LA LA land

12 Jan

“Do you carry guns in Australia?”

“No, do you carry one?”

“Nah, I leave that to everyone else, but it’s good to know they’re out there, to keep you safe, you know.”

We look at each other but seeing as this guy has us in the back of his car, taking us through rush hour downtown LA, we don’t want to aggravate him too much.

“Do you have many blacks in Australia? What about Muslims?”

We are tired, we have just got off a flight after two nights Vegas promoting a new business, following a 13 hour flight from Australia three days earlier and the exhaustion is kicking in. We don’t want to start debating gun laws and immigration with a Ukrainian taxi driver who appears to forget that he too, is actually an immigrant.

It seems America has swallowed him up, as it can, as it does.

He seems to know all there is to know, which amounts to very little and we are grateful when he finally drops us off at our accommodation in Los Feliz, which was an area of LA recommended to us as it is one area you can walk around and, importantly get a really decent coffee!

I guess there are certain things you have to do when you’re only in California a couple of days, one of them is not necessarily to to hire a Ford Mustang. There must be something quite exhilarating about driving a Mustang, engine giving that satisfying roar, pedal to the metal, Santa Monica palm trees slipping by the window. That is until you realise you’re stuck in the middle of the sprawling car park that is LA and a glamourous drive down Sunset Boulevard rarely gets above 30mph. We hadn’t intended to go for the Mustang but when the little compact was unavailable and the rental guy offered us the Mustang for just $10 extra, well, why not, and to be fair, it was quite fun, driving up into the hills and then down to Sorrento for a quick spin down the Pacific Highway.

Mustang Sally

Hollywood Hills

They call it La La land and that is perhaps because the city of dreams and promises leaves many with their head in the clouds, or just being pumped full of botox. There is an energy on the streets but a slumber in the traffic queues, a neatly polished facade to the Beverly Hills houses yet an air of despair in parts of run down Hollywood. The palm trees grow high, like everything else in LA, perhaps they just want to be seen above the crowds, but the glamour of Hollywood comes by looking down, at the names of the famous movie and music stars beneath your feet, a distraction from the tobacco stores and cheap lingerie shops lining the pavement.

Santa Monica sunset

Walk of Fame

We enjoyed walking around Santa Monica and we loved meeting up with my friend, and her boyfriend for dinner. She had been on a photo shoot that day and just signed to an agent. She is taking a course in music production and doing voice overs for a company in Sweden. It was refreshing when she told us she loves watching Monty Don!

And so it was, we left Los Angeles for London but this time we were heading to some very familiar sights and some very familiar faces and really, that was the main reason we wanted that flight out of LAX.

 

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