Confessions of a California Transplant: What the South Has Taught Me
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Confessions of a California Transplant: What the South Has Taught Me

Confessions of a California Transplant: What the South Has Taught Me

My experiences of moving and living in the land of sweet tea, fried food and smiling for no apparent reason.

1. There’s no such thing as real Mexican Food in the South. At least that’s what I thought until I figured out that I was eating Tex-Mex. While I’ve learned to love orange rice and tostada shells, I’m still searching for a taqueria that serves al pastor and tripas.

2. Speaking of food, if you’re from a western state like myself, you will literally have dreams of animal style In-N-Out burgers and crave them every. single. day. You will also be personally offended when people tell you that they prefer Whataburger over In-N-Out.

3. In the south, it’s “highway”, not “freeway”, and if you call it “the 35”, “the 10” or “the 20”, people will judge you.

4. What is the only acceptable reason to be pulled over on the side of the freeway highway? To take your family pictures in the field of Bluebonnets, duh.

5. Believe it or not, FFA (Future Farmers of America) is actually a thing here. However, don’t let your mom sign you up for it on registration day because she thinks it’ll be a “good experience.” The kids will only laugh when you tell them you want a pig as a pet- not for food.

6. Football, whether it’s at the high school or college level, is basically its own religion. Don’t ask questions when literally thousands of people show up for a high school game. Also, don’t be too disappointed when the guys on your football team aren’t Tim Riggins- it’s heartbreaking, I know.

7. Southern Hospitality is alive and well and you’ll eventually get so used to it that when you go visit friends in the North, you’ll be somewhat put off when a stranger doesn’t hold the door for you.

8. Southerners say funny things like “y’all” and “fixin’ to”. Just accept your fate with “y’all”, we all conform eventually- but you might have a minor panic attack the first time you say, “fixin’ to”.

9. If you find yourself asking, “Why is that guy spitting so much? Does he have a disorder? He should probably get that checked out.” He most likely doesn’t have an overactive salivary gland, but just has a pinch in and eventually, you’ll be able to tell a lot about a person based on their preference of Grizzly, Skoal, or Copenhagen.

10. Coming from the Best West Coast, you won’t think twice about the 100 degree weather. That is, until you walk outside and it’s 80% humidity. Prepare yourself.

11. When you order tea at a restaurant, it will automatically be assumed that you mean sweet tea. Switching from unsweet tea to sweet tea is a slippery slope- proceed with caution unless you want to gain the freshman fifteen with a side of diabetes.

12. Everyone knows how to either two-step or line dance…or both. To be a functional member of society in the South, you should probably learn as well.

13. Debutante Balls are still a thing. I’m talking full on Scarlett O’Hara dresses and curtsies. You probably shouldn’t ask questions about this, either- the South loves its traditions.

14. Monograms. Monograms everywhere.

15. Trucks. Trucks everywhere. Also, know that people take huge pride in their trucks babies.

16. Get used to seeing a church about every two blocks, this is the Bible Belt after all.

17. Another thing you should get used to are the Southern Gentlemen. If there’s one thing the South knows how to do besides make the best sweet tea around, it’s how to produce some good ol’ southern gentlemen. I’m talking yes-ma’am-car-door-opening Southern gents. Take full advantage of this.

18. People in the South still use the term “Yankee,” and they will refer to you as one.

19. "Bless Your Heart" sounds like a sweet saying…and it is about 5 percent of the time.

20. Country Music isn’t a genre, it’s a way of life.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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