As an independent traveler, I always take time to see the streets of a city I’m in. The USA is so much different from Europe. Since this was my first trip out of Europe (In June 2018), I had many cultural shocks in the States. The structure of the streets was very clear. The streets were straight and didn’t have many curves in it. In my home country, the streets are more chaotic. Also, the people in Los Angeles were a lot different than they are in Estonia.
Strange job position
I found it funny and strange that one time when we were walking on the street of Los Angeles, we saw a sign on a post. It said that you can hire a ‘people walker’. That sounded very strange to me. I know that in The United States of America there is a position of a dog walker. Never had I heard of a people walker. The advertisement said it’s for people who feel alone in this big city or who is new in town and want to know more about the place. For me, it sounded like a clever business idea, but it would probably never work in the country I’m from.
People in Hollywood Boulevard
When walking on Hollywood Boulevard, I could see so many different people. They were literally SO different. One guy we saw, first walked in front of us, then suddenly he hopped on the street and started dancing weirdly. It was so strange for us. We didn’t expect it to happen and when it did, it was just funny.
Of course, there were also many people offering tours on Hollywood Boulevard. Most of them were so insistent. We just passed them and tried to say politely no to everyone, since we had already planned our entire stay. Some guys were handing their CD-s off. I know the trick of them asking the money AFTER you take the product, so I just ignored them and walked by. One time the guy put his CD in front of my face and said: “For you, princess!” I don’t know if it was supposed to be flattering or something because I’m sure he didn’t mean to give it to me for free.
Once when we were just walking around the city, one guy walked by and said to me: “Hey, you dropped your smile!” Of course, I immediately started laughing because I didn’t expect that and it was just so cheesy. I thought I actually dropped something and almost started to look for it.
Another weird comment I got was on the 4th of July. We were in Grand Park. People gathered there to look at the 4th of July fireworks. An older man came to me and said: “When I grow up I wanna have legs like yours!” A moment after that he asked if we have any weed. Since my legs were burned from laying on the beach all day, I assume he wanted red legs.
The ordinary question that people everywhere ask us is: “Are you twins?” Although, we look nothing alike. My friend has strawberry blond hair and I have dark blonde hair. We are almost in the same hight but we look nothing alike. I seriously don’t get how people would assume we’re twins.
Many times people also came to us and asked what is the language we’re speaking. They were very curious about it and our culture, although Estonia is so far away from the States. One of the guys who asked us where we’re from said he had been to Estonia before but only briefly. It was kind of cool to see someone from that far away has visited our little home country.
We loved eating breakfast at the Waffle Café/Diner. The food there was so delicious. One time when we went there, the place was so full we had to wait for the table. All of the tables inside were taken and it was far too hot outside in the Sun (over 40 degrees Celcius). When we finally sat around the table we took a good look at our menus. We usually take the menu and search for a meal that we think we’d like. During this activity, we don’t normally talk much, because then we can concentrate. The café was otherwise very noisy. Suddenly a waiter came to us and asked nervously: “How are you? Is everything okay? It’s so quiet, guys, you’re making me nervous.” He really did seem a bit nervous but we didn’t know it’s because we didn’t talk much.
Out in a late hour
Usually, we always tried to make it back to our apartment before it got too dark outside. But sometimes we didn’t succeed in it. One time we were still downtown at around midnight, waiting for a metro. A guy came to us, stood a bit further away and just stared. We were so tired of the day that we just wanted to get back to our apartment as soon as possible. At one point, I got sick of him staring at me so I moved a bit further away from my friend and that guy. He should have understood by that behavior that I don’t want to deal with him. But he came to me again after I had moved further away. And he just stared.
Then my friend asked him what does he want. He said he just wants to talk to me so my friend got really mad at him and said: “She doesn’t want to talk to you. You saw that she moved away and you should’ve understood that it meant she doesn’t want to talk to you. Leave us alone! We just want to wait for our metro and go home.” After that, the guy didn’t say any word and just went to the other side of the metro station.
What shocked me most of our trip to Los Angeles, was seeing so many homeless people on the streets. I had never in my life seen so many of them. The streets of downtown were filled with homeless people camping outside the streets with their tents. There was impossible to even walk on the pavements because it was all filled with tents where they lived. This was very sad to see that but also quite scary. I’m glad we passed that part of the city by bus and not on foot.
One time when we were passing them again with public transport quite late at night, a guy in a wheelchair came in. He started to talk to a woman driver. He asked the driver if she has heard that just a couple of hours ago, in this area, a guy shot the bus driver. At this moment it all got even scarier to us. Luckily, we got home safely that night and nothing bad happened to us.
Traveling makes you richer
I am happy I got to see this part of the world. I thought the city of Los Angeles is more like a fancy city where all the rich and famous people live. But I also saw that there is so much brokenness and sadness in the city. It all made me appreciate my own life and where I live. As I have said in my earlier posts, I am not very wealthy in cash, but now I realized I am quite wealthy in knowledge and experience. I have seen a lot of places that people would only dream of. But I have also realized it is never what you expect. And I agree with the quote: “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you ricker.” – Anonymous.