Arriving in Los Angeles from a city more than 5 miles away, even in today’s globalized world, may still be an adventure. I came from Europe ready to study and enjoy the stay… and I certainly did it. The proof is that I’m still here, livin’ California.
But… What were some of the (small) things that surprised me at first?These are some of the details I remember of my first days adjusting to my new life:
The Bus Bell Cord
I thought bus bell cords were a thing of the past, a extinct species that only our parents’ generation could have sometime used to request stop… but it turns out that they are still around. Many buses in Los Angeles (not to mention San Francisco) are still equipped with this “ultra-modern” technology.
The Trash Room
“So, the door next to mine is not my neighbor?” No, it wasn’t. It was the trash room and was there to make my life much more easier. No more crossing the street during the winter wearing a coat to hide my pajamas. Just a few steps and… work done!
I don’t like carpets. In fact, I hate carpets covering the whole floor because I find them ugly and easy to get dirty. I’m sure they have pros and cons, but I just see the cons. I’ve moved a few times since I found my first apartment in L.A, but carpets seem to be a pretty common characteristic in some Californian houses. Why?!?!
Talking to Strangers
Not everyone that approach you in the street for no reason is a crazy person or someone looking for spare change. Some people just like to talk… (seriously) and that may be good to practice a little bit of English.
The Hotels Converted to Apartments
The first time I entered my building I get shocked. The apartments were just normal apartments, but the lobby looked like an actual hotel reception with those high ceilings, rococo chaises and… a piano! Just in my area there were a few buildings like that: “The Bryson”, “The Wilshire Royal”, “The Talmadge”, “The Gaylord”… and so on. I feel I’m missing some important (and interesting) part of L.A’s History.
Okay, we have skyscrapers in Europe too, but that doesn’t make the L.A urban landscape less impressive. Every time I visit any American city’s financial district I feel like I was playing again that board game I used to play when I was little: the “Hotel” (or “Hotels” as you may call it), a sort of Monopoly.
The Bus Drivers
Bus drivers deserve their own post. They are not just the employees that drive you to your place, they are the people you say “Thank you!” when you get off of the bus, the ones that scream to people to squeeze a bit more, the ones that announce the next stop with a weary unintelligible voice and the ones that, as if they were in a raffle, pick the megaphone to announce the weather or make a joke when they are in a good mood. I love bus drivers, I’m tired of Madrid automatic recordings.
As you can see, arriving in Los Angeles for the first time may be sort of an adventure where one has to discover the little treasures that the city hides.
What are some of the things that you like/dislike of L.A? I’m sure there are a lot of things that I forgot to mention!