Friday, August 29, 2008

Homesick 2

Wisconsin is different from California in these ways:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. There are more bugs.
  4. At every restaurant there's one black fly that buzzes around Aaron (I tell him it's because he's so sweet).
  5. You can't buy alcohol at a grocery store after 9 p.m.
  6. 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).
  7. You can find cheese curds just about everywhere (yum).
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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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