OK, so three weeks ago, I’ve officially moved to Los Angeles. It is not that I wanted to live in Los Angeles. Or work in movies. I fell in love. With a man who wants to live n Los Angeles. And works in movies. Life has its own plans. For a European, USA is…. let me be diplomatic here…. strange enough. But Los Angeles is like landing on a different planet. You are happy there (still) are traces of water and atmosphere so you won’t immediately die. But to survive here you might need other things. Among others: a job in the industry, at least one part of your body inserted with silicone or chemically treated, a pair of UGGs and (the quintessential): a car.
Speaking of which… Today, I felt especially courageous and rebellious (and hungry) and I dared LA – I decided to walk to the supermarket. Ha! Try that. We (still) live in a very tame and charming part of Hollywood (yes, I really live in Hollywood now. I’ve exchanged Laudonplace for those nine big white letters on the horizon) called Larchmont Village. Larchnomt is like Wisteria Lane with a Mexican touch, smaller houses and truly amazing gardens. Superb lawns, colorful flowers, palm trees. But no people. I’ve lived here for three weeks (including my last stay that would make six weeks in total) but I still haven’t found out where people are. They work alright. But don’t they ever drive to work, come home or pick their kids from school? I don’t know. The only time I see someone is a (very) random person walking the dog. Or even more random joggers who decide to surprisingly drop on the pavement and start doing push ups and stretches in front of you. Weird ritual.
It took me 13 minutes to walk to the supermarket. 13 more back. It was 18h, what should be the busiest time of the day. 26 minutes passing through the residential area during rush hour and I met one old woman. And one weird jogger who looked like a mixture of Brad Pitt and Steve Taylor.
Walking through LA is really a strange experience. You know that you are in one of the biggest cities in the world. You can feel the energy of the millions of people. You can hear the deep hum of the metropolis. You can smell the shit. But there’s no one around. Until you reach a busier street where you see people in their cars (there is always one (1) person in the car here. Wonder if there’s a special law for that) who stare at you in sheer amazement. A pedestrian!? The amazement was even bigger as I was returning from the supermarket, carrying those two white plastic bags. Because if you’re just walking, there’s still a chance you’re doing it because your healer/nutritionist/chiropractic recommended it. But if you’re carrying bags, it is clear that you are doing it (walking) for practical purposes, to get from point A to point B. And do errands somewhere in between. Practical is not a comprehensive term in this country/city if it does not include some kind of an environment-poisonig machine.
There was something very romantic about the walk home though. I walked through those charming Wisteria-meets-Mexico lanes and the drivers’ stares made me very aware of the two plastic bags of groceries I was carrying. I remembered my childhood in Zagreb. Around 16h, the city was swarmed with women returning home from work (they started at 08:00) each one carrying two white bags of groceries. I remembered standing at the balcony and watching my beautiful mum walking home with one white bag in each hand. I became homesick. But then I turned my head to the left and saw the Hollywood sign up on the hills. And the clash of those two things – these white letters and those white bags from the past - made it better. I am here to explore. By foot.