1 year down, 2 to go – I can’t believe I’m 1/3 of the way through my degree already. This year has been the longest yet fastest year of my life, I swear. I also cannot believe that…
…I am going to California! Namely, Los Angeles and San Francisco. I’ve always been an impulsive person, but this is probably the biggest impulse-buy that I have ever made – I managed to get $999/return flights from Auckland to LAX and I leave on the 7th November. So far I’ve got it planned so that I spend my first day (I arrive in the afternoon that Sunday) with my sister as she has no weekend classes or activities, and I’m staying at a highly rated hostel in Hollywood. Based on my phone calls to them, they do indeed have superb service so I’m not anxious about it and I’m super excited! The other great thing about the USA Hostels chain is that (amongst other places and services offered), they have a $45 shuttle from their Hollywood hostel up to the one in San Francisco. I had been considering flying out to New York and crashing at a family friend’s place, but the flights are just far, far too expensive – a flight from LA to NY would cost almost half of what I’m paying to fly from NZ to LA, which does sort of make sense, but at the same time, urgh. I’m just going to have to go to New York next time, on a more extensive trip. Although my heart aches at the prospect of missing out this time… But the good news is, it means I’m saving all my weekends with my sister, and also any half-days of school she has. I’ll also be staying with her in her dorms at Pepperdine University – which is a promise of spectacular views and apparently a very amazing machine in the cafeteria that offers all beverages imaginable!
The other major, major thing is I have a ticket to see the Lakers vs. Bulls! It took me about three bloody hours to get a ticket last night, because Ticketmaster USA is a dickhead. For some unknown and unexplained reason, their website kept failing to sell the ticket to me. Then I rang (luckily for free, thanks to Gmail) them up and spent a couple of hours wrangling up a fake US accent and shouting down the line to their automated system. I can understand why it took several attempts to recognise me saying things like “Chicago Bulls” or “November 23rd”, but when it failed to recognise me saying “yes” or “no” – that was just too far. I ended up trying to emulate the recording’s voice in an attempt to sound, uh, more understandable? I hope when I’m thirsty in a restaurant I don’t have to try and say “water” in a US accent, because that would absolutely kill me and my dignity. I know Liv had to do it once, because us NZ kids say “war-ta” instead of “waaah-terrr”. On the other hand, I’m a little curious to see as to where people will guess I’m from, based on the fact that I look asian but certainly don’t act nor speak particularly asian-like. In fact, I can’t even put on an asian accent when speaking in English – I know white people that can do it and I can’t!
Ramblings aside – does anyone have any recommendations for food/music/sights/shopping/galleries/museums/etc in LA/San Fran or any general tips on visiting the states? Mum and friends have been trying to teach me how to tip but I don’t think I’ll ever understand completely until I have to do it in person. I’ll probably look like a moron sitting there trying to work out the smallest amount I can get away with leaving though… haha. Oh yeah, I’m also tossing up whether or not to go and see Best Coast’s gig, but the problem is, I’m apparently going to Disneyland on the day of the gig that isn’t sold out, and I think people stay at Disneyland until nighttime?
Below: miscellaneous pics from Friday, after my last assessment of the year. You won’t believe how goooood it felt. Although now I’m anxious about marks, passing, etc…
Charlotte and I had a feast at Wagamama with a voucher I had. It came to under $20 each, and we both had a big serving of noodles, edamame and lemon iced tea.
The hoodie I bought for Liv upon her request… she wanted some kind of “NZ apparel” because apparently wearing things from your hometown is big thing to do in American universities: