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Back in SoCal

July 2nd, 2015 · 2 Comments · Long Beach, Travel

Day 1 in the Southern California visit and it seems like it always did, except more so. More people, more cars, more money needed to go grocery shopping.

Looking at four lanes of traffic at a standstill on the southbound 5, and it’s not even noon, and it is hard to imagine I dealt with that sort of thing a couple of times every week for most of three decades.

How is it I didn’t spontaneously combust or ram my car into someone else’s in an inevitable fit of road rage?

We probably need a few more days to make certain this is the case, but greater Los Angeles looks less livable than ever.

Even if you have money, eventually you have to descend into the madness of the roads and freeways. To see a baseball game. To attend a concert. To try a restaurant.

Unless you have a helicopter, maybe.

It was 10 a.m. on July 2, a Thursday, and Angelenos and OC commuters already were elbowing their way towards San Diego. Or maybe Tijuana. Somewhere south. To celebrate the Fourth of July with hours and hours sitting in traffic.

A few minutes before, I had spent more than $5 at Jamba Juice for a medium-sized cup of slush with traces of fruit and berries in it. And apparently that’s just what a Jamba Juice costs here. The “large” is on the high side of $6. For flavored ice.

Avocados at $1.50 each, a $10 watermelon. We sometimes complain about food prices in Abu Dhabi, but they are hardly any worse than they are in Aliso Viejo or Long Beach, to approach opposite ends of the socioeconomic spectrum.

Housing is not affordable unless you already own one, even though suburbs continue to crawl into the hills.

Water is, essentially, rationed. Hills a bone-dry brown is the new black.

It is too much of a good thing chased by too many people. The mild temperatures, the days of sun, the beautiful people, Hollywood and Vine, the San Clemente pier. Too many people pursuing the same day at the beach or the perfect burger.

It is not an original thought, the post-paradise concept of SoCal, but to come back after most of six years away, and it seems that the L.A. area is about joining the rat race, not escaping it.


2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Chuck Hickey // Jul 10, 2015 at 9:00 PM

    Could not agree more. So many times during my 14-month detour back there in 2012-2014, I said the same things so many times — along with “What the hell were you thinking?”

  • 2 Camilla // Oct 10, 2015 at 6:40 AM

    I’m by name tijani jnuoir and am leaving in nigeria my best club dat i ever love so far was man utd bcos it is a team dat won so many trophies in england including champions league making alot of records over d rest of d club in england christian ronaldo was a fabulous and talented player won world best player in 2008 summer in d name of sir alex ferguson bcos in d history of english premier league i have never experience any player 2 won best player 4 england team except united so with this alot of tins dat have been offer from ferguson 2 english team. Back 2 marvelous player christiano ronaldo has a wonderful style diffrent pattern of playing football so he has made unbeatable record among all other player in d world whatever he does 2day whether is gud or bad i still have 2 be cherishing him god will continue 2 bless cristian ronaldo thanks 4 all fans

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