Saturday, November 12, 2011

You need a guide to live here...

I've moved a lot in my life. Growing up in a military family means that you move every few years to a random town near a military base. I've lived in 8 states (Michigan, Wisconsin, Alabama, Louisiana, Virginia, Georgia, Hawaii and California). I've always considered New Orleans home (and always will).

 (This is my cat, Pumpkin, in the car on our cross country drive. She perched on those bags the entire trip.)

Just over a year ago, I moved to California. My company has an office in the East Bay and I moved here to take a new position for my division. I figured that if I didn't move now, I never would and I'd stay in a place I didn't like all that much forever. Forever is a very long time to live in the DC metro area.

I was not prepared to be dropped into an alien world. I consider myself pretty adept at adjusting to new situations and people but I have really struggled with figuring out living here. It's almost like they should give out guides when you cross into the state. Or maybe appoint each person a California buddy who can show you the ropes and answer all of the important and random questions that come up (example: what is with all the double parking? I don't get it at all.)

I genuinely enjoy the East Bay; I just don't understand it. The weather is awesome, there are at least 5 places that I can get exceptional coffee and I live on an island. Alameda is pretty great; we have our own tiki bar and an amazing assortment of Victorian homes. The speed limit is 25 mph. Apparently, I live on the shadier side of the island so I feel a bit gangster when I come from work. The island is both the most normal and oddest place I have ever lived. I think this partially contributes to my inability to figure out living here. It's also possible that I'm trying to hard (I am a bit of an overachiever about a lot of things). 

So this will be my attempt to figure it out. Maybe one day the state will take my advice and create a guidebook but until then...

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