# 5 – Everybody is jogging, hiking, cycling, walking with sticks, working out…but everybody takes the car to drive half a mile. And everybody seems to love being stuck on a freeway instead of driving reasonably freely on L.A. surface streets.
# 4 – People pay a fortune for a live match of the Lakers or the Kings at Staples Center and then spend most of their time there in line for nachos or sodas.
# 3 – You cannot have beer or even just step into a bar which sells alcoholics if you are not 21 but you can easily buy a a rifle or a shotgun – excluding assault rifles – as long as you are 18. In a Walmart shop for example.
# 2 – Smoking is forbidden in virtually all indoor spaces and in some open spaces such as the Third Streed Promenade, the street of shopping in Santa Monica, as well. And this is clearly fine. I found it a bit excessive though when a woman who was smoking outside of a restaurant in Morro Bay, repeatedly apologised for giving “a very bad example” to our 9 and 12 year-old daughters.
# 1 and WEIRDEST THING SO FAR: the CIA recruiting radio ad. Yes, it is really weird while you drive to work or school in the morning to hear the commercial thought by the almighty Central Intelligence Agency to attract new recruits. “Why working for a private company when you can serve your country?” warns you a deep male voice. There’s the small print, of course: “You must have U.S. citizenship and the ability to successfully complete medical examinations and security procedures, including a polygraph interview. For additional information, and to apply, visit cia-dot-gov.” “That’s cia-dot-gov,” in case you missed it. “The work of a nation. The center of intelligence. An equal opportunity employer.”