Yes, I’m an Aussie living and working in L.A. Not another one, you say!! Okay, I’m definitely not the first nor the last. The appeal of forging a career in Hollywood for many of us “southerners” is indeed appealing. All that pizzazz, the delicious accent heavy on the R’s, those famous freeways, salted caramel ice cream and sunshine…
When I first relocated, what I didn’t realize, (and this may sound silly, but hey, I’m gonna come clean…) is that although we share an alphabet, that doesn’t always mean we’re speaking the same language.
So here is my first entry in the Oz Angeles series which may hopefully assist to smooth bi-coastal relations and contribute a few pylons to the V.C.C.B.P. (Victoria’s Cross-Cultural Bridge Project 2016).
Here we go:
• Left-hand drive, what? If you see someone struggling to parallel park, taking a ridiculous amount of tries to jockey the car to within the requisite 18 inches from the curb, scraping the front right rim in the process, try not to stare. It could be an Aussie (or this Aussie), un-learning a lifetime of parking on the opposite side of the road.
• Pedestrian right of way. Imagine my complete confusion as I waited patiently to cross Santa Monica Blvd, when a fleet of cars slowed and stopped, drivers politely waving me across (except for the smoking Nissan with mismatched panels from whose window a multi-colored, dreaded female yelled, “Use the crosswalk, mother f…..!”). I had unwittingly parted the Red Sea, or so I thought.
• Right on red. Alas, somehow we have failed to initiate this wonderful motoring loophole in Australia. If you’re stuck behind someone who isn’t turning right on the red, it could be a none-the-wiser Aussie or maybe just a poor sod who’s fallen asleep at the wheel…or someone texting…