Monday, January 17, 2011

Dear fellow human beings,

Christmas is over, the new year's already been here for 17 days and time flies by so fast, you have to be aware of not getting lost....
I hope you all had amazing holidays and started 2011 in an optimistic and cheerful way!!!

Surely, I did. As most of you know, I went (back) to California for a very intense, crazy, rollercoaster up and down madness of a vacation. It was life as pure and wild and honest and thrilling as it can get...when I think of now that I am back to work and school and my pupils, I could laugh and cry at the same time.
But let's not make the suspense unbearable here, I'm gonna tell what happened....

I started on the first day of my holidays, from Vienna to Paris, Paris to Minneapolis and there I had to wait for like 8 hours for the connection flight and then two more in the plane because there was a snowstorm and they had to de-ice the aircraft. I was actually lucky to make it this far since most airports in Europe closed again two days later due to heavy snowfall.

I made it to L.A. and my cousin Andi, who is studying in San Diego at the moment,  picked me up and we drove two more hours to San Diego. Unfortunately, my baggage had not arrived and it would not for another week!!!! (Im still waiting for Delta Air to pay my bills...had to buy new clothes since I didnt even have a fresh pair of socks!!)

In the hotel in San Diego I was warmly welcomed by my uncle and other cousin Thomas, who were also visiting Andi for Christmas. We celebrated a sort of traditional Christmas with a plastic tree from Walmart, Californian wine and Austrian Christmas cookies made by my aunt about 10, 000 miles away from home and it was so cool to be so far away from home and still have family around. I think it's all about this quote "home is where your heart is" because I felt sort of at home that Christmas night.
In the next two days, we checked out San Diego and the surrounding area which is really beautiful.

(I dont have many pictures anymore because I was so stupid as to lose my camera on New Year's eve. So I just post some from the internet and some of my cousin's.) But two days is way to little time to get to know a town, so I guess I have to go back there too.

Universal Studios
On the third day, we drove up to L.A. and on our way stopped in Laguna Beach. Laguna is the perfect upper-class beach town, really pretty and amazing mansions. But in my opinion, it is all a little sterile and too perfect for my taste. I like imperfections and a little randomness as these aspects make towns more memorable...

Then we spent two days in Los Angeles, the city of angels, doing the classical tourist stuff (Universal Studios - this was actually a lot of fun! and Hollywood - I couldnt find the stars of either James Dean and Marlon Brando, I was disappointed!!!) but the city did not really appeal to me for real (two days are too short to say anything anyway). First of all because without a car, you are really lost. Everyone has a car as the bus system is a little confusing and difficult to understand and the city is so vast that it might take you about 2 hours to take a bus. I made this was not so pleasant but that was due to an urgent need of sleep after the worst night in California ever...

I wanted to couchsurf ( in Silverlake, L.A. for a couple of days and had found a host that sounded nice as far as one can tell this from an email. My uncle and cousins brought me to his place and went to Las Vegas, I didnt want to go to Vegas with them because some days later some friends of my cousin would arrive and I'd go with them. So I stayed in L.A. with this guy.

Well, this was really weird and honestly, I was scared. He shook my hand and let me into his apartment. The first thing I noticed was the strong smell of weed. Then, the living room and kitchen were an incredible mess with tons of old dishes and cereal boxes spread all over the place. I thought it can't be that bad, I'm staying here for free, let's try some conversation. People who know me know that I talk a lot, especially when I'm nervous or insecure and so I think I totally bended the guys ears...
However, he wasn't very talkative anyway. We found a common subject, music, as he is an aspiring musician. And his stuff was good. He even wanted to bring me to a place I wanted to see, the Griffith Observatory, to see the sunset and the famous statue of James Dean....but traffic is sick in L.A., so it got dark before we even got anywhere close to it.

When we came back to his apartment, he sat down, pulled out this immense bag of weed from under the couch (where I was going to spend the night) and fixed himself a bong. He wanted to share, but I refused as I was a girl alone with an unknown guy in a huge way! He then started playing computer games and totally gave up talking to some point he asked me to join, I gave it a shot but he was so stoned that it wasn't much fun to play quiz games...

and when I went to the bathroom for the first time, I wanted to scream really loud!! It was one of the dirties and most fucked up bathrooms I've ever been in. The old Flex (a famous night club in Vienna) toilets were equally dirty and smelly. I just thought "I am not a princess but this is way too dirty, even for me" I went back to his computer that he allowed me to use and I immediately booked a bed in an all girls bedroom in a hostel in Santa Monica. Without luggage/sleeping bag and someone social who could at least comfort me a little and make up for the mess in the apartment by being social and considering that a stranger is around who might not feel so cool around a totally stoned stranger....I mean not that I am afraid of stoners, I know in most cases they are too lazy to harm someone, but still, the situation was fuckin scary for me and I just wanted to get out. I didnt sleep very much that night....

