From the West Coast to the Midwest

By: Joshua Robles, Staff Writer

I’m from Rialto, California, and moved to Wichita at the very end of 2019. My family and I moved here because we had some relatives out here and my parents wanted to leave California and start new. The move was big, and Kansas is very different from California. I still wouldn’t say I’m used to it here, though there are definitely some things about Kansas I prefer over the West Coast.

There are some similarities between the two but more differences, especially when it comes to weather. In California, you can pretty much get away with wearing anything because the temperatures don’t change that much from day to day and don’t drastically change in between seasons. The weather usually stays around 70 to 80 degrees, and even though that seems hot, there’s always a little breeze and it’s just dry weather, not humid.

Weather in Wichita, on the other hand, changes from day to day and changes drastically between seasons. The winter gets freezing cold, and it always feels like my hands are numb. It also snows here, which never happens in California unless you go to the mountains like Big Bear.

Summers in Kansas are not only hot but also nasty and humid, which I don’t like at all. When it’s humid and I walk outside, it just feels so dirty and nasty.

I’ve also noticed that Kansas has some weird bugs, some I’ve never seen in my life. In California, it’s just the usual ants, spiders, flies and bees. But the first time I saw a camel cricket in Kansas, I was honestly kind of scared. I didn’t know what it was. My first thought was that it was some hybrid between a cricket, spider, and a wasp. The bugs here are also way bigger than in California, even the ants, flies and spiders. It was terrifying at first, like I was seeing something out of Jurassic Park.

A good difference though is definitely the traffic. California traffic is so bad that it’s bumper-to-bumper most of the time and you’re lucky if it isn’t. A drive that would usually take about 20 minutes could end up taking 40 to more than 60 minutes because of the traffic. It isn’t like that at all here and traffic seems to only get bad occasionally around 7 to 8 a.m. while everyone is trying to get to work.

I’ve also noticed that people here are somewhat more friendly. People here will sometimes smile, nod their heads, or even say “hello” when you walk past them. In California, people usually just keep to themselves and will just keep looking forward while passing you. People here also use “sir” and “ma’am,” which is polite but something new to me as I never had anyone call me sir before. The first time someone called me sir, it caught me off guard, and I didn’t know how to react. I thought at first they were calling me old, but then I realized it’s just what they say to be polite.

Another difference I noticed is how people dress. In California, people dress to impress. They don’t wear suits or anything, but a lot of people wear nice and expensive shoes. I remember some people who went to my school had multiple pairs of Yeezys. They usually wore designer type clothes, and I remember one guy would always wear Supreme and so everyone nicknamed him “Raypreme.” Some people would just rock casual clothes, but they put style into it, and everyone dresses pretty fly.

In Wichita, though, I notice the majority of people wear more casual clothes, kind of like an outfit you’d wear if you were at home or hanging out with friends. And I kind of like that because it’s more chill and cool. I’d rather wear something comfortable than something that just looks cool.

I kind of like it here in Kansas because the traffic isn’t bad and people are usually nice, but California is my home and I miss living there. After all, it’s where I was born and raised and all my friends are still out there and even some family. I don’t know if I’d move back to California, but I will go back and visit.

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