I joined this community last week because I, like many other posters in the past few days, am planning a move to Portland this summer, and I wanted to get a feel for the local scene. I'm moving with my fiance, who's transferring to PSU (he also has family in the area). The thing is, we're moving from California. I've noticed just a wee bit of anti-Californian sentiment in this community, and I've heard personal anecdotes from other transplants to the Northwest who have been told to "go home" by complete strangers in coffee shops, etc. I'm prepared for some anti-Californian hostility when we get to Portland, but if you could all oblige me in answering some questions, I'd really appreciate it. Before I set foot in the city, I just want to see how high the cards are stacked against me by virtue of where I was born. (My fiance, by the way, grew up in Colorado, so I suppose he's off the hook if anybody asks.)
1. In the most specific terms possible, tell me why you hate Californians. (I hate a lot of them, too. I wonder if our reasons are the same...)
2. Is anyone in this community from CA? Do you consider the fact a deep, dark secret never to pass your lips?
3. As a Portlander, do you despise all Californians based on principle, or do you make exceptions every now and then?
4. Would you say it's more difficult for someone from California to get a job in Portland than someone from, say, Iowa, assuming said Californian admits where she's from during an interview?
5. Is having California plates on a car considered an open invitation for vandalism? (I plan to change my plates, but these things don't happen overnight.)
6. Would I be better off fabricating an elaborate back story about my past--say, that I'm a Russian mail order bride who was bound, gagged and sent to Portland on a cargo ship against my will (after I learned impeccable English in my home country, of course)--than admitting I'm from Southern California? (I know I probably lose points for the Southern part, so I might as well throw it out there.)
I really appeciate candid opinions. For the record, I'm excited about moving to Portland because it seems like a cool, progressive city, has public transportation, is in a beautiful setting and is a much more affordable place to live than So. Cal., but I would like to think I won't have to spend the next 2+ years of my life pretending to be a mail order bride. In all seriousness, I'm just a little nervous about the move and am hoping I'm being overly paranoid. Prove me wrong (or right)!
EDIT: Wowzers! Thank you all for your comments! You have thoroughly assuaged my fears (for the most part, but I will get my plates changed quickly...). If anything, your answers have reassured me that I'm moving to the right place. To properly fit in, I will be sure to refrain from any Portland-Cali comparisons in conversation, I will not complain about the weather, and I will not attempt to drive in the rain (trust me, I already know Californians can't drive well in the rain. In fact, most of them can't drive well in any weather).
Also, a lot of you mentioned that Portlanders blame Californians for driving up the housing prices in the area. I completely understand this, and I'm sure it's at least partially true. If it makes you feel any better, a large part of the reason we're leaving California is that we're pretty sure we'll never be able to afford real estate here, despite the fact that this is where I was born and raised and my entire family lives here. I feel your pain. A lot of Californians like to blame immigrants for this, but I think general overpopulation is a more probable cause...
Anyway, thanks for making me realize I was being overly paranoid! I can't wait to meet you all in Portland!