|Cheaper by the Dozen (2003 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Where I live in California, everything is hustle and bustle. Traffic is always crazy. People are always in a rush. And the influence of Hollywood is pretty huge. Everyone tries to imitate their favorite celebrity and has to have the hottest this or that. But I guess that's just what happens when you're so close to Los Angeles. There are lots of museums, some of the best in the world, and almost everyone has seen or knows at least a minor celebrity. The twin boys that were in "Cheaper by the Dozen" went to elementary school near me. People really aren't that friendly, and getting people to be themselves is a huge challenge. They would rather be someone else. Everything is city oriented.
I was walking around downtown, and someone said "Good afternoon. Isn't this weather beautiful?". I freaked out. Omg, this person is trying to kidnap me or steal from me or something similarly evil! Then it hit me. People here are actually friendly. Ignoring people as you walk past them, without giving them at least a smile, is considered rude. And no one's afraid of being themselves. You see some of the wackiest things here. Another thing I noticed, people here actually care. They care about politics, and the environment, and music, and whatever else they are passionate about. The conversations you have with people here are so enriching, I don't know how I was able to handle living in California for so long.
And the funniest thing of all: In Cali, I am considered weird or strange. But I'm not afraid to do "strange" stuff. But in AZ, I'm normal. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around, but it's true. In California, I get strange looks if I even smile at a stranger. People tell me I'm weird because I like to eat healthy and I love to read. I was in the bookstore where I was staying, and it was crowded! Can you believe that? And people actually use the library! I never see that in California. Ever. I'm usually one of maybe 5-10 people in the library or book store. I was so excited to see people taking such an interest in books.