(I know, its a bad headline, but it kind of makes the point!).
So we’re in LA. On Monday, when we were trying to book a hostel on the phone from Canada, we found two types. Type 1 was full. Type 2 said “Yes, we’ve got rooms, but this isn’t the kind of district you should bring kids to Sir”. So in desperation, we went to Laterooms.com, which sent us to Hotels.com, and we booked a 3-star hotel in Little Tokyo, for 2 nights at £50 a night. We didn’t want to end up with no accommodation, and £50 seemed a small price to pay to end up in the right part of town! Anyway, when we got to the airport, we jumped in a cab (surprise, surprise – the cabby was ‘resting’ from show business. He was an actor/agent/soundman/literary agent/magician, and he hated driving cabs, and didn’t make any money from it. Is it me or is this odd?)
The hotel was full of Japanese people, who’d obviously paid a lot more money – we got some strange looks as we trooped through reception with our rucksacks. And so ended yesterday.
Today we saw a bit of LA, including a weird diner decorated as a forest, and then went to LA Public Library for email access, and for some quiet reading time for the girls. When we got there I realised I’d seen the library before – it was used as police headquarters in Beverley Hills Cop! The building was as amazing inside as it was outside – murals, galleries, painted ceilings all over the place. Its everything that Oxford Central Library isn’t.
LA isn’t a welcoming place – there’s plenty of homeless people wandering the streets, and there are certainly times when we hold on to the girls hands very firmly walking around the streets. Perhaps we’ve just heard too many bad stories, or perhaps we’re making ourselves unsure, but whatever the cause, we’re ultra-careful here.
When we got back to our hotel in the evening, and enjoyed our cheap japanese take-away meal, we were astounded to watch the TV reports of electricity shutdowns in the North East. It didn’t affect us at all, so we were able to watch complete and total chaos break out on the other coast. It’s amazing isn’t it – the worlds most powerful nation completely without power. We’ve got a growing question in our minds, from this and other things – how on earth can this be the most powerful country in the world? But more of that emergeing thought later through our trip.
Tomorrow we hire a car, and head down the coast to the beach, so we’ll keep you in touch when we can.