As a girl who was born and raised on the west coast, it has been somewhat difficult adjusting to life on the east coast/south. In the two and a half months that we have been here so far, I’ve noticed a few differences. The following are my personal opinionated speculations on the differences between life on one side of the country versus the other.
1. NOTHING compares to In N Out
Only west coasters have the privilege of being able to enjoy an In N Out burger whenever they want. I knew before I left that I would miss it, but something that I didn’t realize was how many of my friends are constantly posting pictures of their In N Out burgers on Instagram and Snapchat. My mouth waters when I come across these pictures and I get the sudden urge to buy a plane ticket just so I can go home and devour a double double. I grew up eating In n Out burgers and as I got older and started cleaning up my bad eating habits, In n out was the only fast food place that I would still allow myself to occasionally enjoy. One of our friends out here says that he doesn’t think In N Out is very good…. but this is coming from the guy who wants to try that BK burger with the black bun. His opinion on burgers clearly has no credibility here.
2. Humidity is horrific
To be honest I don’t even know how people can stand to live here in the summer. When we first got here it must have been the most humid time of the year. We were moving our boxes from the u-haul to the apartment and within minutes I was drenched in sweat. It was then that I realized I wouldn’t be wearing a lot of makeup or spending too much time outside. A couple of months went by and I got excited when I looked out the window and saw clouds and rain. I thought it must feel nice out there for once, however when I walked outside, I was still hit with the sticky humidity of the south. There have been maybe two weeks out of the two months that we’ve been here when the weather was actually enjoyable. Needless to say, I’m missing the California weather and really looking forward to the winer…. which is saying a lot coming from me because I do not like the cold, but it’s better than the heat when humidity is involved.
3. If you want unsweetened ice tea, be sure to make it clear.
Since I’ve stopped drinking soda, I have resorted to ordering iced tea when I go out to eat. At home I would ask for iced tea and receive it unsweetened. If the restaurant had other options the server would ask which type of tea I would like. Here in the south, if you ask for iced tea they assume you want sweet tea. And this isn’t your typical sweet tea, it’s the sweetest tea I’ve ever had in my life, basically a cup of liquid sugar and I have no idea how people drink it without throwing up their entire meal afterwards.
4. Krispy kreme doughnuts are not real doughnuts.
Ok so I’m sort of a doughnut connoisseur.. I mean what do you expect? I’m the daughter of a deputy sheriff for goodness sake! I know my doughnuts! and if you want a good one you have to go to Christy’s doughnuts on foothill boulevard in Monrovia because they always have and always will be the best. I’ll admit I was once fooled by Krispy Kreme. It was our first time at the drive-thru and we were excited to try some WARM glazed doughnuts. The fact that they were warm is what made them so delicious, but they were overly sweet. We went back a second time but the krispy kremes were not warm, therefore they were just gross. They don’t have the fluffiness that a good doughnut should have, no sprinkles either. What the heck? We have one real doughnut shop here which I have yet to try because it’s pretty far, aside from that our only other options for doughnuts are krispy kreme and starbucks. No thank you.
5. There are 3 major changes in scenery
The first major difference in scenery is the greenery! Yes I know that rhymes. Driving on the freeway here is so different than back home. First of all, theres no traffic but then again, I don’t go anywhere so the ‘no traffic’ thing doesn’t really benefit me. At home there were lot’s of things to look at while driving along the 210 such as buildings, signs and other things. Oh and speaking of freeways, over here people think is weird to say “the” before a freeway name. Because saying “I took 210 to get here” makes so much more sense… not. Anyway, driving on the freeways here, you will see only pine trees and the occasional carls jr… wait excuse me.. I mean Hardee’s signs in your travels.
That’s right, Carls Jr. is called Hardee’s over here! Same menu and logo, just a different name. That’s the second major difference in scenery, the chain stores and restaurants. Carls Jr is an example of one large fast food chain buying out another well known fast food chain (Hardee’s) and slowly changing the menu over time to resemble that of Carls but keeping the name the same in order to keep the same loyal customers coming back (Yes I did my research, I was curious). It’s been interesting to see what major stores they have here and which ones they don’t. Instead of a Nordstrom, the major department store in our local mall is called Belk. There are no ARCO’s or Chevrons, the biggest gas stations here are called “Kangaroo’s”.
Finally, the third major difference is the old southern architecture, this is my favorite change in scenery because old buildings are always so much more detailed and beautiful than new ones. Brick buildings are the norm around here and there’s also a myriad of old churches with extra pointy steeples for that extra southern feel.
So far these are just a few of the things I’ve noticed since we’ve been here. Although we aren’t in the most exciting city and the weather has been tough to get used to, I’m still trying to make the most of the time we have here. I’m looking froward to exploring new surroundings and learning new things along the way!