When my husband phoned from work to tell me his company had asked us to relocate to Los Angeles, I was excited by the idea of a big adventure and consistently warm weather. And I was horrified at the prospect of leaving our family and friends. I was also completely terrified about earthquakes, guns (I am Canadian!) and Lindsay Lohan. And my husband wasn’t exactly selling it when he told me I would have to take a road test to be allowed to drive there.
It was a big, angst-ridden process but we decided to embrace the adventure.
It has been two months since that phone call and I’ve now been to Los Angeles four times (very briefly) to try to find a place to live.
Here is what I know so far:
- The traffic is outrageous. Toronto has a traffic problem (mostly construction related) but Los Angeles has taken traffic to a whole new level and made it a way of life. This is why (I think) they seem to be constantly texting/eating/hair-dressing/doing yoga while driving – when else would they do it???
- The waiters are touchy. I don’t mean sensitive. I mean touchy. When they come to your table, they rest their hand on your shoulder or pat your arm like you are about to FREAK OUT. This will take getting used to – Canadians are not touchy people.
- A basement in California is called a ‘California Basement’. This means a semi-finished pit under the house. In California. I am not sure why they have to specify the geographic location of the basement but they do. Always.
- Trader Joe’s is a nice, crunchy grocery chain but there is a floating cloud of B.O. that cannot be predicted or avoided. And it will get you. Every time.
- LA folks like to have a lot of bathrooms in their homes. It is not unusual to see more bathrooms than bedrooms. At first I thought this was indicative of a possible water quality/gastro-intestinal problem in our new city but have come to believe that this is just a way of conveying ‘luxury’. Weird but at least it isn’t a stomach problem.
Obviously, I have only scratched the surface of this great (I think) new city and I still have a lot to learn.
Our house is sold and we have found a place to live in LA.
We move in less than a month. And it is going to be good. I think.
12 thoughts on “Los Angeles 101”
Sounds like you have the right attitude! Good luck! (I’ve hardly ever been there myself.)
Thank you for commenting and especially for the good luck! I had never been there until this came up so that added a little drama to the decision making process for sure…
Oooh! Welcome to this wonderful (if occasionally perplexing and infuriating) place!
Thank you! I take being welcomed by writer I admire as a very good sign! : )
I’ve lived in both la and Toronto. I love Toronto but nothing compared to Los Angeles. They have the best of the best. Restaurants, beaches, shopping, parks, weather… There’s something in the air. Good luck !!!
It does seem like most of the people I’ve met that have moved from Toronto have been very happy to stay in nice warm LA…. Thanks for the good luck. : )
LA will not know what hit them! Can’t wait to read more of your stories about getting settled and the new, different ways of life 🙂
I think there will be a lot of strange tales to tell. There are a few waiting to be written already. Thanks Gill!
I can’t wait to hear all the future stories!
I am kind of excited to find out what they will be too. Hopefully most of the stories will be funny, not scary. That would be good. 🙂
Gill is right. LA does not know who/what is about to hit! I love the description of a “California Basement.” Do kids only play “upstairs” in that state? I can’t wait until J-man is old enough to be alone downstairs and the hours that Michael and I spent in the basement growing-up likely rivals any “upstairs” time. I think Fred and Gina actual had a lock on the door… I am looking forward to hearing about your adventures and learning about LA through your lense. I also can’t wait to see my Toronto nieces evolve into California girls! Oooh, and there is a Trader Joes on the Trail in SRQ! I discovered it last year – hopefully I will be able to show you in July! Elderly granola types. See you next week!
Thanks Jenn. I haven’t visited the Sarasota Trader Joe’s – I wonder if they have the same sneaky BO cloud that haunts the ones in California. Worth investigating for sure! Thanks for reading and commenting.