..[Los Angeles without a car, work permit or superpowers]

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

On California

5 Things You Will Learn About California, or Maybe Just LA

- that there are tarantulas in the wild here. Have I seen them? Sure. Seen 'em on the internet. That's the only reason I'm not on the slow boat back to England right now.

- that if you take the 8 to Westwood and the 302 to Hollywood and push your way to the front of a crowd of people at a star-unveiling ceremony, you may 'accidentally' run into Colin Firth. He will be wearing more make-up than you. What are the odds?

- that eventually, and much to everyone's relief, you will be able to say 'Santa Monica Boulevard' without taking 10 seconds to sing '...Until the su-un co-omes up over San-na-Mon-ica Boulevard'. Ditto for omitting 'Straight Outta' when referring to 'Compton', saying 'LAPD' without the urge to shout 'FREEZE' afterwards, and not appending 'Inglewood' with 'In da hood, up to no good': all verbal tics likely to get a white British girl punched off the bus.

- that you should never put your zipcode into the LA Times Homicide Report. 

(Back in Europe, you are strangely comfortable with a farmhouse where multiple generations of your family have breathed their first and last, a college room adjacent to the site of historic burnings-at-the-stake, and a German residence which was possibly bombed by your own grandfather...

...Here, you will become hysterical upon learning that someone was stabbed to death in your apartment building several years ago. In the early hours, you will imagine his ghost wandering the communal corridors, as translucent blue as the night-lit swimming pool.)

- that people will compliment you on your charming accent and then be unable to understand anything you say; also, that bringing back your Somerset accent will improve comprehensibility 90%:

"Oh waitress, may I have a glahs of wahtuh?"
"I mean, oilav a glasss'o'waderr, moy love."

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