1. The traffic, obviously. When making plans for the daytime, you almost always have to factor in bullshit on Wilshire, assholes on Santa Monica Blvd, and a host of other large and small streets. Getting anywhere in the morning between 8am and 10am, or 4pm-7pm is a headache that we all share. Convenient since Google Maps at these times always looks like an aneurysm.
2. The 405 itself. It’s like an entity, a being of pure frustration. Its emphatic spouse, the 10, is no less of a test of your patience. The 405 threads north-south on the westside and the 10 connects Santa Monica to downtown. Where the two meet, where they make angry love twice a day for hours, is where you yourself begin to wonder why the fuck you’re going to Lauren’s dinner party anyway. You don’t even like Lauren. You don’t even like her friends. You don’t even like your friends that are going to be there. They’re all assholes. Everyone’s an asshole.
Especially that fucker in the BMW who cut you off and is now sitting in front of your battered VW. You both sit. Stuck in that goddamn curved merging lane for 15 goddamn minutes.
3. People really honestly can’t drive. Some could argue that you have to drive a little crazy in order to get anywhere in this car-centric city but my god. The dumb shit that people will do. Oh, you’re about to miss your left? Instead of making a couple legal and negligible rights, why don’t you just stop in the middle of busy traffic and try to merge across three lanes. Yeah. That’s it. Fucker.
4. Public transit. Let’s say, hypothetically, that you don’t wanna deal with any of that traffic bullshit. No dice, pal. There are no subways unless you’re downtown or adjacent (something about earthquakes), so most day to day transit is on the road. In the traffic. Bring a book.
5. “Is there gluten in that?” Sure, yes, you have a gluten allergy or intolerance or whatever. Fine. It’s just a little funny how all of a sudden everyone in LA is “gluten-free”.
6. The lightest rain is treated like an apocalypse. Shops close, cars crash, children scream. War of the Worlds. Where’s Tom Cruise when you need him?
7. “What’s your sign?” This probably isn’t LA exclusive but I take it to be really quintessential to the type of people that live here. You can’t extricate this passive but obstinate obsession with horoscopes without having quite a different city. The great thing about this, though, is that someone you’ve known for months and seen pretty regularly will ask about your sign. “Guess,” I say, and they’ll drop eight wrong guesses before I go ahead and tell them. Their eyes widen and they say, “Oh, yeah! I totally see that!” You didn’t see it ten minutes ago when we started this bullshit conversation.
8. “Froyo.” It’s frozen yogurt. Get over it. I’ve been putting Gogurts in the freezer since I was in elementary school.
9. “So, what do you do?” It seems like in LA people always want to know what you do and usually the idea seems to be like, “Oh, do you work for the industry?” The industry which is, the way some people act, some omnipresent deity for whom everyone is toiling away. It’s showbiz or whatever, and it’s silly.
10. “Do you see a lot of celebrities?” Okay, it’s not even an LA thing technically because it’s almost always said by outsiders, but they almost always ask this of people who live in LA. Can we not do this? Yes, they’re all over the place. Celebrities don’t live on some cloud above the city like some Disney-fied Mt. Olympus. It’s less of an awe-inspiring moment and more of an “lol guess who I saw at Whole Foods.”