And the next day, I woke up at 8 and took my purse and my plastic bags and left the house. I left a note on the table saying that I was sorry but I didn't feel very comfortable as I was waiting for my luggage and needed some beach time...I took the next bus to downtown L.A., a pretty empty and also a slightely scary place at 8.30 in the morning, asked a women for the bus to Santa Monica, she didn't speak English, only Spanish, so made up a sentence from my rudimentary Spanish skills and she got it and told me the number and the street...I hopped on another bus and spent the next hour riding it all the way from Downtown to Santa Monica, through Beverly Hills and down Santa Monica boulevard, which is probably the longest boulevard I've ever been on...

I was so happy when I arrived in Santa Monica, checked in the hostel and almost hugged the receptionist, when she told me I could instantly get into my room...I took a shower, I felt like a bum after sleeping on the stoner couch under the stoner blanket...and my whole mood changed from miserable to relieved immediately...
The next three days I spent in this hostel and at the beach, talking to people from all over the world, in particular with one of the women in my elderly lady who never told me her name, neither did I. She lives in Mexico and was visiting people in California. She told me she used to have a book store in Aspen, Colorado, and I told her that my favourite writer, Hunter S. Thompson, lived in Aspen...and she said that she has actually met him when he walked in and checked out her book store. She also met Allen Ginsberg, beat poet laureate, and meditated with him when he was giving a lecture on loving kindness and writing. She was also active in fighting cencorship in literature in the 60s and 70s. When I talked to her I realized that I would love to live a life like she did. She told me where she had traveled to, whom she had been with, what she had seen and seemed to now be perfectly happy with a small house in the mountains of Mexico. I am so happy that I met her, it was fascinating to listen to her stories!! I gave her a big bear hug when we had to say goodbye.

The day I had to leave L.A. was a good day. I was informed that my luggage had finally arrived, so I went to the airport, got my bag (in a surprisingly good condition) and met my uncle and cousin, who were leaving the US, to say goodbye. Then, my cousin Andi and me welcomed some of our friends from Austria and hit the road again...all the way to Las Vegas. The ride was not so funny since there were tons of traffic jams and I didn't get to see the desert in day light...and I wanted to see the desert by day soo badly!! :-(

After a long drive, we arrived in our hostel (no hotel in Vegas?? I didn't organize this *gg*) which was a bit of a bummer as it was not very nice compared to the one in Santa Monica. It was freezing cold and the only thing that helped was beer and then the heater eventually started working...

Next day, New year's eve, we spent sitting in the only attraction of the hostel...the hot tub, drinking beer and behaving like idiots. (I'll get pics of this!!) When we all looked like ogres, being all wrinkly from the water, we went back to our room and initiated a really wild night. At some point things got crazy, we drank these diabolical drinks called"Tilt"and "Four Loko", which are energy drinks with malt liquor, the latter has been banned in California...and I have to admit that they made everyone totally wild. We then headed for the Strip and all I remember is lights...too many people...talking to random strangers...fireworks...freezing cold...and yay, midnight...more lights and more fireworks. We also went gambling, I think I lost 20 or 30$ at the machines. My counsin's friend lost 30$ in 2 minutes at the Black Jack table!!

I really felt a little like in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas...all these people pushing you around, the lights, the carpet floors (they really are psychodelic, shiat!!)...and it was just a general information overload...we then got bored and tired and tried to get a taxi back to hostel which was an endeavor of 2 hours until we got on...the taxi driver, Willy Castro, became my friend...he originally was from Sao Paolo and so we had something to talk about. I was even able to remember my four words of Portugese and he gave me his business card which says "Will Castro, Taxi &Limosine, Free Rides to the Strip Clubs..your friendly ride in the sin city".

I collapsed into bed and woke up early next morning with a manageable hangover. Instead of relaxing, we went back to the Strip and did the crazy rollercoaster ride at the New York hotel...not the best idea with a fucked up stomach and a headache. But I survived this sick even has a loop...and it was soo fast. I love fast and wild, I love rollercoasters. (However, I wanted to puke afterwards because my stomach didn't appreciate this ignorant treatment...)

After that I had to catch a I was really looking forward too...domestic flight to my favourite city...and I was really excited.

But I think I will have to split this blog into two parts...otherwise none will finish reading or fall asleep while trying to make sense of my gibberish...
So next time you will get the rest of the story...if you are interested.

Thank you for your attention. Life is out there for all of us.

PS: Since I have arrived at home, I have problems finding the right music. I don't want to listen to the stuff I've listening to in California as it might carry me away and make me a little I listened to this record my friend Orangutanklaus recommended me by a "band" called Baths. And I quickly found a new temporary favourite song that sort of expresses my feelings towards life, love and everything...
This song is called by Baths...enjoy!


  1. Reading the story about couch surfing i was scared as hell for you!!
    I saw how many crazy people are in L.A!!!!
    We are the kind of people who love S.Francisco!!
    L.A sucks!!!!!

  2. i like it a lot! looking forward to part 2 :-) cu soon i hope! andrea

  3. thanks guys..

    part two will follow some time this week...

  4. ah gosh your CS experience sounds horrible...looking forward to reading the second part of your adventures!!! x michi