Nights Stayed: 4
Muggings = 0
Fast Food Meals = 4
Terrorist Attacks = 0
Hot girl/Ugly girl ratio = 1:20
Celebrity Encounters = 0.5
Female Acquaintances = 0
Overall Rating (on a scale of 9 to 27, 9 being bad 27 being good): 19
So LA is a hole. But it was entertaining none the less. We stayed in a place called the Venice Beach Cotel (on Venice Beach would you believe) and somehow managed to score a room over looking the beach for the price of one that didnt. LA started the way I expect this trip to continue to go... with random coincidences. Here, the lady that runs the Cotel just happened to have lived in not only Australia, but Perth, and not only Perth but in CARINE.... it's mind blowing. The place wasnt anything special, but living on our budget we weren't expecting much more.
We walked to Santa Monica every day (about a 5km walk) along the beach and spent a lot of time in there just looking around and using the Apple store's free internet. Weirdest thing about this place, Santa Monica and Venice Beach, is that there are NO supermarkets. Our first night I said I would cook spaghetti for dinner so we all went searching for a supermarket with meat and noodles etc... we found everything except for meat... there was no place in SM or VB that sold fresh meat... so we had to experiment...spaghetti with corned beef SPAM isnt as bad as one might expect. Though I'm hoping this trend doesn't continue throughout America.
Hollywood was not what I was expecting. I guess was expecting to for some movie talent scout to see me waling along the street and say "My god man... you are amazing. Come be in a movie for me". However being LA if that was to happen they would probably be a porn director or some bum who lost his marbles some time ago. I also had higher expectations of the place itself, that is for some reason I thought seeing stars and handprints on the footpath would be quite exciting... turns out they are nothing more than multicoloured pavement and graffiti in cement written by celebrities rather than the "Jonno was ere '83" we get in Perth.
Sunset Boulevard on the other hand was quite impressive. We walked along it for about 20 blocks, watched the sun set into the smog that covered LA and strolled through the hills where all the celebrities live (very plush... the atmosphere was crazy... and the rich cars, Range Rovers and sports cars everywhere). We stopped into a bar called the "Red Rock" and and bought pints of Budweiser for US$2.... crazy prices. After a bit we walked some more heading to "The Roxy on Sunset". Mike had met some American girls on the first night he was here with Clarko and they had told us about this concert with some bands including... Keanu Reeves band. So we all decided to tag along. Turned out the bands were all pretty average, not the type of music we were hoping for...but it didnt matter cos we were all waiting to laugh at Keanu. However Keanu's band never arrived... I think we were lulled there under false pretenses by this girl who liked Mike. So anyway we left and then I found out the next day that the next band was one of the guys from the O.C.....our timing it seems is much to be desired.
So after 4 days we had decided to go, booked some train tickets and headed to the train station. We got there about 50min early, having been told to get there an hour early (the train was due to leave at 10:15am). This is about where the drama began. Getting there we lined up in this relatively short line, that just didn't move, we spent about 30min in it just to move about 3 people along. Eventually we reached the front and heard the ticketing person tell the lady before us that the baggage for the train had already been packed and any extra items wouldn't get there on time. This didn't sound promising for us... but we would soon find out that was the least of our problems. We got to the counter (9:50am) and told the lady our reservation number.. to find that our reservation had been canceled. This wasnt THAT big a deal though, the train wasn't full. So we passed her our North American rail passes and she started to look rather confused. Typing things on the computer, asking us questions that we didnt see the relevance of (and telling us that we should have been there earlier.. we werent too impressed) she spent about 10min trying to figure out what they were.... apparently we had paid too much for our passes and she didn't know what to do about it. 10:05am. We told her we didn't care about the money and just wanted to get on the train (the next train was in 24hours and we didnt have any more accommodation in LA) so after about another 5min of her fiddling around (using one finger to press the keys on the keyboard) we were all getting a bit stressed. She finally figured out what she had do to and gave me my ticket.......she still had another 3 of us to do though and it was now 10:16. I grabbed my ticket and ran to the platform (which just happened to be one of the furthest away) arriving just as they were about to lock the doors on the carriage. I told them that there were 3 more coming and they would be about 30sec (knowing full well they would be about 5min or more) Mike and Clarko emerged with all our luggage about 2min later and piled onto the train... Dave however was yet to be seen. The conductor was getting annoyed and had just given the driver the word to go, they weren't going to wait any longer.. at that point Dave emerged from the stair well and basically fell onto the train as they closed the door and we took off. We delayed the train for 10min.
However this delay evolved into a 1hour delay for the extent of our trip and as such we arrived in Oakland an hour later than we expected. We called the hostel we had booked in San Francisco and told them we would be late, they told us the desk closed at midnight. It was now 11pm, and we still had to catch a bus across the bay to the city. We asked the bus driver as we boarded where the best place was to get off if we wanted to get to Union Square... he told us the ferry building, so after a few stops the ferry terminal appeared and we got off. 11:23 and we still weren't exactly sure where we were going. Finding a directory we took a gamble and walked into the main part of town, after about 5min we stumbled past one of the first bus stops that the bus had stopped at .... 10min down the drain. Realising there was no way were going to get to where we were going by walking and then find the place (apparently in some alley way) in the alloted time, we all piled into a taxi. We arrived at the hostel at 11:50pm.
Thats what I've come to expect from this trip though, random coincidences (like how we see this other Australian guy everywhere we go) and time racing to trains and accommodation... we've got another 2.75 months of this.
So far I've been rather unimpressed by America. LA was filled with bums and people who honk their horns for no conceivable reason. The girls are nothing special... and i think we are all starting to realise how lucky we are with the female population in Perth. San Francisco is apparently the gay capital of the world, so this stop probably wont be much better on the girl front... maybe the ugly ones might have a bit more style though.
Thats it from this side of the world.
79 Days Left.