California is a rare state where all of the stereotypes are true. Yes, many of us go to work in flip-flops. Yes, we have a disproportionate amount of vegans. And yes, we will get uppity if you don’t recycle. But alas, that’s part of our charm. Weirdness and artistry go together, right? It must be all the sunshine. Here are some of the strangest things you’ll only see in California:
Gluten-Free, Vegan, Kale-in-Everything Menus
You’ll see a lot of asterisk marks on California menus. We can’t help it if we’re health nuts and slightly crazy. Thus, you’ll see an unusual amount of vegan cookies, gluten-free pastas, and kale salad and chips to go with everything. Of course, when we break diet we really break diet. We’re the OGs of putting French fries in our burritos (the official name being, you guessed it, California burritos), adding bacon on our pizza (at California Pizza Kitchen), and cream cheese in sushi rolls (California rolls). Oh, and we want avocado on everything. Not that we’re picky, or anything.
Pot Shops Next to Botox® Clinics
Let’s be honest, there are two things California is best known for: hippies and movie stars. You can often find both within steps of each other in Southern California, with Botox® clinics neighbouring pot dispensaries. It’s just how we roll. Some people who live in beach cities are obsessed with taffy; Californians are obsessed with toxic injections into their foreheads to freeze wrinkles. If no one looks over the age of 60 in the Golden State, trust me, there’s nothing natural about it. Of course, if you do want natural, hippie dippy things, there’s that too. There are numerous marijuana collectives throughout the state. Granted, it’s medical marijuana and only issued to residents with medical conditions, but you’d be surprised to learn how many “insomniacs” and “chronic ankle pain suffers” there are in the state…
The Earth is Breaking Apart (But Carry On)
Sometimes there are things called earthquakes in California. It’s just the earth breaking, bending, and opening up, but Californians are rarely alarmed. In fact, we rarely think about them until a terrified out-of-towner experiences one with us. It may seem crazy that so many residents live right on the fault line, but the ocean view is well worth the earth burps and rumbles a few times a year.
Flip-Flops in the Rain
Californians are accustomed to warm weather, with flip-flops and boardshorts our common outfits most of the year. So you’ll have to excuse our terrible rainy day attire. Cold, drizzly weather brings a hodgepodge of borrowed North Face® jackets, layered sweatshirts, and well, soaked flip-flops because no one likes owning socks and shoes in California. Luckily, it only rains a few days a year in many regions, so we’re right back to shorts and dried-out Birkenstocks®.
In-N-Out, But First, Dinner
If we ever need to replace the grizzly bear on our state flag, an In-N-Out cheeseburger can easily take its place. We love the burger joint to an unhealthy degree. Whether we end up at In-N-Out with work buddies, friends, or by ourselves, it’s the hub of California activity. In fact, we’ll even take our date to the place. It’s no joke: You’ll often see prom dates and other couples falling in love over animal fries and chocolate shakes. Maybe it’s love in the meat or just extra salt, but you haven’t seen California if you haven’t witnessed a wannabe playboy trying to woo a girl with his ability to hold four ketchup cups at once. The weird thing? She’ll probably be impressed.
California is a lot of things to a lot of people, and many of these folks are delightfully strange. Sorry if so many Cali locals can’t grasp why you’ve never tried yoga or don’t order sprouts on all types of sandwiches. Weird and wonderful, California is unlike anywhere else.
What’s your favourite wacky thing about California?