Not new to LA: You follow the Boy Scout Motto: “Be prepared”.
Comment: Almost all freeways have at-least 3 and many have 5 plus lanes of traffic, and as the Hollywood cliché goes, “There is just one rule and that is there are no rules”.
New: You enter a parking lot of a Kmart and are still looking for parking when 5 cars that entered the lot after you have already found parking.
Not New: You are one amongst the 5 people who have already found parking!
Comment: Spotting an empty parking space is an essential skill that people driving in Los Angeles have to develop for their own good.
New: You are looking for parking and see a spot on the street, but drive past it, because just yesterday you caused a traffic jam while trying to parallel park.
Not new: Parallel parking, no problem.
Comment: Not comfortable with parallel parking, consider public transport.
New: No parking tickets.
Not New: At-least one parking ticket.
Comment: I know of only one person I my office who has not got a parking ticket in Los Angeles, and that is my wife, and that because she does not drive here.
New: Proceed cautiously at every freeway interchange, have their rental car map unfolded and do a lot of pointing.
Not New: Why should that fact that you are in a car and do not know the route interrupt the given agenda.
Comment: Everyone is perpetually late here, because of the “traffic”
New: You ask more than one person for directions.
Not New: Everybody here has a friend, whose navigation skills they trust, and whenever they need directions, that friend is the only person they call.
Comment: Every person has their own version of how best to get from point A to point B.
New: Try to drive during a long weekend. (You poor man)
Not New: It’s a long weekend, you have 70 miles to travel on I-5 and so you rent a room in a motel for the night.
Comment: This is a true story.
New: Expect rush hour to start at 4:30 pm
Not New: What is rush hour?
Comment: The freeways are pretty much densely populated between 3:30 and 7.
New: Talk about the weather to make polite conversation.
Not New: Talk about the traffic.
Comment: Enough said.
If you are not already full of me going on and on about traffic in LA, read this post about a person whose wife faces difficulties in paying a simple traffic ticket in Los Angeles.
PS: This article is inspired by the article “You know you are new to Mumbai When..”
A Kafka day at the Los Angeles traffic ticket office
You know you are new to Mumbai When..