I had a hell of a time trying to come up with a topic for this week. The more I thought about it, the more blocked I became. And no fiber jokes, thank you very much.
So I took to the twitters and said I had pod-block. Both Big Fatty and Virginia suggested that I talk about the differences between San Diego and Tucson. Great idea that I should have totally thought about.
I think the first thing I really noticed between the two cities was the traffic lights. In San Diego, the cars turning get the green light first. In Tucson, the straight-a-way cars get first dibs, then the turning lanes get to go. Keeping on the subject of cars; In San Diego, when you have to have an emissions test, you have to make an appointment, pay $60-$100 bucks (depending on the car) and the test takes 10-15 minutes. In Tucson, you don't make an appointment, you can check online the wait times at the stations, the test costs $12.25 and took less than two minutes. Then the DMV! i don't know if I lucked out or what, but here in Arizona you don't make an appointment. You get your number and wait. I was called to the window before the lady had let go of the number. I re-registered my car and had my new license plate in hand in 10 minutes. I got my picture taken and had my Arizona driver's license in hand and registered to vote in five. California DMV? Forget it. You have to make an appointment to get a number to wait. It takes forever, costs more, and they mail your plates and license to you. It just seems like Arizona is more organized. I was only out of the house for maybe an hour and a half with driving time. I was amazed!
People seem more relaxed here in Tucson. Like it's too damn hot to be stressed and angry. And they're nicer than people you would run across in San Diego. Like today, I was at the Safeway, or Vons Southwest, and a guy smiled and asked me how my day was going. The other day, I went to a "Tucson Institution" called Eegees. They do slushies and sammies and I told the cashier I had never been there. She told me what was popular and what she liked. She didn't sound like she was forced to do it. She even pointed out a menu I could take home if I wanted. When I rented a car, the agent pulled out a map and outlined where I was looking to go instead of selling me the GPS rental. She also gave me her pen because it was purple and she could tell I liked purple. I haven't met one person that was rude or indifferent. Its bizarre.
As far as geography is concerned, Tucson is flat and surrounded by mountains. Where I lived in San Diego, it was a valley, lots of hills, and windy roads and I would get lost all the time. Everything here is pretty square and easy to navigate. I haven't been lost once. Makes me feel more confident about my move that I am not stuck in one spot because everything is hard to find. Also...I don't have to get on a freeway or highway to get to the airport. In San Diego it was the 125 to the 94 to the 5. Tucson is heaven for a driver like me.
Mom and pop places seem to thrive out here too. There are the McDonalds, the Chilis, the Pizza Huts. But there are just as many family owned joints that are making it. I love that. San Diego...Not so much.
Big Fatty specifically asked about dust storms. I have not witnessed one, but there was a "SEVERE WEATHER WARNING" for one that said when it starts, you pull over to the side of the road, turn off your car and lights and wait it out. Heather in Phoenix told me that if you keep your lights on, someone may try to follow you and rear-end you. I am sure I will be caught in one eventually, but so far so good. Everyday that I have been here, there has been some sort of weather warning. Between the heat and the monsoon storms, it's heat this, flash flood that. But I am getting used to the heat and everything. Today it was 90 and I felt like it was cooler. Well granted 90 is cooler than 100, but I wasn't immediately sweating.
All in all, I would say that Tucson has a small town feeling to it. I don't feel like everything is so smashed together. I like the vibe of the city. OH and people are fat here! LOL! I should say fat, a better description would be chubby. At my old office, we had a ton of itty bitties and a couple chubbies. In my new office, there are more chubby girls than the itty bittys. Probably because its TOO DAMN HOT to go outside. :)
I think that's a good place to stop. I am digging my new home, I don't miss San Diego so much as I miss my sister and my friends. But I am finding my nitch here. I dig it.
I do not, however, love my upstairs neighbors. I have decided they all weight 700 pounds and are doing Sweating to the Oldies work outs as noisy as they are. JEBUS!