A Southern California winter.

When I was in India, and packing for my move to USA as a brand new Grad student, I realized I had to buy new winter clothes, for things like ice, snow, sleet, etc. I imagined myself sashaying down the road in a beige trenchcoat with sky high boots and a red beanie perched on my head. But all the expectations went for a toss when I realized San Diego is a part of southern California and it’s a paradise in the big bad world of America. I spoke to a senior who was already there since a year and she told me that I will rarely need warm clothes. So I happily carried ONE sweatshirt and one beanie and muffler that my friend had knitted for me.

I wish I could bury that senior in cold sand and put a brick of ice on top. What she did not tell me was that San Diego weather has a mind of it’s own. It is paradise, but only from 10 am to 3 pm, and that too only from June to August. The rest of the time, you will be fighting between too much sun and too much wind.

Let me take you through a snapshot of SoCal winters. For the ease of writing, we will refer to the bo*ty shorts and puffer jacket wearing species as SoCalnian.

  1. When a SoCalnian says Fall colors, they mean 2 shades of brown. Light brown, and dead brown.
  2. It is normal to see a SoCalnian step out of the home, in the morning in shorts, and keep a thin hoodie, and a thick jacket in the car. Both of them come out eventually depending on the hour.
  3. The same hoodie and jacket rule is dependent on the area too. It could be a beautiful 70 deg weather, but go close to the Pacific Ocean, and you will freeze you b*tt off.
  4. A SoCalnian never takes wind lightly. And after my last Malibu camping trip, Brian has re-learnt that(His tent flew away!)
  5. We do love our boots, and we are lucky enough weather-wise to be able to rock mini skirts with boots. But no socks with sandals, please.
  6. You can have a perfect sunny day in San Diego and a massive snow blow out going on 2 hours away at Julian/Big Bear, at the same time.
  7. SoCal and NorCal are on opposite ends of a spectrum. NorCal looks, feels, and is cold, whereas SoCal has everyone hoodwinked by looking warm.
  8. Rainy season hits in the middle of winter, and if there isnt a drought, then it rains, to ruin your weekends.( I am only kidding rain Gods, please dont flood Mission Valley!)
  9. You can tell apart a SoCalnian and non-SoCalnian at any tourist point, by the souvenir hoodie they are wearing. Sudden winds prompt emergency souvenir purchases.
  10. A SoCalnian can talk about the weather every single day at breakfast, lunch or dinner, because it changes by breakfast, lunch or dinner. It can also range from 21 deg C today to 29 deg C by Wednesday. I just checked the weather app.
However it is, or whatever it is, I love this place! I was not paid by San Diego tourism board to say this all, although, I do not mind that.
39fd799da5257b3e02b4cf5f73508092--winter-is-coming-its-coming

6 thoughts on “A Southern California winter.

  1. The idea began in February 2009 over lunch with my friend Elissa, someone I like but rarely see. She walked into the restaurant wearing a fitted black coat with a high collar.

    “Wow,” I said admiringly. “Some coat.”

    She stroked the sleeve. “Yeah. I bought it at the end of my no-shopping year. I still feel a little bad about it.”

    Elissa told me the story: After traveling for much of the previous year, she had decided she had enough stuff, or too much stuff. She made a pledge that for 12 months she wouldn’t buy shoes, clothes, purses or jewelry.

    I was impressed by her discipline, but she shrugged it off. “It wasn’t hard.”

    I did some small-scale experiments of my own, giving up shopping for Lent for a few years. I was always surprised by how much better it made me feel. But it wasn’t until last New Year’s Day that I decided to follow my friend’s example.

    My first few months of no shopping were full of gleeful discoveries. I ran out of lip balm early on and before making a decision about whether lip balm constituted a need, I looked in my desk drawers and coat pockets. I found five lip balms.

    The trick of no shopping isn’t just that you don’t buy things. You don’t shop. That means no trawling the sale section of the J. Crew website in idle moments. It means the catalogs go into the recycle bin unopened on the theory that if I don’t see it, I don’t want it.

    Not shopping saves an astonishing amount of time. In October, I interviewed Tom Hanks about his collection of short stories in front of 1,700 people in a Washington theater. Previously, I would have believed that such an occasion demanded a new dress and lost two days of my life looking for one. In fact, Tom Hanks had never seen any of my dresses, nor had the people in the audience. I went to my closet, picked out something weather appropriate and stuck it in my suitcase. Done.

    I did a favor for a friend over the summer and she bought me a pair of tennis shoes. Her simple act of kindness thrilled me. Once I stopped looking for things to buy, I became tremendously grateful for the things I received.

    If you stop thinking about what you might want, it’s a whole lot easier to see what other people don’t have. There’s a reason that just about every religion regards material belongings as an impediment to peace. This is why Siddhartha had to leave his palace to become the Buddha.

    My Year of No Shopping

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