Sunday, December 2, 2007
The first thing you realise once setting foot in LA is it's sheer size. Everything is big, the cars, huge petrol guzzlers, carbon emitters, whatever. Lam if you were here you would have had multiple heart attacks by now. The cars are just gigantic, even Mercedes here are bigger than anything I've seen in Australia. Freeways are 6 lanes, single way, so 12 lanes across. Public transport is non-existent and the distances to everything although ridiculous do not necessarily excuse the rampant use of cars for every activity. Ironically people's cars are larger than their actual houses. Perhaps it's because the population of LA spend way too much time in their cars.
The sheer size of everything is just ridiculous. Various kinds of shopping centers, department stores, discount supermarkets, all selling variations of the same things but set out over the size of an airport hangar. If you think you can't find shit in Kmart of Tarjay, Walmart is near impossible to find anything though. Except I was really underwhelmed by Walmart considering the pedestal I was putting it on before I stepped into it's blandness.
First impressions of LA support all the cliches. On the way to the gigantic shops we passed by a house with 6 police officers in the front year apprehending a bloated hispanic man, half naked and covered in tattoos. Coming back 2 police cars were still stationed in the front yard.
The entire city bleeds the stink of excess. It almost makes Sydney look really good in it's shallowness. In fact LA looks possibly more tired that Sydney. The fast food palaces and ubiquitous Chinese restaurants feel old and there just for the need to be present.
There is no such thing as a local shop and even 7/11s warrant humongous car parks. I understand why Bush couldn't sign Kyoto, it'll be near impossible, how can you control carbon emissions when the majority of your population rely on the exact object which is so detrimental to the environment.
However these are first impressions and I'm sure some things in the city will eventually grow on me, however the general vibe I'm receiving from LA is not hugely positive. I've spent the majority of the day putting on various versions of the west coast accent, funnily enough I haven't even had an extended conversation with an actual American in public yet.
Anyway, I bought 4 tubs of Ben & Jerry's ice cream including Chunky Monkey and Phish Food. Something that I've been waiting to try for the longest time. I'm salivating at the thought of it, but I'm also cold, needing a desperate shower and having not slept for 30 hours, delirious.