Here's a photo from a few months back, driving home from Burbank on a wet, twilight-y Sunday:
I like it for a couple of reasons. First, the motion from the car as we drove through the intersection of this street gives it a lovely little trippin' feel. Secondly, because people tend to associate L.A. with palm trees and clear blue skies - those are the images we are bombarded with from TV shows and films. While it's true that the weather here is fabulous a lot of the time, there are definitely grey, drizzly days to balance it out a little.
Today is one those days, which is why I thought of this photo. I got soaked this morning, after taking the Faery to preschool, and Miss Pie to get her vaccinations. Her stroller has a rain cover, so she stayed toasty dry. Whenever the locals see her in her pram with the cover, they freak out: "Oh wow! Look at her, she's in a plastic bubble... oh my god, can she breathe okay in there?" I often wonder what they'd say if I replied that, no, she can't breathe - because obviously, I would put a non ventilated cover over my child. Mothers on foot with strollers are a rare sight (in my neighbourhood; I'm not speaking for all of L.A.). I guess when it rains, we're even rarer. I get the impression that no one around here has ever seen a rain cover for prams.
Anyhow, as I walked home with my head facing down from the rain, I saw a house with... sprinklers on in the garden. Sprinklers in the rain.
Yeah, only in La La Land, huh?
It's not the first time I've seen this. I realise people have their sprinklers on auto-timers, but you'd think if it'd been raining all night and into the morning, at some point it might occur to the owners that they could switch the system off for a day or two and save some water, right?
This kind of waste is something that never fails to leave me gobsmacked. Growing up in a country where droughts are a fact of life, and most areas have heavy water restrictions enforced, I've been conditioned to shudder and think of the hefty fines I'd face if I dared use a sprinkler in Sydney - let alone when it's raining.
Moving to a city that's been built over a desert, I assumed there would be similar restrictions, but so far I've yet to see a single pamphlet, sign or advertisement that promotes water conservation. I've only learned the official water mandate policies (as they call them here) for where we live by going online and digging a little. The information I found listed the specific restrictions, but no mention of fines if the restrictions are breached. It makes me wonder if there are actually any consequences of not following the mandate.
La La Land: the city of contradiction. Smoking is banned in every square inch of public space, but hey, let's look the other way when people use more than their fair share of water. Who needs it anyway?