Another day on my own… Getting into it although I have to admit.. motivating myself to get out of the youth hostel is difficult and I get a sick knot of panic in my stomach when I think about going out to face the unknown.
The youth Hostel had organised a tour of China town because there was the Chinese full moon festival (Harvest) so I went with them to downtown LA. Seeing the deserted (it was Saturday) streets with the imposing skyscrapers reminded me a lot of Joburg and suddenly a flood of understanding overtook me as I compared LA to home.. Both you need a car to get around.. both are not really for tourists.. both have sprawling metropolis stretching out as far as the eye can see with no real tourist heart of the city. Both contain locals focused on material possessions (or glamour in the case of LA) with that great feeling of rat race. Both seem to have a strong social structure (well… predjucices ) So how can I be so negative about LA ?
(Well for one – Joburg has more trees !! and more importantly Joburg is MY home)
There was some Mexican traditional dance at the mexican centre which reminded me a lot of Zulu dancing (see pics) but since the China town procession was a complete nonevent I decided to head back to Santa Monica (a posh beach near Hollywood where my youth hostel was).
As Xanthia descibed there is a nice little rollerblade hire shop just on the way to the pier so I splashed out and went for the rest of the afternoon.
It is so fab !! The long (about 10 km) beach front has a winding pathway dedicated to rollerbladers and cyclists . Fit men in swimmers and ladies in lycra wizz about all day. Volleyball nets invite any aspiring smashers. A roller park with music has skate boarders and rollerbladers alike grooving to the tunes.
Santa Monica is more posh. Venice Beach about 5 km south is more bohemium – Street Arstist perform in front of flea markets and snack bars. A bit further down start the condos – Modern, three-story flats, gazing into the setting sun. The photo below was of some great condo with a long-haired, movie-star-looking gangster (look closely on the 1st floor) drinking a glass of red wine.
I bladed a bit up and down and then decided to go for a swim.
Not that great swimming on your own especially leaving ones’ stuff on the beach.. anyone could steal it. (my new camera was there too !!)
After a few more laps (and losing a sock) I headed home to prepare for a night clubbing with Alex in Hollywood.