It’s been over two months since making the big move to LA and I’ve been trying to sum up my first impressions. First things first, I shall start by mentioning the weather. It’s an English trait to start a conversation by discussing the weather after all…
LA weather, how else can I describe it but, AMAZING! (Yes I have resorted to using the capitals to fully convey my joy). On Christmas day you would have found me running around a park playing football badly in a t-shirt. Last week there were brush fires and yesterday it was 84 ° in the apartment. There was a short spell of the “ominous” El Niño everyone was talking about but it seems to have abandoned us now. Coming from a girl who wore a pair of shorts about 5 times last year and is now living in them, this place feels like paradise.
Unfortunately, despite the beautiful weather, there are a lot of areas in LA that are quite frankly, rather ugly. There are these “mini mart” areas that just seem to crop up everywhere and anywhere. When you’re driving through the city you just go past one, after another. If you don’t know what these are, they are these little areas with a fast food chain or four, a launderette, a mani/pedi salon and a 7eleven. There’s often the odd variation store wise, a subway instead of panda express or a Chick-Fil-A for example, but basically, these all look the same.
Everyone really is a super friendly! When you’re somewhere like Kent, taking a country walk, it’s normal to greet fellow explorers with a friendly “hello,” but apart from those instances when else do us English folk ever greet strangers? Christmas day, New Year’s day… That’s probably it! God forbid you try to strike up a conversation with someone on the tube or bus. Whereas over here, you’ll be in an elevator, the grocery store or just crossing the road and you get a “hello!”
It took a while for me to fully appreciate this next one due to living up a beautiful Canyon for the first month. However, I now fully understand why everyone talks about LA traffic so much. Alas, the traffic really is as bad as everyone harps on about. End of.
There are a LOT of homeless people or “bums” as they call them here, particularly around the Santa Monica beach area. I think it’s a slightly easier lifestyle here than in London due to the more temperate weather and all the showers at the beach.
“BAGGIES!” everyone here genuinely refers to a ziplock bag or a sandwich/freezer bag as a Baggy, even at the airport when you place your liquids in a ‘baggy.’ It makes me laugh so much.
There is so much vegetarian food – it’s a veggie haven. On the subject of food, there are actually a range of places to purchase English food from, so much so, that this will be making up a blog post in itself.
Bathtubs are considerably bigger here and the plug holes are massive! You can lose an entire bangle down those holes, let alone your favourite pair of studs.
Christmas music playing on a warm day at the beach is very strange, but you actually get used to it faster than you’d think.
There are yoga rooms in airports and generally yoga and pilates are such a big deal here. Most women live in sportswear, myself included.
Garbage disposal units. These are such a great invention! Why do we not have these in England?
Gangs and Guns. Both of these are very foreign for me but prevalent and normal here.
Beautiful beaches, snow-capped mountains, and deserts are all within driving distance.
Cinema popcorn flavours here are butter or salted. Where’s the sweet popcorn?
Sephora is as good as everyone says – I finally get the majesty that is Sephora.
English accents aren’t as exotic as they once were. I blame Downton Abbey.
Driving on the right side of the road does not feel right!
Hudson News is the English version of WHSmith.
There are SO many liquor stores. Everywhere.
Swedish fish = The food of the Gods.
CVS is the English version of Boots.
T.J.Maxx v’s TKMaxx.
Last but not least, it’s totally acceptable to ask for doggy bags here. They make you feel so cheeky for asking in the UK but here, they almost expect it. Last night’s supper always makes the best breakfast.
I think that is all I have to share; no doubt things will change but for now, your English lass in LA is signing out.