March 28, 2007

call 818 for a good time?

If you know anything at all about Los Angeles, you will have heard about The Valley.
It's a much abused place and the object of much Hollywoodian scorn. It is the valley that lies north of the canyon deviding it from Hollywood and West Hollywood. It is hotter than the rest of the city, being surrounded by canyons and mountains, more polluted - because the crap gets trapped by the mountains, cheaper to live in and has the phone code 818.

LA phone codes are an interesting phenomenon and can tell you a great deal. In South Africa or Europe (in my experience) the telephone codes on cell phones link them to certain service providers. 082 & 072 are generally voadacom, 083 and 073 are generally MTN. In France, all cellphones start with 06 and the following digit can indicate the provider. Although now that numbers are portable so you can change providers and take your number with you. What cell phone numbers do not ever indicate, however, is where you live. That is what makes cell phone in LA such a treat.

To name but the most pertinent, 310 is synonymous with snobbery and wealth: Beverly Hills, Brentwood etc. Eyebrow raising and slight head-cocking often feature prominently in the acceptance of an 310 number. (Subtext: "So you think you're fancy?!") 323 is considered very cool as it encompasses West Hollywood and Los Feliz,("Ooooh, you must be arty and hip") but 818 is The Valley. And given the Valley's status (or rather, total lack thereof) people with 818 numbers are often apologetic when handing out their number. Either they quickly explain that they may have an 818 number, but it's only because ...blah, blah, blah... or they get defensive and say: " I'm in a really cool part of the valley! And it's much warmer than Santa Monica". Hey, dude - stuff your complex back under your trucker hat - I wasn't asking about your domicile, I was only asking for your number.

On my first trip over, I had a New Jersey cell phone that my cousin had so kindly lent me. Boy... did I ever get shit for being on a 'Joisy' line! The next time I got a cell phone, I chose 310 to shut 'em all up... actually,that's not true. The guy at Cingular didn't have any more 323 numbers available and I was not going to go from being New-Jersey-confused, to The-Valley-abused... so I pretended to be posh instead.

1 comment:

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