Culture shock was my first experience when I moved here. It was like going back in time. Instead of a Starbucks on every corner there is a Church on every corner. Gay marriage wasn't legal when I moved here (it is now thankfully), medical marijuana isn't legal here, and everywhere you look there is chicken, fried chicken, baked chicken, broiled chicken, chicken in pies, chicken. There are things called collard greens and okra. People say ya'll and bless your heart. Hiking is a sport, but so are music festivals and bad beer.
I asked if there was good Mexican food and was told to try Rosie's...yeah, it isn't even close. I got a bean and cheese burrito, which was basically a bean burrito with cheese on top and sauce smothering it, literally smothering it. So no, there isn't really much Mexican food here in Alabama, but why am I surprised.
Produce is interesting here. I come from the land of plenty, where avocados are fresh daily, artichokes are easily found, and strawberries can be found year-round. Things here in Alabama are seasonal, which makes it hard for someone like me who is used to eating artichokes once a week, and avocados every other day. Now I am lucky if I get avocados once a month and I can't tell you when I last had an artichoke.
But it isn't all bad, three months out of a year my hair looks fabulous, the rest of the time it is either raining or humid so I just go with big southern hair (which is a thing). I've met some awesome people who I wouldn't have met otherwise. No, not all southerners are racist, nor do they all go to church, and yes I find them to be a little more tolerant than even some of the people I know in California.
So, that's the start of how a Cali girl feels about moving to the south. I will say more when I give it some time. This here took me a year and a half to write. I've been deciding if I like Alabama or not, and honestly, it's pretty okay.
Oh, and there is some really awesome catfish here, like awesome!!!