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Automobile lifestyles in Los Angeles


I have seen a lot of cultural differences in Los Angeles. Los Angeles life mainly revolves around the automobile. Most people seem to spend a lot of time in their cars. If you park in a parking lot, at least 20 percent of the time, one of the cars next to you will be occupied. The driver is usually sitting and playing with his or her cellphone. I think this is because it takes so long to get anywhere on Los Angeles’ traffic-clogged roads and highways. If you have time to kill between errands, you might as well just sit in your car instead of trying to go anywhere else.

People who have a modicum of income will strive to drive a foreign car, even if they have to buy a used one. German, British and Italian cars are popular. And if they can’t afford those, Angelenos will buy a Lexus or an Infiniti to avoid the ignominy of driving a Toyota or a Nissan. I also did not know that Toyota makes a Lexus version of the Matrix wagon. It is called the Lexus CT, and I have seen a lot of them. They are not popular in the rest of the country, but they are in Los Angeles. Apparently Californians don’t understand that “Lexus” is Japanese for “you paid too much for a Toyota.”

Traffic is horrendous. The opening scene of Terminator 2, where the ruined highways are clogged with rusting cars containing decaying skeletons, is very appropriate. When the end comes, most Angelenos will die in their beloved automobiles, trapped in a traffic jam for all eternity.

I am glad to be back in my hotel, off the road. If ever I entertained the thought of living or vacationing in or near Los Angeles, this weekend’s traffic nightmares cured me of those thoughts.

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