"You'll love Phoenix," they said.
There are things here in the Phoenix Valley that are insidious and you'll never find happening anywhere else in the country. If I had known these things before moving here, I would've chosen differently.
1. Hotter Than You Can Comprehend: This summer my wiper blades melted to my windshield. Let that sink in. I had to replace both! This last summer was the hottest on all records with over 100 days over 100 degrees. It frequently hits 110+ and this summer we had a whopping week of 118. Hell. Phoenix summers are literally hell. The air hurts your legs when you walk in it from car to store.
2. You'll replace a windshield at least once a year, if you are lucky. Some people I know replace their glass at least 3-4 times a year. Have glass insurance lined up before you hit state lines. It is no joke. Rocks fly here like you wouldn't believe.
3. Phoenix area has an electrical monopoly. APS is the electrical savior and enemy. You'll hear phrases like (Super Cooling Method) to save you money on your APS bill because this lovely company jacks the prices between 3-8 pm to such ridiculousness that people shut their power off between those hours. Plan on a $350-$900 electric bill in the summer based on your square footage. And you won't be comfortable because no one in Arizona can afford to be comfortable at our electrical rates.
Solar you say? Good luck with that. APS charges you a minimum $100 fee per month to be connected when you go solar. You'll never escape APS when living in the Phoenix Valley.
4. Racism is bred here. So it isn't as bad as The Deep South, like Georgia per say. And the racism isn't against our black African American brothers and sisters. The racism here is all about ANYONE who looks Latino or Mexican. It doesn't matter if you are a 3rd generation Latino, you will be asked to see your ID. Oh--- and good luck getting a job if you don't have a bank account. You simply can't.
You see, Arizona has this weird Verify thing, where they verify who you are by your bank account. You are not a hire-able employee without a bank account. There go the days when kids could get an after school job or make some side money. No.... evidently people here in Phoenix don't know how to verify a Social Security number so they have the banks do it for them.
5. There is no cold water. You think I'm kidding? Nope. No cold water in the summer. All the water is hotter than hell because they don't bury their pipes. Oh--- and that makes for an interesting situation when it hits freezing temps in the winter (which is does, every winter). Pipes burst, outdoor faucets split. It's brilliant.
6. There are air conditioners on the roof. I'm not even kidding. I don't get it. It looks ridiculous and I'm not sure how having an air conditioner on your roof is beneficial in any way.
7. Haboobs. I know, it sounds like something out of a horror story, and it kind of is. A haboob is a massive dust storm. Do Not Drive In Them. If you are caught in a haboob, pull off to the side of the road and wait it out. You must turn off your engine because it'll clog your air filters as fast as you can swallow a big gulp of water. Just wait until you read below and find out what brilliant disease haboobs bring with them.
8. Flooding. It floods here when the monsoon season rolls through. Do Not Cross Flooded Areas. If you stall in the water or need help, it is a huge fine and you'll have to pay for rescue services. Our tax money here goes to things like...... ...... ...
9. Scorpions. Yes, there are scorpions. Yes, they get in your house. Yes, the yellow bark scorpion is the most dangerous scorpion on earth and yes, we have them. They are extremely common to find in your house, in your yard, in your bedroom, crawling on walls, crawling in showers. Fun. I caught one and named him Larry.
Some people require the anti-venom. I was lucky and didn't. But my leg was a hard as a stale cookie until the venom was absorbed. That was an experience I'd love to forget.
10. Valley Fever. If the scorpions weren't enough to scare the hell out of you, oh just wait. Phoenix valley has its own disease called Valley Fever. You get it from breathing dust. Which we have a ton of here even with No Dust Laws that your neighbors will frequently ignore. Valley Fever creates nodules in your lungs and your animals can get it, too. I've treated people, horses, and dogs for Valley Fever. It is messed up.
There is a pathogen that lives just under the surface of the soil here. When the wind kicks up, and blows dust around, this pathogen lands in your lungs, staying stagnant for years until your immune system is down and then.... BAM. You are sick for months. Yay.
A wrap---- the cell service is terrible. Verizon is the only one that works with a crap here and half the time it doesn't work. Internet is good in town, but as soon as you go 3 miles out of town, internet speeds drop dramatically. It's like they think people out in the hicks don't know how to use a computer. The politics are Tea Party Republican. Gone are the days of John McCain and Jeff Flake, we get loons like Martha McSally who is an embarrassment to society, let alone politics.
The real estate market is inflated here. The wages and the cost of living do not add up. There is a big bubble here and it's about ready to pop like it did back in 2007. People are going to go bankrupt. This is not the time to buy property anywhere in Arizona.
Oh and the most important thing to know, I almost forgot.....
Phoenix is the wonderland of scammers and con artists. You'll get taken, likely within the first year. Then you'll never get taken, again. It's like they know you are a newbie. Everyone here is always on the look out for the next scammer. You thought they originated in Nigeria? No---- Phoenix is the playground for con artists.
Enjoy your stay in The Phoenix Valley!
I'll wave to you on my way out!