So to quickly update my last days in Costa Rica.
I got up super early Saturday morning to get the bus to Monte Verde with Pame, Mau, Jennifer and Meridith which took about 5 hours I think I can't remember.
I sat next to Pame and bought Ice cream at the stop-off break at around 9 in the morning.My life rule - it's never too early to have ice cream :)
So, we got the place and were taken to our hotel room which was gorgeous.Jennifer and I went for a walk into town which took about an hour and a bit as we dawdled going in and out of the art shops, then traipsed back up the damn massive hill to our hotel after followed by the local canine as a sort of guide.Very sweet.
We ate in a really nice restaurant that night which Jennifer kindly treated us to and after Jennifer and I went back to get some shut eye as the others went out for a couple of drinks.
The next morning we were up early again and all clambered into a tour taxi to go Canopying!It's AMAZING!We spent all morning swinging between the exotic jungle, attached to a harness that was then attached to a zip wire that was connecting big trees in the jungle. At first it's a little scary, some of the wires are really long and you go so fast and are so high above the ground really high up in the trees.Its exhilarating!The last wire was for a good minute which is a long time in the air and went right into open air, looking out across the whole jungle valley below, was incredible, totally breathtaking, as well as unbelievably petrifying at the same time.
We got back on the bus that took us back to San Jose and the rest of the week was spent chilling out at school, and with Pame and Jennifer.
Oh.The start of class on Monday, my very last week and I had an addition to my class.
A 15 year old, puberty ridden, spotty, outspoken German boy. I took one sniff when he entered and asked if he was from Germany. He said yes, and how did I know??
That day was spent listening to him try and crack jokes and complaining about the work going too fast and that he didn't want homework and when I got up to leave my teacher asked how I was and I told her immediately I was going straight to reception and demanding they change me out of this class. I apologised but there was no way I was wasting good money on a class I'm not going to be able to learn anything from.She was really sad not to have me as I was sad to leave her.She had been my teacher for three weeks now and last week was a one to one and it was such a shame but apparently this kid had 'special circumstances'and needed extra help which is totally cool, so they put me in another group for the rest of the week.
Thursday that week I graduated at the little gradutaion ceremony and bid farewell to my new classmates and the school, very sad to be leaving it.Pame and her family took me out to Ice cream that week as we had such little time left! And Friday night her family held a little leaving party for me where her cousins Mari and Mili came round and we all sat around and ate pizza and a most amazing fish dish I cant remember the name savitchi? but apparently its only for special occasions so I felt very chuffed. It was delicious beyond words.
Mau brought his guitar out and we jammed to an Elvis song and spent a good hour trying to get good lighting to film it and finally when it was finished I edited it and it looks fab haha!
The next morning I had all my things packed went to breakfast with Cecilia for the last time, it was a very sad affair. I was miserable to leave such a warm safe environment knowing I was heading towards reality and reality was going to hit me like a ice cube to the face thrown from a bassball releaser when I got off that plane in LAX.
My taxi came for me at 10.30 and Cecilia started welling up as she bid me farewell. I put my ipod on and chose some really heavy music to listen to so not to get all emotional.
I got the airport and spent a good two hours que-ing as there had been some delay but eventually got on the plane and flew calmly over to Texas, got my connecting flight to LA and landed at 12pm midnight .
I have been so blessed with having such a safe and carefree journey….up until now.
Let me put it out there for you all.LA is full of WEIRDOSthe clichés are parading the streets and NOone is interested at all in helping you unless they are foreign.
So I landed in LAX at midnight and took the shuttle bus dragging all my stuff behind me to pick up my rental car the next two weeks.
When I got there this lovely Russian girl served me , big bright massive blonde hair, strong accent and really nice.She looked at my reservation for my car quoted originally at 600 for two weeks, enough time I thought to get another car.
I got there, pretty tired, but not bad to be told the quote was wrong and that being under 25 meant an extra charge of $25.
Nothing wrong in that, yep cool go for it.
She looked at me strangly and repeated the amount.
$25....... PER DAY
Holy sweet mother of….Ok, well alright so a little more then I expected but ok, but then she mentioned that didn't included insurance.I was screwed.I had just spent $400 on the brand new Tom Tom (GPS) as it was the only one at the airport and I wanted a good one and needed to find where this guy lived that I was bunking with for the next few days.
So after she totalled up the costs for two weeks it came to £2790
Yeah .Right.But what else could I do??? I didn't have that type of money. I have saved £3500 and that's all, that's all I have to last me until I have a job so spending 2700 dollars on a car was ridiculous to me.So I paid 660 for 5 days and prayed I would find a car in that time, even though it seemed pretty hopeless.
Anyway, I got my little red Ford Focus, great little car and bundled my stuff into it.The lady behind the desk gave me her contact details in case I needed anything, very sweet and showed the best type of car to get for what I was allowed and pointed out one with a boot is best as it hides my stuff.
So I finally got into the car around 1am and put my hands on the steering wheel and took about 3 really really deep breaths.I can do this, this is it.Here we go.
So I drove out of the lot only to come face to face with traffic driving on the opposite side of the road then I was used to .LORD , but for some reason driving in the states was one thing I found pretty easy, well, except that rule of being able to turn right at a red light, I will never learn that one but hay.
SO I followed the instructions for 30 minutes and got to this guys house, Chris chatted for a bit and then collapsed on the bed a nd fell asleep.
