I mentioned the reasons I liked L.A in the previous post, but the reality is that I mostly hate L.A. I probably wouldn’t change my experience there for anything else, but I could never imagine myself living in L.A. (or California in general). So why did I not like living in the City of Angels?
1. Because I lived in South Central L.A.Three words that summarize it: dirty, homeless people, crime. Apparently that’s the area where I lived for 4 years, because I went to college there. People (and also USC students) getting shot a couple of blocks away was a sad reality, not a scene from a Hollywood movie. I know L.A. has some cool and nice areas, but a lot of it still looks like South Central, although the crime rate may be lower. Most of L.A. is dirty and looks like a third-world country. (sorry for the quality of the pictures).
“medical offices” – yeah, I would definitely go and see a doctor in this house.
“Very glamorous” Venice beach with it’s locals (homeless people). Sad.
2. You are stuck if you don’t have a car. Being stuck in some Beverly Hills mansion is all cool, but being stuck in your dorm in South Central isn’t so cool anymore. Buying a car in the States is way more expensive than in Europe. A regular car that wouldn’t break down after 2 months starts from $3000 and too bad if you’re a student from a place where it takes some people 4 months to earn that much. Also, if you’re not a U.S citizen, you’d have to pay a huge amount of insurance as well. Almost nobody but the poor takes public transport there. The city is so disperse, that even if you’d hop on a bus, it would take you hours to reach your destination.
3. People. Just watch Jimmy Kimmel’s “pedestrian question” and it explains everything. By the end I got sick so sick of meeting new people, because they’re all the same and everything starts with obnoxious “HIIIIIIIII How are youuuu??? How was your holiday????” It’s just so overly gross and not necessary that sometimes I wanted to imitate them back “HIIIIIII, fine, now gtfo”.
And the guys…..during my 4 years there, I met a handful of guys who I had something to talk to – so thank you! And I DID make an effort. If you like douches or want to make a world record in how many one night stands can you have in a year, then 365 could be totally doable (didn’t try this though, since I had different goals – such as keeping my long distance relationship with my other half). If that’s what interests you, then this is your dream destination! Individualism is the key there (not sure to where though).
However, this is a general impression that I got. So not to hurt anyone here – the real friends I made there – you’re all awesome and this criticism is not towards you! And I’m sure there are more “normal” people in L.A. who are not like people described above.
4. The non-existing culture. Or should I say the culture where being obnoxious sorority girl or a douchy frat guy is acceptable and cool? Being dumb and loud is cool. Showing off how rich you are is cool, or even worse, showing off how rich your dad is, is also cool. Blindly trusting media and everything that’s publicized in the news is a norm. Critical thinking about world issues, such as wars, power and money is lacking big time. That didn’t piss me off, this just made me sad.
5. People are not dancing at parties, they’re dry-humping and twerking. I thought this would only apply to college life, but I went to night clubs in downtown and Hollywood etc.. and it was still the same. Maybe it doesn’t bother you, which is cool, but it disgusts me. I was so happy when I returned back home and went for a party – people were dancing, talking and just having good time without dry-humping. If they’re not dry-humping on the dance floor, they’re mostly on their phones.
6. Phone addiction. And it’s not the same everywhere in the Western World. I’ve traveled in Europe as well during the smartphone era and I’m glad to see that people still like talking to each other, they’re going places and having fun WITHOUT checking their phones every 2 seconds (sadly it’s changing and people are slowly becoming phone-addicts here as well). I asked plenty of my friends: “Do you think you could live without your phone?” Most of them were honest and said “No”.
7. Rowing. R.I.P my (hopefully) last love-hate relationship.
And there is more to it, but I don’t want to be overly negative. This was my experience about living there, not visiting it for 2 weeks. If you ever plan to visit L.A or California as a tourist, then take a look at my other post about road tripping on the West Coast. There are some really awesome and jaw-dropping places to see, such as the Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park, Santa Barbara etc.
Am I just an old-fashioned 23 year-old? Or is L.A really messed up?