Friday, April 30, 2010

Random Arizona Anecdote

I've already mentioned that when you grow up in a weird, weird place like Arizona, its other-worldliness doesn't become apparent to you until you leave and experience "normal" places. And then, after leaving, you find out that, to most people, Arizona might as well be Mars.

I left Tucson in 1983 to attend UC San Diego. I quickly picked up on the low regard my home held in the eyes of Californians (fucking Zonies, they called us). I also noticed that to most Californians, Arizona was a mysterious, distant place on the edges of their awareness; many were unaware the two states shared a border! Really! I lost count of how many times I had variations of the following conversation:

Friend: OMG, you're going all the way back to Arizona just for Thanksgiving/Xmas?
Me: Uh, well, yes. It's only a few hours away.
Friend: Really?
Me: Yes, it's right next door. Where are you going for Thanksgiving?
Friend: Chico.

Distance between San Diego and Tucson: 415 miles. Distance between San Diego and Chico: 592 miles.


tylan said...

Chico, that's a hoot, isn't that the Armpit of California?

Peteykins said...

Haw, yes. That is specifically an example I remember, too.

Patrick said...

I think you captured well the disdain most Californians have for, well, anything but California. If you would allow me to use a broad brush for a moment... they tend to see anything exo-Californian as quaint or novel in the short term, but eventually it all gets relegated back to being the "flyover." Ugh.

Jim said...

As a native Californian (SD, almost went to UCSD myself) I resemble those remarks... somewhat! Most Californians disdain anything outside their known world. At one point when we moved to 29 Palms, we may as well have moved to the moon.

I live in Michigan now, but visited Tucson for the first time in early March for vacation and reveled in the concerned looks the natives gave me for driving around with the top down in 70-degree weather. It was full of a wonderfully weird combination of burned-out hippies, conservative olds, rodeos, were-pigs, mountains, cacti and warm weather! I did miss having 9 freeways at my immediate disposal, but definitely will be back. Keep up the posts!

Allen said...

The "fucking Zonies" thing is really a San Diego phenomena. I never heard the term growing up in L.A. It wasn't until I moved to San Diego that I learned about it. It seems like all of Arizona, including my Scottsdale cousins, rotate through San Diego every summer. I never did get the hate though.