1. California has financial incentives for electric vehicles, in the form of tax refunds, which make purchasing an electric bike or electric car more affordable.
2. Cannabis is legal in California and it hasn't changed the lives of the people we spoke to. (Okay, not so subtle.)
3. Californian drivers are more polite and courteous to other road users than us pesky Sydney motorists. If you're riding a bike or skateboard in front of a car, the car will slow down and wait for you.
4. Pedestrian crossings aren't an automatic right of way, you need to wait for the cars to stop for you.
5. When driving a car, you can turn right on a red light, except where there is a sign saying you can't. This is the total opposite to Australian road rules, where you can only do so if there is a sign permitting.
6. Petrol stations require payment before filling your tank with gas... which led to some confusion at the counter.
Attendant: "How much fuel would you like to pay for sir?"
Me: "A full tank thanks"
Attendant: "How much is that?"
Me: "How should I know?"
So if you're not a local Californian and you can't use the card reader at the pump, you need to walk into the attendant and guess the value of the fuel you want to put into your car. If you guess too low, you'll end up with less than a full tank. If you guess too high, you'll have overpaid and they apparently refund you the difference.
7. Taco restaurants are Mexican restaurants (and yes, typically they serve more than just tacos.)
8. To use an electric bike, you don’t need a motorcycle or road license, so long as your bike has pedals. Crazy to us, but normal to Californians.