The Concrete Palm Tree

Los Angeles. My first glimpse. A concrete jungle with palm trees. To be fair I’ve only really seen from the airport to my hotel in downtown LA; and then about 6 blocks of the city on a walk in search of toothpaste. (Apparently my toothpaste was too large and they took it from me upon leaving Sydney).

I am not, and will never be, a traveller. I like my familiar surrounds too much… and there’s no cats on the road – two weeks without Saff and Lic is a long time! That said, Andrew you will be delighted, I have seen 2 dogs to date – both great danes. I’m not sure whether they breed them larger here in the states; or whether it was because they walked along side me, but I swear they are bigger than some of those miniature ponies.

It’s odd the things you notice when you travel. There’s the obvious – accents, yellow cabs which are orange, a different feel of the city. Then there’s the tiny things I didn’t consider. Take pedestrian crossings at traffic lights. I got to the first intersection on the toothpaste hunt, and there was no button! More than that, where the pedestrian light is in Australia was a black box, facing the opposite direction. As I wasn’t confident timing the traffic (given the cars are on the opposite side of the right), I hovered for a while waiting for someone else to come by. They were waiting even though there was no button – and then I spotted the ‘walk’ symbol – in an odd spot; not green; and making ZERO noises. I quickly got used to where to look for the walk symbol but I hadn’t realised how use to the auditory signals I am at traffic lights.

Throughout my walk, I wore my ‘poker faced sunglasses’ that Andrew had specially selected. He claims that with these on, if I look lost and unsure, no one will be any the wiser as they take over the majority of my face.

Each time I spoke, I did so slowly and was waiting for the moment when someone said ‘pardon??’ It seems my accent is not an issue which is a relief.

I found a domino’s pizza place – well, more like a hole in the wall – to grab some lunch. The girl was enclosed behind a screen not unlike those in banks. There was a metal gate through which you could pass money and she went away to get change and then came back each time with it. I’m not really used to this – in Redfern Sydney, the domino’s still has an open counter (although they won’t actually deliver to some of the department of housing areas of Redfern for ‘safety reasons’.)

Screen or not, a pepperoni pizza is pretty much the same the world over. With one minor difference. The Andrew ‘pizza folding guaranteed not to drip tomato sauce down yourself method’ didn’t work. The ‘thin and crusty’ was so, thin and crusty that it didn’t bend properly. I miss my knife and fork. I know, I’m a weirdo. No one eats pizza with a knife and fork.

I have to go back to the finishing touches on my presentation. I have to caption one last youtube video. It’s of a little girl of about 18 months who has a hearing loss and two adults singing twinkle twinkle, and ‘hurry hurry drive the fire truck’ – thank goodness it’s got repetitive lyrics as that will make the captioning faster.

It’s quite cute, I’ve embedded it below, or you can watch directly on youtube.

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Posted on July 17, 2013, in Life and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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