Saturday, October 16, 2004

driving on THE interstate

Even though I've lived in LA since August 2003, there's one thing that I only recently picked up on. One month ago I got a car out here (and let's face it, without one, you can't go anywhere in this town), and I began to notice many differences between driving back home in Dallas compared to here in Los Angeles.

I was getting driving directions from a friend, a Los Angeles native, and she told me to take the 10. The 10? The 10? What is that? For those of you from Los Angeles, or maybe even California in general, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about. I guess I'll just have to tell you because I doubt you'll understand what I'm getting at.

Why do you have to say "the" in front of the number of the interstate. Why does it have to be "the 405" and not just 405? I've never heard this before. If someone is from anywhere else in the country besides California and you refer to your interstates as "the #," please let me know. Back in my hometown of Dallas, I would take 635 to school nearly every day. I did not take the 635. I took 635. When I went to work over the summer, I drove north on 35. Not the 35, but 35. The only exception to this in Dallas would have to be "The Tollroad."

I would drive on 35, 121, 635, 75, 20, 30, Loop 12, but never on the 183. I did drive on 183, though. Now that I'm living in LA, I drive on the the 10, the 110, the 405, the 5, the 105, and it's both literally and figuratively driving me crazy. If I was at home driving to my old high school to watch a football game, and my dad called my cell phone asking where I was, if I told him I was sitting in traffic on the 635, he'd go into my room at home and search for pot!

Do people out here think that the "I" in I-10 stands for "the" or something? What's going on out here? Why do you people do this??? You don't do this for normal roads. I don't drive on "The Figueroa" to go into downtown. I don't exit the 10 onto "The Hoover" to get to my apartment. I guess I'll just have to accept the fact that interstates here come with a prefix. All I know is that I can't wait to make the drive home this summer, back to a land where we don't throw "the" where it doesn't belong. It should be weird, though, starting out on the 10 and ending up on 635.


Anonymous said...

That's an awesome rant and rave!!!
Seth (that kid who turned up in Hartford, CT after hiding from you for all those years)

M3GAL said...

And it annoys us Angelenos who have grown up accustomed to driving on the 101, the 405, the 10, the 110, the 5, and so on, when you out-of-staters say "101," "405," "10," "110," "5," et cetera. Just as you drove on 183, if that freeway was in SoCal, it would've been known as the 183. You don't say, "Take freeway." You say, "Take the freeway." Just insert a number, delete freeway, and there's the rationale, I think.


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