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BACKPACKING THROUGH LOS ANGELES

If you’re a Midwestern family of four, visiting LA isn’t that difficult – just rent a car, find a moderately priced hotel, get a map to stars’ homes and your vacation is set. But if you’re a European, Australian or a traveler from some overseas country that isn’t staying with relatives or friends, get ready for an adventure. There's no public transportation, no cabs, and the hostels are – well, let's just put it this way, you'd be safer sleeping outside on Hollywood Blvd than in one of those dungeons. I often see foreigners in shorts and Mickey Mouse T-shirts standing on the corner of Sunset and La Brea, wearing a giant travel backpack, attempting to hail a cab that doesn’t exist. They look lost, their eyes searching for a celebrity to take a photo with. Poor guys, they think Los Angeles is anything like Berlin, Sydney, Christchurch or even New York. Did they not do any research on LA before coming over here? Did they think a magical monorail conducted by Tom Cruise was going to pick them up LAX and then take them over to Disneyland before dropping them off at Hollywood Walk of Fame? You’re pretty much shit out of luck without a car, enough spending money for a $200 night hotel, or a way to get your name on the VIP list of any club. I can’t possibly see why anyone would visit LA if they knew beforehand what a hassle it is.

With the crap economy the US has now, we need these tourists to stay and give us their money, however pathetic they appear. So instead of laughing in their face when they ask you where the nearest subway is, give them fake directions. It’s the best way they can find out first hand Los Angeles hospitality. Why not get them to help you move? They’ll appreciate making some American friends, as well as enjoying a ride on the other side of the road! Or do one better, and take them in for the night, especially if their Scottish and hot. That’s redundant – anyone with a Scottish accent is hot. Just look at Sean Connery. Even a one-eyed, one-armed mentally challenged Scot is hotter than your average American model. In fact, all the Scots get to stay as long as they want, I won’t even mind them naively asking me where the nearest internet café is. [Ed. note: It took me years of living here before I figured out where the good bars are. I bet travel books just guide everyone towards Saddle Ranch or something.]

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