[bd] It sounds like you had a pretty epic road trip. I moved so many times, growing up in the military, I think I’ve permanently got PCS Syndrome – an itch to move all the time. Though the government told you where you were moving and when, I wonder if your gearhead connections helped you find your new place in SoCal. What about work for you, social life, shops, vendors, and such?
[jg] Absolutely. I knew I had some friends on the west coast already, so I reached out to them and asked about which areas were good and bad. We had to stay close to the base Justin was transferring to, obviously, but we were still left with a lot of options. We ended up in a nice little city a short drive north from Los Angeles, and right down the road from the nearest e85 station, haha. We refused to step down from 93 octane to 91, so we swapped both the Evo and the DSM to run e85 full time.
Work was surprisingly easy to find. I was given job offers to about four different places, so I had the privilege of choosing where I wanted to work. I picked a fantastic opportunity as an account manager at a global telecommunications company.
As for my social life, I feel as if I have been living here for years as opposed to a short four months. As we started attending car meets and shows, people have been coming up to me already knowing my name and introducing themselves, saying they couldn’t wait to see my car since they heard I had moved to Cali.
We had the chance to finally attend Mitsubishi Owners Day in Cypress, and I was just overwhelmed with the amount of faces I was able to attach to screen names, people I have been talking to and trading build advice with for years. The hospitality I’ve received since being here is unreal, I absolutely love it.
[bd] You moved from one coast (Florida) to the other (California). What have you discovered is different where you live now compared to where you used to live (aside from the obviously much better weather)? What’s proven to be pretty much the same?
[jg] Ohhhh my, this WEATHER! Hahaha. This beautiful, consistent, humidity-lacking atmosphere is, for lack of a better word, addictive. Aside from that, I’ve been in a constant state of culture shock for the past couple months since we moved. Eating is probably one of my most favorite things to do and my taste buds are always experiencing something new, I don’t think I’ve eaten at the same restaurant twice yet. In-N-Out should have its own place on the food pyramid and I’m still not used to servers looking at me funny whenever I try to order shrimp sauce with my sushi.
The motorcycle community is HUGE. It should come as no surprise, because I haven’t seen rain since I left Florida, so you have the opportunity to ride every day. So, of course, Justin and I both bought motorcycles. A 2012 Yamaha R6 for me, and a 2006 R6 for him. Black and white, of course, because we can’t break the cycle of being the cheesy couple that matches, haha. Florida didn’t require you to wear a helmet as long as you had insurance, but they’re mandatory in California. I think lane-splitting being legal had a lot to do with that. Coasting through rush hour with inches between you and the cars on either side of you definitely calls for additional safety measures.
The car scene is black and white compared to the east coast. There is a lot more variety, and the track cars are just obscene. Everyone over here seems to be a lot more friendly, as well. Everyone is friends with everyone, no matter their preference in build choices. It’s not as much of a competition, the “Cali lifestyle” seems to chill everyone out. I like to think its the weather, haha. How can anyone be unhappy or hold any animosity with how gorgeous this place is all the time, especially when they’ve never had to suffer through a pollen or love bug season?!
Ok, so, similarities?… *crickets* I still feel the need to learn Spanish, lol. I went from living a hop away from Cuba, to a hop away from Mexico, and there has always been that strong language barrier between the locals and I. I took four years of Spanish in high school, so the foundation for speaking a second language is there, I just need to throw myself into studying to become fluent.
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