Only in LA

Remember, back in December, when I wrote an “only in LA” post about how someone had set up valet parking on my street?

Well, this afternoon I witnessed another car-related incident to add to my list of “only in LA”s, and it’s a lot less amusing than the other one.

I had come to campus around eleven-thirty to meet people for lunch. It was very hot and I was wondering if we’d be eating someplace with air conditioning. I parked my car, put on my sunglasses, left the garage, and was walking down the sidewalk to the Faculty Center when I heard sirens. A minute later a car came screaming round the corner onto the very street I was walking on. My first thought was, “Wow, that guy’s really in a hurry to get out of the way of the police.” In the next second, he looked at me and I at him, and as our eyes met several things happened all at once: I realized he was fleeing from the police; I dimly grasped that I didn’t know why the police were chasing him and that he might be some kind of maniac out on a spree–I realized that if he’d had a gun out the window he could have shot me, I realized if he didn’t care to keep on the road he could have plowed me down–and I understood, also, in that same second, that if he’d wanted to do either of those things I would be dead right now and it would have all happened before I’d even known what was going on. An instant later, his car was already screeching down the road behind me, and after another second, a police motorcycle and two police cars followed in hot pursuit. Shaken, my heart pounding, my feet continued walking, propelling me down the street to my lunch meeting as if to them it were just an ordinary day, and it was only my brain and eyes that had participated in something unusual.

I didn’t even know my brain could process all those things in a split second like that, but I guess our survival instincts still kick in when there’s danger. Not that it would have helped me. I think I might have been able to hit the ground quickly enough if I’d actually seen a gun in his hand, but then again I might not have, and if he’d wanted to run me over there would have been no escape at all. Of course, if he didn’t want to get caught (and it didn’t look like he did), it would have been imbecilic beyond belief for him to take the time out to kill me, but if he had been ready to give up and didn’t care how many people he took with him, it would have been all over for me before I could have figured it out. There wasn’t even time for an adrenaline rush. I was on the sidewalk and he was one lane away.

You hear about car chases on TV, and I guess Angelenos see them occasionally on the highway, but I can now tell you from personal experience: being a pedestrian right next to a car chase is a damn terrifying experience.

You know, now that I think of it, I wonder if that’s why I recklessly bought two brioches this afternoon while I was at the farmers’ market. I’ve been really monitoring my eating lately, I mean really, but when I bought the brioches today I thought it was just the heat (and the vendor’s endearing French accent) that made me loose my usual discipline. Now that I’ve written this entry, though, I wonder if it wasn’t that moment of danger that made me subconsciously much less concerned about a small matter like my weight and much more inclined to accept one of life’s pleasures when it’s offered me. I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility.

And they are incredibly delicious brioches. One has custard in it, and the other has raspberry.

[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at]


5 responses to “Only in LA

  1. Grace au Ciel!

    Thank goodness you were not hurt! I’m so relieved to hear that you are okay and that you have been able to cope with the incident through a healthy dose of writing. What a scare it was reading through your experiences…though in the back of my mind I assumed you were fine since you were able to write about what happened…I’m just glad that you are okay. HUG! I really wish I can see you sooner, but it’ll have to wait until the first week of August…as my last week of work is next week, and I need to help my dad pave our backyard…mixing cement is hard work, but it gives you character…I assume:) Well, again, I am just happy to see that you are fine…until then, please take good care of yourself.

    • Re: Grace au Ciel!

      It’s Huy by the way…sorry, I keep forgetting to log in, or signing my posts. Heheh.

      • Re: Grace au Ciel!

        That’s all right, I knew it was you. 🙂 I’ll be in San Jose from 5-8 Aug, but whenever we can manage to see each other is fine for me! When are you going to start apartment-hunting, do you think?

        Did I tell you, Ying may be moving to LA as well? She will be starting a program at UC Riverside but she doesn’t want to live there, so she’s going to be looking for a place in LA.

        Hope you’re well and thank you for the kind comments about my car chase experience. Aside from being glad nothing happened to me, I am also extremely thankful that it was all over before I had time to really get scared.


        • Re: Grace au Ciel!

          Sorry, I guess I didn’t tell you yet. I was offered a contract for a double at Weyburn last week so I’m going to be living there next year, starting Sept. 1. heheh. However, I’ll probably just bring really heavy things that day, and then officially live there the week before school starts:) I also met a potential roommate in my program…so we might be roommates (as long as the housing office matches us together per our request), which is good, in light of the fact that I didn’t get a studio like I’d hope to, but I think it will be good, because he seems really chill and honest, which is cool:) I ended up not using your housing list like I planned to starting next month…but I thank you nonetheless for such a through list…you’re great. At any rate, I’m actually going to be taking a tour of Weyburn on the 4 of August, so I was wondering if i could come visit you on that day. My tour is at 11, so it’s going to be short…probably be done by 11:30…then i can drive over to your place, what do you think? Well, I hope you’re having a great day and surviving the heat! Stay “cool”…heheh, puns are…heheh.

          • Re: Grace au Ciel!

            Ah, congrats! That takes care of your housing search. Too bad about not getting a studio, but I suspect it might be better to have a roommate who’s going through the same program (and therefore more or less the same adjustments) as you are. That’s good.

            Yes! 4 August works for me! Just call me when you are done. 🙂

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