I just realized that my one year anniversary at the Cancer Center was this past Wednesday. I can't believe I've been living here a year already! It feels like I was walking down Eastlake to get to the Hutch just yesterday! (I do miss walking to work.)
Well, I compiled a list of survival tips for any transplants moving to Arizona:
- DO NOT underestimate the strength of the sun here (and this is coming from a brown girl). You are closer to the equator even this much more south and the sun's rays do reflect that! Even brown girls can burn!
- Get a car with good, reliable AC or else you are toast. You might also want to invest in one of those sun shade thingeys you put up on your windshield.
- Working in a skin cancer lab, I am very conscious of the evil sun rays (yes, Seattlites...too much sun is bad for you). Never in my life until now have I had to apply sunscreen just to drive to and from work (the UV rays do penetrate that glass!). You should have seen my trucker tan even with this precaution.
- If you see monsoon clouds, WAIT IT OUT! I got a little cocky, coming from a very rainy region of the country so I made the mistake of underestimating the power of the rain here and was soaked in about 2 seconds flat while trying to make a run for it.
- Be prepared for stupid motorists during monsoon season. Every time it rains like that, leaving lakes in all the dips in streets, you can count on somebody going for it ("it didn't look that deep") and getting stranded or worse, dead. That being said, don't you go being a risk taker! Better to wait it out or find another route!
- Drive defensively! When I first got here it took me a while to get used to the higher speed limits on the streets (it's 45 mph on the street behind my house). I was naively driving 30 mph down a road and almost got ran off the road!
- If you see a speed limit sign for 45 mph, be prepared for people to fly past you at 65 or even 70 mph. Please be careful!
- Not a good idea to use your cruise control. Arizonans don't like to be passed, it seems. I once passed the same car 5 times and kept getting stuck behind him when he decided to slow down 10 mph after passing me and getting right back in the right lane. Just try to get a way from these people.
- Be prepared for a tighter selection of cuisine. Not as good as Seattle's.
- Arizona has a free-range policy on all the roads....meaning....if you hit livestock, you pay for it. Learn to keep your eyes peeled for any animals on the highways.
- Arizona highway patrolmen like to sit in the grassy medians with their lights off. I think I remember Washington state troopers doing that, but always had their lights on. Safer, I think.
- Border Patrol are prevalent in Southern Arizona. Be prepared to go through any checkpoints. BTW...since I'm brown, I always had my US citizenship questioned. "Excuse me?! I speak better English than you!" (to an agent with a thick Mexican accent).
Hope these help. I'm sure I can think of more later. But for now....it's time for Grey's Anatomy.