Monday, August 14, 2006

A local introduction

I live in San Diego, but I'm not from here. This isn't uncommon. Even for a California native, though, the city took a bit of time to adjust to.

Coming from a small town where everyone bikes and generally obeys traffic laws, the first thing I noticed was the general lack of driving skills. People drive fast and all talk on their cell phones. Yellow means go, red means go faster so that you can sneak through the light. Left turns from the right turn lane are common. The southbound off-ramp in order to get into PB is always stopped, but somehow that always takes people by surprise. Rain is something so foreign to San Diegans that even the slightest mist causes major traffic accidents. You can't get anywhere without a car, though, so the best defense is to get a big one. My sister, B, unfortunately learned to drive in San Diego, so she has some of the local driving defects, despite being taught properly. B has gotten hit a couple of times, but luckily her pickup truck always wins.

People in San Diego are extremely fashionable, with the exception of all the programmers and academics. Apparently they learn it at a young age, as everywhere you turn, there are all these little girls dressed up just like their very fashionable mommies. The high school down the road was full of skanky sixteen year olds who snort coke off the hood of their Mercedes or Escalade. Honest. At least at the university the academic to skank ratio is more in my favor, so I tend to hide out there.

San Diegans also love their sunglasses, and they wear them all the time. Sun, clouds, (the ever so infrequent) rain, or even inside. This is one habit that has rubbed off on me. I think it's the outdoor malls that spawned this habit. It's usually bright outside, and who wants to constantly be taking their sunglasses off only to have to put them on five minutes later?

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