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Aussies Amazed By Metro System

Australian journalists in town for the Oscars have discovered LA's underused Metro system and report back to their countrymen in a glowing and somewhat awestruck article. But then things take a turn for the worse when they report that the Metro is for losers and Mark Wahlberg's domestic help. Ouch.

Who knew Los Angeles, a city famed for sprawl, strip-malls and gridlock, had trains? It probably was a first for [Tom] Cruise, [Harrison] Ford and [Mark] Wahlberg to be on one; perhaps the last, barring another scripted set up. Trains are not up there with palm trees or plastic surgeons as potent symbols of Los Angeles. In New York, knowing the difference between the F train and the V train and when it is smart to switch proves you are street smart. In Los Angeles, knowing where the Blue Line meets the Red Line merely suggests you cannot afford a car, and that makes you a loser.

Wahlberg says: "I didn't know you could take a train in LA, that there was a subway here. You can drive around LA and never notice. You never come across anyone who uses it."

Chances are Wahlberg's maid or gardener uses public transport to get to and from work.

We'll forgive the Australian contingent's mislabeling of the Century Freeway (the 105) as the San Diego Freeway (the 405). But its never a good idea to stereotype people, especially labeling Metro riders as losers or poor domestic help. That being said, we hope that while our Aussie friends are in town they can help capture Reggie the Alligator, who remains on the loose in Lake Machado. That's what Australians do, right?
· Tinseltown's best kept secret comes off the rails [The Sydney Morning Herald]