since i give so much touristy advice to a good chunk of people i know, i've decided to start a little tourist service and capitalize on my travelling skills. since a few of my british friends are thinking of coming over and touring LA, i thought i'd draft up a little welcome pack for them:
LOS ANGELES behold the wonders of capitalism
dear british tourist,
welcome to LA, the capital of capitalism. my name is theresa and i will be your tour guide. you will find included in this welcome pack the following items: sunscreen (spf 200), flip-flops (also known as "sandals"), sunglasses, shorts (trousers with pant legs that do not extend past the knees), and an LA dialect - english translation dictionary. while many of these items may be foreign and unfamiliar to you, many of these items will help you to cope with something prevalent in LA called "sunlight". if you have any questions on how to use any of these items, your tour guide will be happy to show you. below, you will find some information on LA that will help you prepare for your stay. please read the information carefully, as failure to adjust to local LA custom may result in your getting shot.
general: population - 4 million; religion - hedonism; popular activities - clubbing, shopping, sex; ethnicity - 50% white, 50% asian, 50% mexican/latino, 50% african american, 50% mixed, 50% looking like one race on the outside but really another race on the inside.
do not mention -
as a european, you may be accustomed to something called "walking to places" and "taking public transport". these are not things that are done in LA. "public transport" does not exist and the only place walking is done is in something called "outdoor malls" (please consult your LA-english dictionary for more information on what is an "outdoor mall"). therefore, do not say to the locals any form of the following: "how do i walk to ____?", "where is the train station?", "can i take a bus there?". saying such things may result in confusion, your being ridiculed, mugged (robbed at gun point; please refer to the LA-english dictionary for more on "mugging"), or shot. instead say, "how long does it take to drive there?" and "where do i park?". expect the local's reply to take the form of something similar to, "1-2hrs depending on traffic" for a distance of 15miles. if you plan on taking theresa's red beetle bug service for transport, please do not be alarmed when she curses, pulls out a gun, and shoots other competing drivers when trying to park or merge into traffic. this is common LA driving behaviour. wear your safety belt at all times.
as a european, you will also be accustomed to other activities that are uncommon in LA and the united states in general. therefore, do not begin your sentences with any of the following: "i think" "i studied" "i read" "i wrote", or mention anything having to do with "helping others". thinking, studying, reading and writing, and helping others are un-american and particularly rare in LA. do not mention "racism" or "political correctness"; while such topics are sensitive issues and treated with tact and discretion in other parts of the world, the concepts of "racism" and "political correctness" do not exist in california and ideas such as "tact", "sensitivity", and "subtlety" are absent from the minds of the locals. do not mention other countries or states outside of california; californians are not aware that there is a world outside their state, and many cannot leave their home-state as they cannot survive away from their californian luxuries. do not use words longer than 2-syllables; you will not be understood. do NOT use any british words, such as "knackered" "toilet" "rubbish" "queue" "cheers"; you WILL get shot. in the event that you are asked by a local any form of the following question: "how are you?", do not reply "horrible" and then list your life's miseries; you will only receive blank stares. instead, the standard reply, regardless of your true feelings, is "good! and you?". as a rule, refrain from moaning (or "complaining", as it is referred to in LA-dialect), as it is frowned upon in american culture in general.
if you wish to engage the locals in conversation, here are several common phrases in LA-dialect that you may wish to practice: "did you see that ferrari?" "what gym do you belong to?" "what club do you want to hit this friday?" (consult the LA-english dictionary on the various uses and meanings of "hit", "hit on", and "hit up"), and "i'm trying to lose weight", or if you're a bloke (or "guy" in LA-dialect), "i'm trying to get a six-pack". please also familiarize yourself with the following words, as they may help you to understand the locals: hella adv. very, that guy is hella hot! hecka adv. very, that guy is hecka hot! ghetto adj. run-down, not good, man! that dive is hella ghetto! gangsta ghetto adj. resembling someone or something from the real LA ghetto, usually with connotations of being "cool" or "tough", dude! he's tryin' to be all gangsta ghetto! hang out v. meet up, you wanna hang out sometime? kick it v. meet up, come over and we can kick it! however, be careful when using these words, as using them incorrectly with the wrong accent may result in your looking "uncool" and hence getting shot by someone who is "for real" "gangsta ghetto". your tour guide will be happy to arrange a language exchange in order for you to become more familiar with the LA dialect. this is highly recommended as a precaution against getting shot. please also refer to your LA-english dictionary for further translations.
as one of the largest concrete jungles in the united states, LA is also home to some very exotic local wildlife. in particular, be on the lookout for the celebrity species, as they can be spotted in camouflage in your day-to-day life. in the event that you do spot one, please refrain from feeding it, as they often do not eat. take photos quickly and discretely. approach at your own risk, as they can become dangerous and aggressive:
like many of the major cities around the world, LA is also home to many areas of fine dining. trying the local cuisine is always an excellent way to experience the native culture. some popular local dishes include: chocolate martini, sex on the beach, sour amaretto, body shot, diet pills. the local fast food burger chain in n out is also a highly prized culinary gem. do NOT mention anything negative related to in n out within hearing range of the locals, or you WILL return to england in a body bag.
if you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact your tour guide. please also note that tipping is a great american custom. please tip your tour guide as a sign of goodwill. the standard american tipping rate is now 60%.
we hope you enjoy your stay in LA. thank you for choosing theresa tours.
(fine print: theresa tours is not responsible for lost or stolen items, or in the event that you are mugged, shot, or killed in a vehicular accident, the chances of which are 92.3% in LA).