If it’s Saturday, this must be Paris
Just time, as I sit in the departure lounge at LAX, for a quick round-up of the non-cinema aspects of my week in LA.
(As a brief aside, I don’t know who flies Swiss Air, but no one I know ever has. The impirical evidence surrounding me would suggest only the Swiss do. I guess that’s not so surprising in itself; Kiwis love to fly AirNZ (though haven’t we won international awards or something?). In any event, this next 11 hours through Zurich to Paris will be interesting. Will the announcements be in French, German and Italian? The Swiss have a reputation for fairness (unless impartiality isn’t quite the same thing). Alas, no upgrade this time (I knew I would forever be spoiled after my Skycouch experience!) but I have an aisle seat and my blow-up pilow, so will just have to get on with it.)
Anyway. A wise man once said:
The thing with LA is, everything is terrible, except the things that are good, which are great. (Myles Webster, native New Zealander and resident Los Angelino)
LA week was as much about eating as film trivia, and I am pleased to have sampled Japanese, Ethiopian, Mexican, Thai, Chinese and Turkish, along with the obligatory hamburger, hotdog, pizza pretzel and *cough* Nutella crepe. It goes without saying the next 4 weeks in France and Italy show great promise on the gastronomical front.
A few observations about the locals. People in the service industry are super friendly, and make a good show of appearing completely genuine. (It is in my nature to assume people are being authentic, but let’s not forget that most Los Angelinos are probably fostering an acting career.) For every “thankyou” uttered, there is a heartfelt “you’re welcome”. One young chap in retail told me enthusiastically of his desire to move to NZ and become a shepherd. Another shoe salesman wheedled his way into my good-books by declaring I reminded him of a cross between Jodie Foster and Kirsten Dunst. Alas, he didn’t have the sneakers I wanted in my size. I have received compliments on items of clothing and jewelery from complete strangers; a bus passenger told my NZ friend and me she loved our accents. I love this place – so great for your self esteem!
Hipsters are everywhere, the young men sporting their black-rimmed glasses and leather loafers with rapidly fading irony or individuality. All the businessmen downtown wear cuffed trousers (is this a “thing” elsewhere??). The jandal is a surprisingly popular item of footwear.
And the sun shines, every day I’ve been here, warm and bright but without the tendency to burn you to a crisp. This really has been most agreeable.
Paris will be a whole other bucket of moules (I know from experience to manage my expectations of the friendliness) but I anticipate an entirely different kind of cultural experience. A bientot!