"So what are you doing this summer?"
"I have an internship in L.A!"
"Oh cool...lots of traffic."
"Eh, I'm sure I'll be fine."
Regardless of if that person had been to L.A. or not, he or she knew the condemning rumor, and presented it to me with the same air of authority found in every city-summarizing statement.
New York: It's cool....sooo big.
Chicago: The weather there kinda sucks...huh?
Evanston: Oh...I hear that town hates you.
I think like everyone else who comes to this city...which by my estimation...is everyone (In ten weeks, I have yet to meet ANYONE originally from L.A.), I was originally optimistic. Surely if it was as horrendous as predicted, no one would live there at all, right?
Authors often liken a road to a ribbon. To borrow the motif, driving in L.A. is like driving on a fraying ribbon, caught savagely in the teeth of a sewing machine from the industrial revolution. I expected the first week to fly by in a rush of novelty, but it dragged on, caught on the pavement for 2-3 hours a day.
The main fact is that traffic is relentless. I drove 44 miles from my Aunt's in Newport Beach to Westwood, and the trip took me two hours, bumper to bumper with no reprieve, and that's the highway: Six lanes across, few fortunate people going twice as fast in the diamond-spotted "CARPOOL LANE," while the rest of us solitary suckers switch lanes at a moment's notice, trying to jump into a lane showing ANY signs of movement. There is literally nothing that makes me sadder than being at a complete stop for over a minute on a freeway where the posted speed-limit is 65 mph. I reach this depth of sadness daily.