“And it looks like we might have made it
Yes, it looks like we’ve made it to the end”
Some very poignant words (taking completely out of context to serve a totally different purpose) from Mr Albarn there.
Yes, we’re home and we made it back in one piece. Well, physically at least. Just. Mentally, however, I still feel shot to bits after all the tequila we got through in Mexico. We even tried to have a ‘healthy few days’ whilst we were trapped in LA waiting for our last flight home, but who ever has managed to eat something healthy in the USA? We gorged on giant burgers for lunch and steaks for dinner. We did manage to force ourselves to order a salad one evening but it was covered in so much dressing I think we should maybe have gone for another burger instead. At least we didn’t drink so much, but then that isn’t saying a lot considering the vast volumes we consumed everywhere else.
We never really considered LA a real part of our trip, more like a necessary evil for us to endure in order to get home. It was a mere footnote to the rest of our Odyssey. Still, when we got there we endeavoured to make the most of it and spent an afternoon scratching around Hollywood and doing some star spotting. We saw Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and The Doors. We even saw Lassie and Godzilla. If you haven’t by now realised, these were stars on the Walk of Fame, not the actual real-life versions… I would not have hung around to gawk at Godzilla whilst he devoured Hollywood.
As well as the Walk of Fame we also had a peek at the Chinese Theatre, where your inner celebrity ego takes over and makes you want to stick your hands in wet cement. Unfortunately there wasn’t any wet cement around so we had to make do with looking at the paw prints of those who had. FYI, Arnie has big hands and R2D2 has small wheels. Make of that what you will.
Everyone says that to get around LA you need to have a car because the public transport is rubbish. Well I can tell you now it’s not true. There were plenty of trains and buses and we got around with ease. However, I suspect that the real reason behind people telling you there’s no public transport is because they don’t want to get on it. There always seemed to be at least one crazy person shouting their head off and on one journey there was an actual physical fight between two guys that pushed everyone (including us) into the next carriage… It started when one accused the other of being gay, the second guy responded with half a can of mace. Who the hell carries mace on them???
LA seemed to be getting weirder by the minute, we then discovered an old American woman next to our new spot on the train who was taking notes on the fight. She asked us if this happened all the time as she wanted to use it in her new novel. Needless to say she was very disappointed to find out we weren’t actually locals and couldn’t give her any more gossip. Then a local Los Angelian asked us all kinds of info about the particular train we were on… arrival times, what the next station was, why we had stopped, why it was so slow/late/delayed etc etc as it was her first time on the train line too (and she was pushing 40 years old!!!!). Apparently, we were on a train full of first-timers, potentially to become only-timers after the amount of hassle we all had on that journey. This, theoretically, makes us bona-fide, 100%, Public Transport Veterans of the City of Los Angeles™©®℠℗℃. If you ever get stuck there, you know who to ring.
Now, all of a sudden, we’re home. I say all of a sudden, it’s actually been a month now. Typing that felt very weird, I’ve spent the last few weeks telling everyone how quickly time went while we were away and now we’re back I think it’s actually sped up! I’m guessing that’s partly due to how much has been happening since arriving home including 2 weddings, Hannah’s birthday, my birthday and countless others (at least 10 – what’s so special about August???), the Premier League finale (epic!), going back to work, and the best bit… simply catching up with family and friends.
I never wanted to come back, Hannah would testify to that, but it is good to be home. As much as I would have love to continue travelling, there was nowhere we visited that I would permanently swop for England or, more specifically, London (not that we’ve actually found a new flat there yet). The weather is trying it’s best to make me change my mind though, did it really rain this much before? I could really do with hitting Zicatela beach in that beautiful Mexican sunshine again!
Speaking of which, we’ve already made plans for a ridiculous amount of future trips. Rather than sating our appetite, it’s made us hungrier for more. If there’s one thing I’ll take away from the past six months it’s that the world is both a much smaller place than you think and, at the same time, an infinitely huge and exciting wonder where you can never, ever hope to see, hear, learn and taste everything it has to offer. If you’re ever in the position to do as we have done over the past six months, grab the opportunity with both hands as I promise you won’t regret it.
Until those days come around though, for you or me, I’ll see you down the pub. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog as much as I have done sharing our exploits with you all. Cheers!
Rob and Hannah