- When you're the Californian, people tell you how rude most Californians are, but that you're different. I think these people all had some horrible vacation in L.A.
- People ask if you've lived through a real winter before and when you haven't (like us), they seem filled with a secret glee. Then they feel bad and tell you that it's not really that bad.
- There are more bugs.
- At every restaurant there's one black fly that buzzes around Aaron (I tell him it's because he's so sweet).
- You can't buy alcohol at a grocery store after 9 p.m.
- The "Happy Cows are from California" commercials are still shown, but they only mention California milk, not cheese -- don't mess with Wisconsonites and their cheese (justifiably -- it's awesome).
- You can find cheese curds just about everywhere (yum).
- Fruit grows everywhere! I can take a walk along the lake and find chokecherries and berry bushes! And I don't mean the citrus trees you often find in people's yards in California -- these grow wild! It reminds me of the wild blackberry bushes that grow anywhere and everywhere in the Pacific Northwest.
- There's no ocean, but Lake Michigan is really cool. But I keep getting my directions mixed up because the water is East of us instead of West.
- Tailgating is worse here -- and I don't mean the kind where you party in the parking lot before (or during) a sporting event. I mean the cars-acting-like-gravy-train horses kind of tailgating. Don't get me wrong, I know that Californians are aggressive drivers. I've done my share of the "You're going too slow" kind of tailgating. But in Wisconsin, it's like people take comfort from being 3 feet behind you. There are even signs on the freeways reminding people not to do it. You would think that drivers would be more cautious in a place with so much snow and ice, but no. Before we got our Wisconsin license plates I thought it might be that mild harassment that Californians sometimes get when traveling out of state -- a la Oregon's "Keep Moving, Stranger" program (see William Least Heat-Moon's Blue Highways for more information). But it has not changed since we got our WI plates.
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