Before I ever stepped foot on Kansas soil I was terrified of what the place had in store for me. I knew that it snowed, that there was a tornado season, and that there would be no Ulta, Sephora, In-N-Out, Mr.Pickles, or decent seafood anywhere nearby. I knew that here in Kansas Dryer’s ice cream is called Edy’s, and that Carl’s Jr. is Hardees. I knew that I would still be close to a Wal-Mart, Target, Starbucks, and Chipotle (Thank you baby Jesus!). Well, now that I have officially been a Californian in Kansas for five months now, quickly coming up to the half-year mark, I’d like to share with you the things I’ve actually learned… SO FAR.
- People see our California plates on our car and automatically think we are horrible drivers. FACT OF THE MATTER IS, Kansas drivers are the BAD drivers! They tailgate whenever possible, do not pay attention if it’s a two lane left turn (cause those folks in the inside almost always jump into the other lane), drive 20 mph below the speed limit or 50 mph over, etc., etc! AND DO NOT get me started on their park jobs. Okay, Okay, maybe we’re equally as bad?!
- Kansas people are all generally very nice people. The NATIVES, at least. You can tell when you are dealing with an out-of-state college kid or a military person here. The natives will talk to you about anything, help you with anything, and wave and smile JUST because! Being from California, I find this extremely refreshing.
- The weatherman here is extremely accurate! Maybe it is because we have more severe weather here, but they can tell you about when a storm will hit your county and it’s usually right on the money.
- It gets HUMID here. On the weather app it shows the actual temperature and the “Feels Like” temperature which factors in the humidity and all other things that may change it. However, here in Kansas, it will be 80 degrees with 70% humidity. So that app will say it feels like 83 degrees instead of 80. There should be an option on this app that says “If you’re not at all use to humidity it feels like:” because it would then read 110 degrees! It’s like breathing WATER out here people!
- These poor people have no idea what good Mexican food is! When we first moved here we went to a place that had GREAT reviews (one was even from someone who said they grew up in San Diego – LIKELY story). The burrito was cheese and ground beef. No, Kansas, NO! That is NOT how it is done.
- If Sacramento State was as spirited as Kansas State University, or even KU, I think college would’ve been a much more exciting time for me. Everyone in Manhattan wears Purple, all day, every day. Their cars are decorated in purple (some even painted purple). The wildcat is painted on SO MANY buildings! These people LOVE their school.
- Seafood is pretty much guaranteed to taste fishy at restaurants. We’re not close to an ocean, but we’ve practically got the Kansas river in our backyard! I don’t understand.
- Thunderstorms out here are LOUD! They are usually accompanied by hail, heavy rain, and lots and lots of lightning.
- Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean that it’s cold outside. The humidity just got so high that the sky is sweating.
- They say “In Kansas, if you don’t like the weather just wait ten minutes. It will change.” AND that I have found to be VERY true. It snowed here in May and a week later it was close to 100 degrees. It will rain and hail in the morning, and reach the 90s by mid afternoon. It will be the prettiest day you’ve ever seen until about 7 at night when a lightning and thunderstorm rolls in to keep you awake all night.
- There is a beauty store out here called Beauty Brands. It does not hold a candle to Ulta or Sephora. It is a joke and should be ashamed of itself.
- Alcohol laws here are extremely different from how they are in California. If you buy beer from a gas station, grocery store, or Wal-Mart, it will be 3.2%. Even if it’s known for being a 6% beer! The only place to buy hard alcohol, wine, or actual % beer, is a liquor store. Some counties you cannot buy beer on Sundays. Other counties, you cannot buy alcohol after a certain earlier hour on Sunday (for Manhattan, Kansas it is 8PM).
- You have NOT seen a more beautiful sky than the Kansas sky. If you are a lover of clouds, like me, Kansas is the place to be!
- They don’t believe in U-Turns here. I’ve gotten use to the yield on green, but seriously, I need my U-Turn capabilities back!
- I don’t know what it is, but people love to have customized license plates. I’ve got to hand it to Kansans though, they’re all usually pretty clever and/or funny. I’ve never seen a “ABC♥EFG” or anything boring and typical of California custom plates. This one was my personal favorite:
I’m sure this is just part one of this “Californian in Kansas” BUT we shall see. I love my new home, in case that was not evident. It’s hot, then it’s really cold, but it absolutely breathtakingly beautiful here. I’m so thankful that the Army has given us the chance to take residence here!