Stranger in Los Angeles
I'm not sure if I mean that I'm a stranger in Los Angeles or that I've become stranger since arriving here or that Los Angeles is stranger than San Francisco or all of the above and more .
Los Angeles is not really a big city it is a huge collection of suburbs and small towns. Each little townlet within Greater Los Angeles has its own society ,customs, recreation etc. they don't really communicate with each other in the ways one might expect them too. There is no easy way to find out what is going on in the far corners.
The legendary Ethnic diversity is real but it is in a collection of more or less isolated ethnic communities. San Fransico is much more of a melange. The cultures intermix, people eat others' food and celebrate their holidays.
I still miss the variety of food and the public transportation of SF. The grocery stores here don't even carry duck and quail or kim chee or Chinese vegetable (a kind of spicy brocolini) at least not the ones in my area.
Los Angeles is mostly composed of residential neighborhoods that are seperate from and almost cut off from the many stores which are arranged in malls. I never did re learn to drive after 3 decades in San Francisco. You almost have to drive if you are going to go any where or buy anything here. Public transportation is a farce.
I'm an old Pagan Hippie and this particular corner of La County is apparently the most conservative Bible belt part of the Country.
We moved to the Los Angeles area in1998 when my husbands employer, the Federal Protective Service abruptly transferred him from San Francisco. They had never transferred anyone like that before and I don't think they ever did it again. We bought a house, we bought a car, things we would never have done in Sf.
We have all embraced the warm weather with joyous enthusiasm.
I suppose I look fairly normal at first but my world view seems to differ rather more from the locals than It did in SF. The picture is of the house we have here not a city house . In this picture the roses are in bloom. They bloom a lot. Last year the new next door neighbor asked me if he could chop them down below the fence level because "my dirty red rose petals" were blowing into his yard and " messing up his lawn and car". he also objected to "my" snails getting on his property. Now I'm not fond of snails except as a carrier for garlic sause but I do talk to the Roses . I eat them too and make tea and potpourri. I really thought I was responding calmly and in a "normal way until I noticed that the man was starting to back away .
He later called the local city hall and complained about my filthy flowers. A city safety officer came out and explained to the man very seriously that wind blown rose petals did not constitute a public hazard. The officer managed to get into his car before he started laughing.