College is a time when you get to meet people from all over the country. It's really amazing how diverse this country is, not just in terms of ethnicity but also in terms of how unique its regions are. One region I find particularly curious is California.
(Every Californian obviously looks like this. Durrrr.)
Upon coming to MIT, I had met a few people who came off to me as rather standoffish and cold. I was kind of taken aback, because I thought that I had offended them somehow. However, I later learned that they had nothing against me - it was just how they normally acted, and I misinterpreted their behavior. This happened three or four times, and I became very confused. Later on, I realized - they were all from Northern California. So this led me to wonder - kind of like how verbal language differs from region to region (accents, and yes, Californians DO have an accent, as do everyone else), does non-verbal communication and body language differ from region to region?
Also, I've noticed that a lot of Californians tend to be very proud of where they're from - not only California, but NorCal vs. SoCal, where in the Bay Area, LA County vs. Orange County, etc. I've borne witness to many vicious NorCal vs. SoCal debates (not just at MIT, also at PROMYS) and got in an argument with someone about the veracity of a silly Snopes article because it said that California's flag was meant to have a pear on it instead of a bear. Hm. I personally like where I'm from (Lexington), but I've never really talked about it that much. Is there something about California that makes it just so much better than all the other states? Is this another communication thing that I'm being dense about? I don't know. Any Californians want to help me out? :P