Cali. That is what the locals who live in California call it. It’s the bastion of multiculturalism in the west coast of the USA. Economically, it’s one of the most powerful states in the union (union, meaning the 50 states that make up the USA), contributing to the US economy as part of the big 6 — California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania — you’ve heard of all these states of the union right? Well, that’s because they have the biggest population as well as the biggest contribution to the US annual GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
It’s a large state, a little bigger than Japan, half the size of New South Wales — that’s the state Sydney lies in and it’s a big state. Bigger than Texas. But here’s the interesting part — California has a population of 40 million — 11 million less than South Korea — but a GDP that is nearly twice that of South Korea. And South Korea is one of the wealthiest nations in the world. So it is not an exaggeration to say that if California seceded from the union and became its own country, it would be one of the richest countries on the planet. And many Californians I’ve met living there felt the same way — that their culture was in fact incompatible with many other states of the union and secession from the US in the future may not be such a bad idea, although practically impossible.
Now I flew all these figures at you just to give you a numerical background of this state. But DO remember that GDPs don’t reflect the quality of life of an ordinary citizen. And the ordinary middle-income Californian certainly don’t live as wealthily as the ordinary South Korean or Australian. But I do have to admit, seeing the beautiful orange glow of the Californian sunset over an endless field of fertility and the industrial oil pumps bobbing away in the distance does give you confidence over the Califronian potential.
The lifestyle in California is comparable to that is New South Wales. In fact, I found that urban, suburban and rural environment are virtually identical in form and function. And the beaches — well, Australian is still cleaner and better. California is a colorful state — just like NSW (New South Wales) — its nature is great with many variety of forms in biomes. The people are generally very open and friendly, infused with that famous rebellious, flamboyant American character. These people love their fun and welcome any into it as long as they don’t harbour as ill-intentions.
Let’s get into some vocabulary today. There maybe some hidden in the text.
Gross Domestic Product— GDP for short, this is the monetary value of all finished goods and services within a state or nation. In provides a quick overview of the economic activity of the given area, it’s growth and projected growth potential.
Contribution — it’s a gift or payment to a common fund. Used to benefit the greater whole.
Secession — is the withdrawal (get out) of a group of people a larger entity such as a federal union. Note the verb form seceded can be used to talk about the action of withdrawing. This word is not used in politics alone, it can be used in finance, military or an organisation of any sort.
Biome — a group of plants, insects and animals that have common characteristics in an environment they live in. Each biome is distinctive, each having adapted to the climate of the given region.
Rebellious — an adjective that describes a person/people who have strong desires to resist against authority and social norms. You may also call him/her a ‘wild child’.
Flamboyant — an adjective that describes a person who attracts attention because of their stylishness in looks, fashion and/or communication. Californians are renowned for their flamboyance — come on, it’s the state where Hollywood comes from.
Ill-intentions — Doesn’t make sense, right? How can an intention, the word which means a thought, idea or plan be combined with the word ill — which means sick? Well when it’s combined it means harmful thoughts and plans. It’s what bad guys do.
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