The next morning I was up and ready early as I was going through a mild sense of panic about the lack of time I had on the car. First thing I did was go buy a phone, I couldn't live without one and knowing how much I spend talking on the phone (my housemates will remember my ridiculous phone bills each month)I knew I needed to get one sorted.I found Best Buy which is like a cheap place to get electrical stuff and went to the phone place and asked for assistance.This Spanish looking dude helped me, I didn't want to sign a year contract as Im learning very quickly America is FULL of quiet little charges for almost EVERYTHING they can think of.Start up charges, insurances charges, breathing charges lol, maybe not but if they charge you they will. So with a pay as you go there was a deal with AT&T (the phone carrier) where I paid 30 dollars for the phone and then paid for the calls.I chose a set up where I paid $3 a day and with that I would get unlimited calls to anywhere in the US and so I paid fofr $100 dollars worth of credit so I would be sorted for a few days at least.
And just as I was leaving the assistant who had been so nice, kindly told me that I was ready to go and am ready to receive phone calls.I agreed and thanked him, and just as I was putting my bag over my shoulder he slipped out the line 'so, can I call you?'
Oh my GODwhat is it, why do people do this to me, I HATE being put on the spot when I am completely not expecting it.If I was smooth and cool I would have been able to come up with a great one liner to tell him to piss off but instead I panicked and I cold come up was , 'uh, well the numbers on the screen'
That wasn't a 'no you can't at all'
Well hopefully he wouldn't phone, and I walked out of the store.
So all Sunday I spent going round handing my CV (resume) out to restaurants and researching cars.
Sunday night I spent all evening on the internet at the top of the stairs at Chris's apartment in West Hollywood perched on the step that received the strongest signal for internet, unfortunately my computer being so old it kept dieing and needed charging in-between sessions but I got through.
I found quite a few cars for sale on Craigs List ( US equivalent to Gum Tree I guess) I phoned a few but was sotaken back as a few of them , being shocked at my accent, started drilling me about why I was here and did I own an American License and did I know how to drive?
Of course I bloody know how to drive, I want to buy your car you stupid idiot, I'm not a bloody immigrant sneaking over the damn border, I am speaking ENGLISH, clear well spoken ENGLISH.
Anyway, I was starting to feel very very down, and it had only been one day.I am a very impatient person and so not having a car by the first day was a failure to me, but I knew deep down that was ridiculous.I suddenly stumbled across this site on the net for charity cars in Compton. (not the nicest of areas, but we cant be snobby now)
Basically this company was a charity where people donated their cars to them for free and in return they were able to claim back the donation on their tax returns, as out here you have to pay tax when you sell a car or something like that.
Anyway there were quite a lot of cars in my price range which was 1500 and below so I rang them up. Closed. Unfortunately closed until Tuesday so I decided to go see a couple of cars the next day (Monday) and make my final decision after seeing the cars at this place Tuesday.
I drove to a couple viewings early Monday morning and was appalled. They were so old and beaten up and one of them smelt distinctively of weed.Gross, a druggies car, perfect, just what I'm looking for. NOT.
Chris came with me as he didn't have work till later and said I was being too picky and maybe he was right but I just didn't feel it, I knew I wanted to buy the first car from the charity place as I thought I would have a better chance of getting help with cars as neither of us knew anything about what to look for in cars and I felt safer buying from a company rather then a private seller.
I carried on handing out my CV that day and in the evening one of Chris's friends was a manager of an English band called Purple Melon who were out here trying to make it big and doing very well by the looks of it.They were gigging at the Key Club supporting the most AMAZING 80's cover band called Steel Panther. (everybody look this band up , I never had the privilege to be old enough living in the 80's to appreciate it but I felt like I was there with Van Halen and Guns and Roses.Girls were screaming at the tops of theirs voices for this four psice rock band, in the 40's and up getting girls on stage, wearing ridiculous hair wigs and costumes, ripped t shirts, the whole shebang, it was insane.Somehow the lead singer had a way of making girls rip their t shirts off on stage with no shame, thank god I wasn't in the front row as girls were screaming and scrambling to get on stage with them and show their boobies. I stood nice and quietly right at the back, far away from being spotted.
Half way through the set the singer stood still and pointed a a blonde girl in the crowd, sitting down on a private table with a some greased up guys in their 40's.Jessy Jane, the famous porn star from Pirates of the Caribbean porno or something.I didn't know who she was but every guy in the room eyes popped out of their faces and started drooling and I imagine everything went , well, 'woke up'…if you get my drift……
Anyway she wasn't facing the stage, and at first I thought she was just playing it cool, but after a few solid minutes of pestering from the lead singing from the stage for her to turn around, you realised it wasn't cus she didn't want to, it was cus she physically couldn't She was completely and utterly off her face on Cocaine. Oh my god.She was completely away with the fairies and flying incredibly high. Slipping off her seat, eyes half closed, being propped up by her porno husband, boyfriend I was surprised she wasn't foaming at the mouth. Suddenly the other 'porno' girls, with the distinctive class they always posses, started screaming abuse at the singer and throwing middle fingers up and eventually this famous porno star had to be dragged out and taken to an ambulance outside.
WOW.Welcome to LA
This is NOT the side of LA I was looking forward to.I knew it was there, and I knew it happened but to see it after only two days of landing I was starting to get very nervous.Never ever having been the character to follow the crowd I wondered if my non drugs, no drinking, no smoking lifestyle was going to be accepted here. Well, we will have to see, I certainly am not changing, so if anyone expects me to change they can just go sit on it.