In a couple more weeks, we'll be heading south to Cali-for-nia, birthplace of the official California dream, where it's always sunny, warm and beach-like. The SPF-40 flows like water and the water is rationed as if it were gold. It's the Golden State, people. Time to reflect on our upcoming relocation to the original location of our initial relocation up North.
First a little mood music. This adequately expresses some of my feelings while living in California. Like when I'm driving on the freeway, or trying to find a parking place in the city, or paying the rent. It's enough to knock that piece of hay right out of my mouth!
So let's talk about driving. One of the first differences I noticed about living in SW Washington was that everyone drives really slowly, even on the freeway. Then I realized, they were actually driving the speed limit. I just hadn't experienced that in so long, I thought it was slow. Soon, I too learned to slow down and smell the evergreen air as I kind of zipped along at 55 or 65, depending. I got to like this speed and I continue to drive it in California, way over in the right lane. People pass me, going 85 and 90 all the time, but I don't care because I'm saving gas and what's their rush anyway? Where are you all going Californians? It can't be THAT great.
The same thing happens in the city. You're tooling along at 25 or whatever in traffic, waiting for lights to change, and invariably, some guy (almost always, it's a guy) whips around you like you're gumming up the whole works. Then he gets to the next red light first. As I pull up to his bumper, I always think, well, you beat me to the light. Well played, asshole.
And high prices? Yes, California--you, whether you want to admit it or not, have become Manhattanized thoroughly. Everything costs more in California. Gas, food and lodging--ka-CHING.
But let me say this about my home state and state of being, that intensity level in California that can be so annoying and stressful at times is reflective of a trait I have missed up north: Passion. It's not that people are passionless in the Portland metro region. They LOVE all kinds of stuff going on, especially outdoorsy stuff and children-oriented stuff and arty-writerly stuff.
But there's very little industry and um, entrepreneurial growth; very little business growth at all. It's pretty bleak around here, industry and innovation-wise. All those California dreamers (from all over the world) really buckle down and work their asses off. It's stressful, yes, but it's also industrious and exciting. It's dynamic. I didn't know I missed that until we decided to come back. Like when I once lived in Mexico for a few months and started missing sandwiches and hamburgers--food I could hold in my bare hands. You just never know what you'll miss...
Here's to you California. You do know how to party.
California Love - 2Pac