Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'm scared of California

How are you not scared?

I don't know why, but California scares me.

I'm from the Midwest -- northwestern Minnesota, to be exact -- and my hometown is barely 120,000 people. It's the largest city for about 200 miles in any direction. I can't really think of any streets or parts of town that aren't safe to walk down at 3 AM with $20 hanging out of my pockets. It frequently ranks in at the top 5 for "Safest Cities in America" assuming it was large enough to even make the list.

I can only imagine it's because of movies about murders and the news reporting on gang violence from LA and other parts of California that have ingrained the thoughts that everyone who goes into California get killed. I have this irrational belief that by simply walking down the streets of Los Angeles I'll get shot. Or that by traveling through San Francisco my car will be broken into. Or simply crossing the state line will result in being mugged.

Logic says that this is not true. I have several friends from California, who grew up there. I have several more friends who have visited California. All have survived with minimal bullet wounds and knife attacks. Every time anyone has offered me a trip to California I always find a reason to turn it down simply because I am honestly scared of the state. I have no problems with New York, Massachusetts, Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin (well, not safety issues), or any other state in the nation. I've gone walking around Baltimore's Inner Harbor area at 3 AM before; I've gotten lost in downtown Philadelphia in the middle of the night and confidently asked for directions back to the interstate; I have no problems walking or driving around Minneapolis all night long. All of these cities rank higher than Los Angeles on almost every list of "10/20/100 Most Dangerous Cities in America" but I'm not scared of them.

Enough people live in California and spend their lives there that it's obviously not this deathpit that my mind thinks it is. But I still can't bring my self to visit it. I don't know what it is exactly, but the state scares me.


--jeff * said...

l.a. was much friendlier than i ever expected it to be. being that i'm your brother, and therefore have the same background, i had pretty much the same expectations. now, i'm happy that i get to go there again in february.
and i quite loved san francisco, too. way cool place.

but india, that i'm afraid of. i mean, don't they still have the plague there?

Brooke said...

I feel this way about New York. Lost looking, tall white girl in New York...yeah, that screams safe to me!

Alisha said...

If it's outside of a 2 miles radius of my house. I don't feel safe. I never used to be this way. But as the city people are spreading more this way, something about the way people say things like: "And the blacks are moving closer in the suburbs." My mind sends flares up, and is screaming we gotta hide.
=\ I don't want to say I'm racist, but I have the tendencies. *sigh*