A couple of days ago I took a Megabus from San Francisco to LA and back again. It took 7 hours each way, was fairly comfortable and filled with such interesting people it’s possible I’ll do it again, just for them.
For example: at the rest stop, situated in a small town, I found myself trying to cross the street with a motley crew: an effervescently happy dental student, a woman who seemed intent on conveying worldliness in the form of intense boredom and a person who defied gender-based categorization by elegantly combining a feminine figure and posture with a scruffy beard, awkwardly high platform shoes, tight pants and a man’s military jacket. When we got yelled at by a cop for jay walking the person responded defiantly by twirling his (I need another pronoun) hair and challenging the cop to use his municipal funds to build a crosswalk.
Then there were all the people on the bus saying things like: “I am definitely going to hang out with Little Bow Wow, he’s such a Romeooooo.”
I drifted in and out of wakefulness during the ride, a notebook in my lap and pen stuck between my fingers. It’s how I like to travel: I doze, think a bit, write a line, then go back to dozing.
I tried to write about California and all the things that made it different or the same as other places. I tried writing things like: the way people talk here reminds me of Canada, only to end up staring at the page wondering which groups I was actually comparing. Educated, relatively affluent people, I’ve found, sound pretty much the same everywhere.
Then, I wrote: this bus ride reminds me of bus rides I took in South America, only to realize it also reminded me, in general terms of every long bus ride I have taken anywhere in the world. For instance, my experience of Turkey is of a country crossed overland by buses, some taking up to thirty hours. I think of Turkey and I think of buses, which makes me think of other countries I’ve also traveled that way, which makes those countries seem more similar than they actually are.
Authenticity I scribbled, cynically, is traveler code for traveling rough, which is something none of them do back home before dozing off again. I woke up in a more positive mood, inundated with L.A sunshine.
Happy (belated) birthday, L.A.
Planet Fitness Downtown L.A.
California Science Center Blogging
Mac Arthur Park Crypto Jew Worship.
The days of the week always feel different. Sometimes, Thursdays feel like Fridays, and Sundays are too short.