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"It Still Throws Me For A Loop" 19 Culture Shocks Americans Experienced After Moving From One State To Another

I recently asked members BuzzFeed Community who moved from one part of the US to another to share the most surprising differences they noticed, and those oddly specific responses inspired even MORE people to share their experiences, too. Here are 19 of the most interesting culture shocks people had after moving:

1."After living in Florida for over 30 years, I moved to Nevada during retirement. During my first visit to a restaurant, the waitress asked me if I wanted tea. I said yes, and asked for it to be half and half. I thought everyone knew that a half-and-half was just a mix of sweet and unsweetened tea. She brought me a tea with a small milk."

Split image with a red cross over milk being poured into tea, and a green check beside iced tea with lemon
Sergio Amiti / Getty Images / Jack Andersen / Getty Images

2."I moved from New England to Texas. In New England, people connected through sarcasm and ragging on each other. In Texas, I noticed that this was considered rude because sarcasm isn’t a huge part of the culture. It was really hard to adjust to so much politeness!"

googlyeyes00

3."I moved from New Mexico to Missouri. What got me was when I went to the local Sonic to get my favorite burger with green chile. When I ordered, the worker replied, 'With red chili?' to which I responded, 'No, green chile.' They asked 'What is green chile?' For those who don't know what green chile is — it's used on everything in New Mexico."

Open-faced cheeseburger with fries and salad on a plate, beside a glass of beverage
Grandriver / Getty Images

4."I moved from Florida to Tucson, Arizona. Some things are the same season-wise, but the biggest weather difference is the much lower humidity. Because of the lower humidity, I had to put humidifiers in my guitar case. Wooden instruments and low humidity don’t go together very well."

utlayolisdi

5."I moved from California to Texas. In Texas and other states I’ve been to, there aren’t toilet seat covers. I’ll never be okay with that. In Texas they even have the place to put them, but they're never actually there! I hate it!"

A metal paper towel dispenser embedded in a tiled wall, filled with paper towels, with a small viewing window
Douglas Sacha / Getty Images

6."I moved from Denver to Omaha a couple years ago. This is going to sound weird, but there's a huge difference in how people walk around. In Denver, people move pretty quickly and make sure to stay out of your way. In Omaha, everyone moves at whatever speed they feel like. They will take up the entire grocery aisle or sidewalk. They don't move to let people get by unless you make it very clear that, yes, you exist and need them to move a few feet so you can get to the damn Hot Pockets."

keeneboy7700

7."I moved from Ohio to Rhode Island. Just the language alone is different. They call water/drinking fountains 'bubblers,' shopping carts 'carriages,' the liquor store a 'packy,' and of course, when I'd say 'pop' they would look at me like I had two heads."

A close-up view of a drinking fountain's basin and spout
Catherine Mcqueen / Getty Images

8."I moved from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California and one of the adjustments I had to make was crossing the street. Now, this was a while back so things may have changed — but in Chicago, everyone jay walked. It didn’t matter how busy traffic was. If you needed to cross over to the other side of the street, then you just stepped off the curb, waited for a break in traffic, and crossed. In busier traffic, you crossed to the middle of the road, waited in the yellow line, and when traffic cleared on that side of the road, you crossed.In LA, the minute I stepped off the sidewalk onto the street, cars would stop and gesture me to cross. I’m not talking about being at a crosswalk, I’m talking about being in the middle of the road. I was shocked the first time this happened to me. Like, why are YOU stopping? I’m the one breaking the law!"

marthajackson

9."I grew up close to Chicago, Illinois where a 'HOOOONK!!!' was a common thing to hear. When I moved to Southern California, honking is a lot more rare. It’s more common in Los Angeles than deeper in LA suburbia where I am now. Nowadays, if the light turns green and a person ahead of me doesn’t move, I’ll count to about 15 to give them a chance to notice before I do a quick 'honk honk' to get them going."

Person driving a car, hands on steering wheel, dashboard and infotainment system visible
Panuwat Dangsungnoen / Getty Images/iStockphoto

10."I moved from New York to a small town in Missouri and let me tell you! Culture shock is an understatement. I worked at a hotel and I would have to bring over BOWLS of ranch for people to put on their spaghetti, eggs, etc. I knew people loved ranch, but damn! Also, this area was obsessed with deep frying EVERYTHING. There was a restaurant you could go to where you could bring in outside food for them to deep fry. I went to a county fair and all the booths had deep fried butter, deep fried jelly beans, deep fried chocolate covered bacon."

Plate of spaghetti with meat sauce and drizzled with cream on top

11."I moved from Nashville, Tennessee to Long Beach, California. The food? Suffice to say this ain’t a meat 'n' three kinda place. There's not a lot of Coca-Cola cake on the menu."

A moist chocolate cake slice on a white plate with a fork alongside
The Washington Post / The Washington Post via Getty Images

12."I moved from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to North Carolina. What I love about North Carolina is that restaurants here don’t rush you. You get to actually sit and enjoy your meal without the server bringing your bill right away when your food comes out."

emocentipede28

13."I spent most of my life in Pennsylvania, and finding out that you can buy booze and/or liquor on Sunday/in regular stores/after 2 AM in New York was wild to me. When I was in NY and asked where the nearest state store was, they looked at me like I had lobsters growing out of my ears. Things have changed a bit over the past decade, but it still throws me for a loop when I walk into a gas station and see beer and wine for sale next to the chips and candy."

convenience store
Lechatnoir / Getty Images

14."Our family moved from rural Ohio to El Paso, Texas. The desert was the biggest shock. The heat and the lack of trees and water compared to Ohio was wild. One 115 degree days with no humidity was so much easier to tolerate than a 90 degree day with 100% humidity in Ohio."

justbecky13

15."I moved from Colorado to Maryland and noticed how people are NEVER on time in MD!"

A person's index finger pointing towards a wall-mounted clock indicating a time around 10:10
Aitor Diago / Getty Images

16."Moving from Nevada to Oklahoma has been eye-opening on a level I never wanted to know. I love the change of seasons here, but the political landscape is straight out of The Handmaid's Tale. I wish I were kidding."

pelican_disgruntled

17."I moved from Chicago to Indiana I was pleasantly surprised to not hear gunshots at night and not have to lock my car in my driveway. People are nice and I feel safe for the first time in 50 years."

psychiceagle10

18."I moved from the metro area of New York City to South Carolina in 1992. It was a complete culture shock!! Everything in SC was reasonably priced, but everything in NY was dreadfully expensive."

Man seated at a table with his hand on his cheek, holding a wallet, looking thoughtful
Djelics / Getty Images

19."I moved from Colorado to South Carolina! It was crazy getting used to the humidity and the rain! I was born and raised in CO and rain was not that heavy and the humidity was nonexistent so I was used to dry summers where my sweat actually helped cool me off. However, the humidity kills me because I’m just wet and still hot!"

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Have you moved from one part of the US to another and had a moment of unpredicted culture shock? Let me know in the comments!

NOTE: Submissions may have been edited for length or clarity.