The Hollywood sign was too fogged in for photos. Rain slicked the pink terrazzo stars along the Walk of Fame.
And under an umbrella, outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Narjeet Beda faced the fact that he was three hours away from flying home to New Delhi without ever enjoying the Southern California sun.
“The rain played a spoilsport today,” Beda said Friday morning, which was his chance to see the sights after attending an IT conference.
He gazed glumly upon Grauman’s famed handprints and footprints. Many had filled with water.
When Kwangwoon Son, 30, of Seoul, plunged his hands into Morgan Freeman’s deep imprints, he made a splash.
This wasn’t what he expected of the trip to Los Angeles he won in a Hyundai contest. “I didn’t prepare any umbrella,” he said, dabbing his fingers dry with tissues.
Rain was just one surprise L.A. had in store for Son. Staying in a Koreatown hotel, he’d gotten the impression that “actually in the night, L.A. is a little bit dangerous.”
“In the U.S.A. you can have a gun. In Korea, it’s not possible,” he explained. “We have no information about here. So we have fear.”
Southern Californians like to fuss at inclement weather, even knowing how many perfect days they’ve banked.
But imagine booking a trip months in advance to flee your country’s cold only to find the weather here worse.
“For sure, we would prefer the sun rising,” said a frowning Gilles Baleydier of Moessac, France, who with his wife and another couple, had a single day to see Los Angeles before heading to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon.
Nearby, in a yellow rain poncho, Malcolm McCarthy, a train driver from Bundaberg, Australia, said he had traveled to Los Angeles alone, intent on exploring the city by car.
Driving on the opposite side of the street was one challenge. The rain was another. He’d wanted to pose under blue sky in front of the Hollywood sign.
McCarthy had seen sun only once — on Wednesday, when he arrived, jet-lagged.
“Thursday turned mongrel. And today’s even worse,” he said before succumbing to the sales pitch of Starline Tours’ Homa Bayan, who wore big sunglasses despite the gloom and promised to whisk him out of the rain and onto a warm sightseeing bus.
As McCarthy headed off to buy a ticket, he encountered one of the boulevard’s costumed characters: Omar Budhoo, dressed a little like the Incredible Hulk, a little like Frankenstein.
Budhoo, who described his get-up as vegetarian-zombie, waved a bloody cleaver at McCarthy and grunted, trying to get him to stop.
“I’d rather say G’Day,” McCarthy said as he kept walking.
Budhoo shrugged. He said he didn’t mind the rain. His nylon suit was relatively waterproof, and bad weather meant fewer other characters jostling for tips.
For a short while, he had the soaked sidewalk to himself — until the Joker and Spider-Man showed up.
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Here’s what one poet on Twitter had to say about L.A.'s inclement weather:
L.A. is feeling some pain - Their city is dripping with rain - The tourists are mad - The townies are sad - My laughter is hard to contain! — The Limerick King (@TheLimerickKing) December 1, 2012