At least, according to Katy Perry we are...And I really like Katy Perry, and people always act so impressed when I tell them I'm Californian, so I'm going to assume that it's true!
It still amuses me that people hold such preconceptions about America, and California especially! The two most common conversations that I have with people about where I'm from are as follows:
Random person "OMG you're from California! What part?"
Kim "about 20 minutes from LA"
Random "So do you see famous people like ALL the time"
Kim "Um, no. I'm not really looking for them though. I've seen a few. Oh, but I met Paul Deen at LAX over Christmas"
Kim "She's a cooking celeb in America"
Kim (internal groan) "But I live pretty close to where the Kardashians live. A girl I went to high school with actually works for them."
Random "OMG that is so COOL!"
Random Person "You're from California? So why would you ever move here?"
Kim "I came here to do my Master's degree, and decided to stay for a bit to work."
Random "If I lived in California I would never leave! Don't you miss the sun?"
Kim "Errr...right. Yes I do, especially during the winter."
Random "Wow. I would love to live in California. Let's switch places."
(note: I live in the same place as this person...which 'place' are we switching?)
It's kind of funny, and doesn't bother me, I just wonder whether I'm not living up to my potential as a Californian Celeb-Spotter and whether I've insulted the state in some way by moving away? It just goes to show how romanticised a place becomes through the lens of the media, or through the rose coloured glasses of tourists! It was the same sort of preconception that convinced me to move to Scotland, and specifically to Edinburgh, over anywhere else in the UK. After a time, you realise that no place is magical on it's own, it is the gloss of newness and difference from our known world that makes a place mystical and special. Los Angeles is a shiny, glamourous place, yes, but that's a tiny part of California, and California has a lot of problems. And Scotland is gorgeous, and some parts are still magical (Seriously...everyone should go to the Highlands!) but it's a nation-state just like any other, with amazing people and places, and problems of it's own.
My point? I love being from California, and I'm equally happy that I am able to take some of the magic of Scotland, and a Scottish perspective, into my being. I am not just a Californian, I am a traveller and an Honorary Scot.
Can I get that on my passport?