I’m going to the USA!! Well I’m here already. I’m in Hollywood.
Believe everything you hear about it being over-rated and ugly. I didn’t have high expectations for LA or Hollywood before getting here. I always get anxious leading up to traveling anywhere. Its a hard thing to explain. Its an emotional state that I go into that I’ve had as early as I can remember traveling anywhere.
Once I’m in the car or on the plane the holiday excitement and anticipation emotions eventually do take over and traveling fun begins. Going to the US is the furthest I’ve been from Australia and first I’ve been overseas. So this is a massive shock to my comfort zone.
It doesn’t help when you are beyond tired making you emotionally a bit unstable and uncomfortable. Most of what you hear about LA is negative especially Hollywood and I can only agree. I know I’m a total noob traveler totally naive, so I’m learning first hand that regular tourist strips are best avoided.
Flying from Melbourne to Los Angeles is a 14 hour plane trip, which also another record for me. I soon learned the little packets of sleep you can get in are like golden nuggets. Arriving in Los Angeles airport at about 7am I think I managed get in my longest block of sleep of about 50 minutes just before landing. We’re flying Qantas who do a great job looking after you through the flight. They give you plenty of food and drink and the entertainment system is pretty good. I didn’t need any of my own media I brought with me.
Hollywood seems a town which is struggling to hold onto what it used to be. The glamour and image forged from the golden years of film and TV in the 50’s and 60’s created this place. Its hard to see any of that or get that special feeling when you wander around the place. Like everything America, my perception and understanding of what the whole country is has been feed to me mostly from these same mediums. It’s easy to acknowledge show-business and celebrity as fake and all an illusion. It’s also a guilty pleasure to be interested in famous people, for some its an obsession. Yet it is strange though how once you hit the Hollywood streets you still feel insulted by the individuals and “businesses” which draw their living from everything that is “Tinsel Town”.
We walked the “walk of fame” and checked out the Kodac Theatre (now called Dolby) and shopping centre. It’s over-flowing with tourists and costume clad famous movie and TV characters hassling you to have your photo taken with them. I think the yellow transformer guy was about the best of them. You sorta wonder why it makes logical sense to get your picture taken with a dress up character in Hollywood, I dunno but it does? I suppose it does for the kids. The best scammer pitch I saw was the rapper-CD scam. Which I almost fell for being empathetic the new musos trying to promo their new demo.
A dude will approach with his new rap CD that he’s trying to get a record deal for. He’ll just give it to you saying its free. Then he’ll go on about how while he is trying to kick start his career, he is also trying to be a great guy and give back to the disadvantaged. So he’ll ask for a meek donation of $10 or $20. I gave him $2 and his CD back.
Back in the Magic Castle Hotel I’m hoping to get a decent sleep tonight to help clear out this rubbish from today. Its one of the better hotels in Hollywood and the staff are excellent. Aussies make up about 50% of their guests so they even have tubed Vegemite on their free breakfast benches. It spins you out when you think about how you are more than 24 hrs away and on the opposite site of the world from everyone you love. Tomorrow we’re off to San Francisco, and I can’t wait.