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

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Return of the Blue Busrider

The Blue Busrider had English visitors.

That's not a euphemism -- there were two visitors, and they rented a car.

[pause for reverent silence]

Yes, a car. I've been cruising around LA in a car, betraying the very ideals that founded this blog. We went to Venice and Malibu and Westwood -- on the same day. We drove out to Pasadena. We got lost on the freeway, confusing east with west and the 101 with the 110 and the 10. It was splendid.

It was also like being on holiday in another city. Our local area -- of which I know every pavement crack, fig tree and psychic readings sign -- suddenly shrank to nothing more than a convenient junction. Left or right? We're already gone. Instead of viewing the LA metropolis as a tangled, fraying circuit-board of bus lines, it was long straight roads and freeways and parking lots. 

I didn't hoard dollar bills for busfare, although I was expected to remember that we were parked in level p4, area B, space 313. Certain things faded from vision, somehow filtered by our windscreen -- homeless people, crazy people, anyone waiting on a street corner in the rain. The bus itself was no longer a glorious steamship, bearing down and rescuing us from the desert island bus stops; it was more like a dangerously decrepit old supertanker, edging up the road in a tide of traffic, foundering over to the sidewalk every block to disgorge sloppy passengers. We drove past, thought no more about it.

On Saturday, our visitors returned to England, and our Honda to Alamo. They are all greatly missed.

- We really have to get a car,

remarks Dr Strangename, a sage observation we have only made a couple of thousand times in the last six months. I nod. But not too emphatically -- we're on dangerous ground. 

Contrary to the tagline on this blog, I am now in possession of a work permit. Oh, yes. It says DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY on it, and it's very useful when I'm being IDed buying liquor. Since the cashier at Vons often has doubts about the validity of my namby pink EU driving license, and I don't want to carry around my passport, I feel that this function of the work permit is very nearly worth the $400 application fee. Dr Strangename has more traditional views, i.e. that it is a truth universally acknowledged, that a legal alien in possession of a work permit must be in want of a job.

Frequency of blog posts will increase in direct proportion to the amount of time I should be spending on my CV, which needs to be translated into American. Power verbs! Superlatives! Give me a job so I can buy a car!

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