Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Los Angeles Day 1

On the 20th August 2012, I boarded a flight from SYD to LAX. It was my first time flying by myself and not only my first time, but on a long haul flight. I had a fear of planes. Or it may be more accurately to describe it as an anxiety. Nonetheless, I breezed through check in and security and purchased a burger from Maccas. I hate plane food with a passion and Maccas is comforting (as you will eventually discover if I get around to documenting my entire trip. But briefly, I had McDonalds at almost every city I visited).

I had asked to be seated at a window seat. However, stupidly, I forgot to double check and it was only when I was at the boarding gate that I realised that I had the middle seat in the middle seats of the plane. D'oh. I was sandwiched between two old men. Great. The plane ride was as I expected. I couldn't eat the food; the smell triggers a gag reflex. Near the end of the flight, I started to talk to the gentlemen on the right of me. He lived in Arizona and was returning back home. He was really sweet, just little things. When the breakfast got handed out, he handed my tray to me and then took it away to hand to the flight attendant.

I arrived at LAX and picked up my bag and went to the station for the Flyaway bus which headed to downtown. It was so exciting and also incredibly disorientating. I flew out of Sydney at around 1.30pm and landed at 8am on the same day.

First impression: it was hazy. And flat. And there weren't any clouds in the sky. After I arrived at the final stop, I asked the bus driver for directions to the train station. It was incredibly humid and I didn't want to lug around 20kg on my body more than I needed. She told me and then a guy on the bus said that he was also heading to the station and would take me there. So off we went and he helped me to buy my ticket and we boarded the train. It is a good thing that I am quite petite because with a backpack on my back and a smaller backpack on my front side, I JUST managed to wedge myself into a seat. The train was interesting and there were a lot of interesting characters. There was a guy trying to give 'free' pens to commuters. I chatted with my new friend and he talked about his job and how he lived in Los Angeles his entire life. I asked for some tips and things to see and he mentioned a few things. His stop was 3 before mine and I thanked him, he handed me his business card and we departed.

I arrived at station and headed to my accommodation. This was my first trip by myself and since I was travelling by myself I knew that I couldn't afford a hotel. However, it would also be my first time staying at a hostel by myself. I had looked online and things were either a) too expensive b) too hard to get get or c) it was just a party hostel and I wasn't sure if I really wanted that environment. In the end I settled for Podshare.

PodShare \

A quick review, I liked staying there. It was clean and casual and generally lovely. The shower was amazing and I loved the concept of having a 'pod'. I would definitely recommend this place.

I soon headed on foot down Hollywood Blvd. It was incredibly humid and sunny. Eventually I found my way to Amoeba store which was pretty incredible and wandered around some more before heading to Trader Joes for some snacks.

Dolby Theatre


Walk of Fame


When I was on Sunset Blvd, I was taking a photo of the street and a man approached me and told me to stand at this certain spot for a better angle. I thanked him. He then proceeded to talk about the Batman cinema shooting and about individuals who were diagnosed with psychiatric problems and were prescribed medication. Long story short, he believed that those medications poisoned minds and and gave me a free admission ticket to an exhibit on the 'war on psychiatric medication'. I hurriedly thanked him and made a pathetic excuse and power-walked away.

Tortilla's and Corona 

I went and had dinner at a store near my accommodation. It was having a ridiculous deal, I think it was possibly $4 in total (not including tax of course) for 2 beef tortillas and 1 x corona. I also wanted to see if my ISIC card would allow me to purchase alcohol. Which it did. Though, I only bought alcohol once for the duration of my trip in the US. 

After dinner, I went back to Hollywood and Highland Center  and sat down at a table and rested my head on my arm. At the table behind me, a man said, "wouldn't it be amazing if we never got tired?". Cue small talk and he asked about why I was here and then proceeded to ask for my phone number. The conversation basically went as follows: "Hey, do you have a cellphone? No you don't have one. Let me give my number because I know someone who does tours". I was honest with him and said that I probably (meaning: DEFINITELY WOULDN'T) call him back to ask about tours but he still insisted on me taking the paper he had scrawled his number on. Though he did ask me a question that stuck with me. I had asked him what to see in the US, any particular city that I should visit. And he said: "well what do you want to experience on this trip? What do you want to gain, because if you know what you would like to gain then you should do all the activities that would help you with that goal". I told him that I didn't know and he told me to think about it, because that would greatly influence all my decisions.

This is becoming overly long so I shall end it here.

To be continued ....

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