It's true: Los Angeles is inescapably a car culture, and there's no way to avoid reflecting this here. Today was another First Experience - the car wash (very necessary: the incident involved the top layer of USC parking deck D, a lamppost, and a seagull. Or for all I know, a whole flock of seagulls, in relays). Very happily, I found an automated one, of the type that I'm well familiar with from England - I completely love the sensation of being surrounded by what feels like a tropical rain forest in a violent foaming storm. But getting to it? That involved another heroic feat of navigation, a couple of hairy turns (I hope that my NM license plates might afford some kind of tolerance or clemency), and isn't something I'll attempt again in rush hour. Nonetheless, it wasn't one of those uncomfortable Central Jersey experiences that always involved a gas station, buckets of foamy water, a couple of Rutgers u/grads operating the thing, and me wondering - too late in the day to have asked anyone first - whether or not one's meant to tip the people who swab the car down. And next time I'll take a photo of the apparently controversial retro architecture of the thing. What mattered, though, is that it Worked.