Here’s a picture of a license plate caught in the parking lot of a restaurant in Big Timber, Montana. It was taken by a California pilot who found it funny. (Me not so much). When he asked about who should “go home”, the reply most often was “Californians”.
In Montana, I’ve discovered, the word “Californians” is the generic term for meddling outsiders mostly of the “environmental” kind. Since then I’ve found that most of the California imports are the opposite of the stereotypical bunny and tree huggers. They are suburbanites who sold their homes during the housing boom and moved here “to get away from those g.d. regulations”. They tend to be ornery and conservative. On the other hand, the tree huggers come from all over the U.S. to find a place to hike and bike in Big Sky country where there are more cows than humans. Lots of them, like me, come from the cities. Some are ornery too, but in a different way.
City folk, IMHO, know how to live in close proximity with each other. They jostle for a good place on a subway or bus, but will give up their seat for someone who seems to need it more and take a lot of time to give directions and advice. They know how to share because they have to share space every day all day long. They love the diversity of a neighborhood that still has a bakery and a butcher and not some “super” market. And they love the diversity of people. It yields lots of great ethnic food and the lovely sound of many accents and many different kinds of music.
I was told when I came here that I would never be a Montanan. Well, I sure don’t want to be the kind of Montanan that goes to the trouble to order this kind of license plate. So this Iowa Illinois Michigan New York California gal will try to be a bit more hospitable if you’re thinking of moving to this beautiful but cranky kind of country.