Helen in Hollywood
My first experience of being in Los Angeles was staying at an uber trendy hotel in the downtown area. Fancy, I hear you say. I was on tour and traveling with dancer friends and we wanted to go sight see using their underground system, the Metro. Being so used to the Tube I enjoy using underground systems wherever I am in the word. In Japan you get cell service and AC down there guys! Anyway, back to LA and this fancy pants hotel. The receptionist looks down her nose at my request, Emily Blunt in Devil Wears Prada style, and strains to push out the words (she may not have eaten in days so I understand her lack of energy) “There is no such form of transport in Los Angeles”. You know, with that friendly look of “you fucking idiot” about it. Defeated, my friends and I wander outside, did I make up this piece of information, I questioned myself.
Just to humour me, my friends suggest we asked the guy at the newspaper stand before flagging a cab down as they probably suspected I was actually a fucking idiot – thanks a lot pretentious hotel receptionist. Joy of joys newspaper stand guy pointed us in the right direction for the nearby metro station which took us easily, although less timely than the tube, to the tourist spot of our desire. Hollywood and Highland. A great spot to photographically cup the Hollywood sign in your hand. Who doesn’t want to do that, let’s be honest now!
Now, for our next task, buying a tacky fridge magnet or fake Oscar statue with our name on. Great, we just need to cross the road to one of multiple tacky gift stores. Easy. Then we planned to hop back on the deserted metro, as no one apparently knew of this magical mode of transport let alone used it and head back to the hotel of highest receptionist standards. (See what I did there!?)
Oh but wait, now we are being stopped by a cop on a motorbike. Is the siren really necessary? We were jay walking? What the heck is jay walking? We were a few feet from the crossing and the light was red, what’s the problem? $75 each? You’re having what we call a “giraffe” kind sir. (This has by the way now exponentially gone up, I have heard of jay walking tickets up to the value of $500) What bugged me the most about this situation was the cop telling us that this was something we had in the UK. Had he ever been there? No, but he knew we had it! WTF?
He let us off with a warning, probably because most of the group just walked off refusing to even acknowledge this was a real thing and left me standing there, typical Brit style, apologizing profusely.
So that was my first experience of Los Angeles, you guys. How the heck did I end up leaving a town with a fantastic public transport system (Did I mention I miss you sweet Underground, even when there are leaves on the track!) and end up here?
When you see a city through the eyes of a tourist you really aren’t getting the real essence of the place. Have you ever done London as a tourist as well as lived there? It’s totally different. Lucky for me, my friend, and fellow blogger Katie Braithwaite, brought me back out here again 4 years later and introduced me to a whole different experience and showed me the town I now love and call home. I can’t wait to tell you more about LA living!
I do however miss London. The Tube, Twiglets, Vimto, PG tips and Cadburys. Oh, and all my glorious friends. Which, lets face it, should be sending me the things I miss!!