The 'Brits in LA' facebook group holds a breakfast meet every Tuesday in Cecconi's on Melrose. We've been living here for almost 2 years and, most of the time, I feel foreign and sort of misplaced. It's just a subtle feeling, nothing particularly concrete. Even the sights that have become familiar, are still somehow overseas. So having breakfast with British folks was really an interesting experience.
Before going, I wondered whether I'd feel more at home or more displaced. In the end, neither. It was truly refreshing to understand and be understood. British humour is very different for American humor - we even spell the word differently - and so it's a release to not worry so much about offending, or confusing, anyone with sarcasm. Somehow, I couldn't face getting the Full English breakfast though, so perhaps I'm not so British anymore.
What was really invigorating was that the 'Brits in LA' aren't normal. Not that they are odd, just that they all have an interesting story to tell. It's not an easy move to make, coming over here, and so everyone's had a voyage of discovery. There are quite a few actors and the like, but pretty much, you sit a table and meet interesting people doing all sorts of work. This time I met a race car driver and now Speed commentator, a veterinarian hospital manager and an 82 year old actor. I felt a kind of strong camaraderie from the experience, but it didn't feel like this is home yet, and it didn't make me homesick for the UK either.
On a different note, at the weekend we went to two music gigs, first was The Gotan Project at Club Nokia and second was Belle & Sebastian at the Hollywood Palladium. Both concerts were fantastic. Even the support bands were great; General Elektriks and Jenny & Johnny. The nights were very different in form, but they both had an unexpected effect on me.
An audience having a great time is pretty much universal. We could have easily been at the Shepherd's Bush Empire or Earls Court in London and we would have had pretty much the same feeling. We don't get to go out too much, and even when we did we rarely went to see bands. So it was a surprise to feel so much at home in an unusual setting.
I'm going to regret saying this, but we need to get out more.