I believe I have mentioned here before that I am a list person. So, here is my list of things that tell me I’m back in California.
1. You are driving down the freeway at 80 mph and if you leave more than ten feet of space from the vehicle in front of you the car in the next lane cuts in – and the driver is on their cell phone.
2. You get three inches of rain in a week’s time and the whole state is flooded.
3. There are potholes in the roads as big as your car.
4. You don’t have to wear a coat all winter.
5. Your light turns green and five more cars make left turns in front of you running their red light.
6. You understand that “speed limit” is really more of a suggestion.
And you know you are back in Bakersfield when . . .
1. You say you want Basque food for dinner and have to decide which one of the ten Basque restaurant in town to go to.
2. The cross-town freeway still dead-ends in a parking lot.
3. Every evening excursion ends with a stop at Dewar’s.
4. You run into the grocery store after being back in town less than 24 hours for the first time in over a year and see two people you know.
5. Everyone in town knows who Buck Owens is and yes there is a street named after him.
6. They prune evergreen trees like they were fruit trees – and think it is normal.
7. Every school kid knows rain = fog delays.
8. You realize that although Kern County is the largest oil-producing region in the country, you actually pay more for a gallon of gas here than anywhere else in California.
9. You notice that the UPS guy wears shorts every day of the year, rain or shine.
10 An earthquake is no big deal, but if the air is clear enough to see the MOUNTAINS, now that is news.