وزارد او دا وستساد
VIZITOR TO THE VESTSIDE
an
American blog of Iranian dissent

EnGulfed by Caliphornia

I'm one of the few Persians who doesn't have any relatives in Los Angeles. So when I first got into LA, I had a hellish time getting situated in terms of housing. I ended up spending way too much time in cafes and coffeshops, trying to create a makeshift office.

I was one of the first customers at Cafe Zinios on Westwood Boulevard when it opened a few years ago. That summer I was the L.A.test arrival, freestylin' my way like a bat outta hell. Their free wi-fi and TV screens filled with soccer games from here to Dubai were a decent backdrop while I scribbled down my disturbing thoughts.

Plus it's seemingly the only damn place open after midnight 'round here. The only other place would be the 24-hour FedExKinkos, but I doubt they serve Saalahd Olovie and Cotlet sandwiches there. And Dennys sucks -- unless I end up befriending a CAA Literary Agent at 2 am in their bathroom, which I did once.

My experiences at Zinios have been pretty good, generally honky dory. But sometimes late at night, when its crowded, things can get fugly.

Its even worse if I need to take out my MacBook and try to focus on getting sh*t done. I buy a $2 chai, and try to go about my work.  Once I get cozied up by the owner, whose a nice guy, I get the false impression that it's all nice'n'dandy vibe wise.

But then...

"Boro kenaar" says some surly dahaati scumbag who looks (and smells) like a combo of Kotter and a FOBish Garbage Pail Kid. West L.A. is full of Persian losers like this. Watch your step. The best way to handle such a tool, as I found out that night, is to express yourself as an Amrikaee: Give him your best Ozzy Osbourne face as he walks out with his entourage of shallow Ed Hardy-wearing tools into their Range Rover.

They'll likely be headed a mile down the road on Vestvood Boulevard, to two of the most annoying locales in all of Southern California: the Gypsy Cafe and Habibi Cafe. And yes, all those Yelp one-star reviews are well deserved.

My one time at Gypsy Cafe was actually quite memorable. I went up to the bathroom and jokingly made a comment to the bloke next to me, "hey, look, a white guy!" He chuckled and said something about how hot Middle Eastern ladies are. After I returned to my table, about a couple minutes later I look up and see a finger in the air pointing at me from a VIP table, telling me to come over for a chat. It's where that bloke was sitting. I stopped by there on the way out, and turns out it was a bunch of producers from Steven Bochio's team. The guy with the finger started talking to me.

"I just want to tell you how beautiful your women are. We've shot in Jordan, and they're incredible."

Therefore I, the Vizard of the Vestside, hereby declare the vestside of L.A. has supplanted Dubai as the Mecca of Middleastern Douchebags.

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