Thursday, February 2, 2012

Native vs. Migrant: The Darker Magic

FROM MY hometown of Bend, Oregon, Los Angeles seemed worlds away. It was the busy and glamorous place my aunt lived, and where I sometimes got to visit over the summer. It was a giant airport, with a sterile, echoing, flickering hallway to baggage claim. Los Angeles was more cars on the freeway than people in my town.

It was a magical place where it was always warm, perfect weather, even though there were armies of girls wearing Uggs. I felt like the perfect LA weather would never get old. And the traffic? I didn’t understand how that could be an issue. I always liked being in the car, and I was frequently in the car for around two hours to get to my grandma’s house 120 miles away.

There is a magic about this town, but its a darker magic than I thought before. Excess is mixed with the bare minimum. I have found LA to be like those sparkly Uggs - you know, the ones with the sequins? Once you put on a pair, you understand why everyone talks about them and you never want to take them off. Yet there is something not quite right - the ugliness of the shoe is drenched in glitz and it makes you forget sometimes why you didn’t like them in the first place. And they are shamelessly over-the-top.

I have learned since moving here that, while the weather is usually nice, on occasion (more frequently than I thought) it rains! Or falls below 65 degrees. But not often - or consistent - enough. The bad days are peppered throughout the year. One day it is relatively cold, the next nearly 80 degrees. How is one supposed to dress? I always get it wrong. And the usually warm weather does get old.

Despite my thinking people exaggerate traffic here, I never thought that I would drive here. It was too scary. I did believe people were impatient and rude - that proved to be true. But I didn’t expect there to be also so many nice people.

I loved this city before because it was glamorous and new, but now my feelings have changed. I love it and I hate it. I love the nooks and crannies; all the intrigue and possibilities it has to offer. But I dislike a lot of things as well - like the stupid weather that makes me long for the snowy days of Oregon. I can only visit my once-home now, I couldn’t live there anymore. This city sucks you in.

The only thing I know for certain is that I am now the proud owner of my very own pair of Uggs, to keep my feet warm when the temperature plummets to 60 degrees.

And yes, they are sparkly.

-- Allie Flinn

Photo: LAX Terminal 
Credit: mezzoblue via flickr creative commons

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