was ready to tool around a six lane city street. The one time I did drive my Husband's (enjoying boyfriend status then) car, we got rear ended! Can you believe that? What are the odds that the first time you set your foot on the gas peddle in California a Dad with a car full of unruly kids rear ends you and knocks you into the car in front of you?
I eventually got over my white knuckled fears and became a road warrior myself. I've learned however that these driving tactics do not work in towns of say 22,000. Unless you want to bring the attentions of the law upon yourself. Another new driving related phenomenon is driving half a block from point A to point B even if you can visually see the place you are visiting next. Last night I drove approximately 15 parking spaces north to be closer to a restaurant after our shopping trip. In college (a small town of 50,000 residents, most who liked to set couches afire damn firebugs and tear down goal posts) I'd walk 2 miles to the grocery store to fill up my backpack with that weeks food without a second thought mindyou. I guess looking at all those beads at Michael's last night must have really tired me out, rendering me incapable of walking 30 additional feet.
I admit I was considered a little strange in my home town. I definitely marched to the beat of my own drummer. But not in California. I'm normal here! I have personally witnessed people doing all of the following:
-Playing the trumpet in the car (while driving)
-Babies sporting Mohawks
-Senior citizens having weird facial piercings and jewelry
-Low rise boot cut man jeans
-Manpris
-Car theft involving a Frito Lay Truck and a interstate freeway 15 mile-per-hour police pursuit.
-skate boarding, skate boarding on long boards, scootering while wearing low rise boot cut man jeans
-forcefully trying to get signatures for the latest proposition in front of the grocery
I am normal isn't that great! Except when it comes to talking. I believe I have that Northern Virginia DC Metro Area Non Southern Accent-Accent. You know the kind where there are no R's except in words where they don't belong like "warsh?" My two favorite examples are Virginia and Arthur, pronounced Vah-Gin-Ya and Aw-thor. Suffice to say a simple word like "On" ie the Yarn is on the cat becomes Southernized. I say it like this "the yarn is awn the kaaat." I have work on my diction if I want to avoid bringing home a Sprite (isn't it called a Coke?) and a burrito when I asked for a cheeseburger and french fries.
We won't even address my yarn manufacturer pronunciations. That's a topic better left for a post of its own.

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