It’s a bit complicated to summarize 4 years in 2 blog posts. But I’ll try to give you my objective view of Los Angeles. But at first, I just have to get to the bottom of it and say that if someone would pay me 10k each month, I would still never want to live in this city. However, there were parts about L.A. that you just can’t dislike or hate. I guess it’s better to start off with the good parts. So here are the reasons I liked living in L.A:
1. Film sets taking place on your street.
Usually they left a notice on the house/fence saying that the filming of Straight Outta Compton or End of Watch (both filmed around the neighbourhood I lived at the time) takes place at x time. I got to see the filming of several TV series such as “The Devious Maids”, “How to Get Away with Murder” – these two took place right on the street I lived at. Weird, but I felt more “Hollywoody” in South Central L.A. than when walking on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Sometimes you had to listen carefully to determine if the gunshots you heard were part of an action movie or real life.
Coming from a place where minimum wage is about 2 EUR per hour, I was blown away to see that “the poor” earn around $9 per hour. Obviously, the cost of living is way higher, but I could afford a relatively good student life from my athletic stipend. I didn’t have to eat noodles and cabbage ever day – as I had imagined my college life in high school. I know I am blessed, because I didn’t have to pay for my school with US Dollars or any other currency. The price I had to pay can be counted in mental and physical health due to excessive training. Along the way I met many people whose parents had to pay 60k a year for their kids tuition, which meant that these parents had to work their asses off to send their kids to college.
3. You can do ABSOLUTELY anything!
Want to see your favorite artist giving a concert? Buy the tickets online for the next time she/he is performing in L.A., and that’s probably in a couple of weeks. Want to watch a football game? Go tailgating, get drunk (or not) and enjoy the football game with other 100 000 people in the Coliseum. Want to eat delicious food and go shopping? Go to the Grove and eat at your favorite restaurant and spend all your money in the Dylan’s candy bar right after (did it several times). You can do almost anything that comes to your mind in this city (if you have money for it, obviously). Or you can go on a yacht trip with your friends, as we did:
When I first got there, I hated Mexican food, because I didn’t know how it tastes. And if something is strange to people, they usually dislike it. But that changed, thankfully. I miss you a lot, nachos! Obviously you can try all sorts of foods you can think of – Asian, Middle Eastern, Mexican, Italian etc. I must admit I had a lot of burgers as well (as you were able to detect from my figure once I got back home after my first year), but they weren’t as good as the burgers in Uulits. I believe it’s due to the poor quality of meat in general in the U.S and probably due to the fact that humans would rather not eat antibiotics or GMOs, if it comes to taste…
Most of the farm animals in the U.S are being fed with corn – something you barely see in Europe. My burger suggestion in LA/West Coast would be In’n’out (although I’m not sure how these animals between the burgers are being fed). I hope vegans are still my friends after reading this. I must say I do support veganism in general, since meat production has a huge environmental impact.
This is one meal for one person?? ‘Murica
I really can’t explain the phenomena, but I love almost everything about this school (let’s skip the fact that it’s located in a ghetto). The gorgeous campus, the classes I took, 90% of the professors, all sorts of events that took place from theatre performances to meeting CIA’s former director in one of my classes. My last 2 years in USC transformed me from a brainwashed piece of sh*t into a critically thinking human being (finally!) and a lot of it I owe to professor R. Rouighi. This blog is not about my political opinions/views, so I’ll just stop here.
I got to wear the badge “1st visit” with the other toddlers. So I proudly wore it. If you ever go there and it’s your first time, then definitely grab a badge – you’ll make many new 2-4 year old friends.
I finally got to see all the Disney characters that I grew up with. The entrance is quite expensive ($98), but you probably won’t regret it, especially if you’re a kid OR a kid born in 1990s, in a far-away country, who couldn’t even dream visiting Disneyland in her wildest dreams (read: me).
8. Rowing. R.I.P my (hopefully) last love-hate relationship.
9. Beach runs