Friday, June 18, 2010
It's been already 10 days since we first arrived in the US and we already made 2 really good friends, Sebastian and Jordan. After we have looked and looked on the internet (Craigs List), searching for the perfect mean of transport that needed to be cheap and confy , we decided for a Chevy Astro Van from 1998, white and clean inside. Jan left Monday morning towards El Monte, that was about 3 hours in public transport....so as you can see going arround LA or America in general by public transport is not such a good idea. Anyway , going back a few days, i must say that our time in the house of Sebastian has been great. We met almost all his familly and we could spend time with them. On saturday june 12 , we arranged to go to Malibu where we spent all the afternoon. So in the house of Sebastian there were also 2 german girls, Stefi and Ariana( the mother of Ariana was of Romanian origin). We drove to Malibu but we let the guys hang arround on the beach and we met David, a friend that Bruna recomended us to meet. David was very friendly and he took us to a party of a friend. The girlfriend of his friend owned a house in a private beach in Malibu....we found out later from Sebastian that the house was worth at least 5 million dolars. The party was simple, people swimming and hanging in the jacuzzy but we felt a bit unconfortable,because we knew only David.
I could relax a lot these days in the house of Sebastian. I managed to get rid of the jet lag but still once again it takes time to accomodate to the routine of the road. It is quite consuming. Anyway...getting back to the car purchase, Jan payed to the mexican man that owned the car about 2000 dollars in cash, took the car and brought it home. We felt very happy with the new car but next day, when Jan went to register the car in his name, found out he had to pay 400$ more bacause the owner did not pay the registration for the last 2 years. Anyway....we found out later that he didt want to pay us this money. In a way we felt cheated...but still the price for the van was pretty good.
Tuesday, 15th of june we decided it is time to go, so in the morning i went to buy some food to prepare a romanian dish for lunch and a bottle of wine. I went to the local market where i found a lot of imported romanian, bulgarian, russian , and turkish food. Actually the super market that was owned buy armenians and had food from anywhere. It was amazing to find so much romanian food, when in Spain i couldnt find anything. My surprise in the shop was that when i wanted to pay the bottle of wine (a romanian one) that i choosed very carefully after 30 min. of thinking, the women in the couter asked for a document of identification because she thought i am less than 21 years old and that i cannot buy alcohol. I was trying in vain to explain to her that i am 26...she simply refused me the purchase. I was shocked because in Europe i coud buy alcohol since i was 14...and here they didnt want to sell me. Anyway it seems that they ask for the Id to the peole that seem underage.I could take it as a compliment.
The same day in the afternoon, we left the house of Sebastian and we drove towards Hollywood, where another friend from the CS was waiting for us in his restaurant. Jordan was the second person that answered to my hosting request and also he was very interested in meeting us because he also wants to leave the normal life and start his trip arround the world. We parked behind Frank and Musso, the oldest restaurant in Hollywood, owned by his parents and directed by him and his cousin Mark. The same day arrived also Marrisa, a girl from Colorado and we met Maysa, Marks girlfriend. We will all stay together in the house of Jordan for the next days. Jordan is a very nice guy, with same taste in music and film as me. He showed us the house and where we will sleep and immediatly we made the sleeping arrangements. We were supposed to stay at his place for only 2 night but he invited us to stay 6 nights, because on Sunday there is a nice flee market that we shouldnt miss and a concert of Tinariwhen in Hollywood Bowl. After thinking about the options and getting accostumed to his house, we decided to stay these 6 days here. We walked by night the famous Walk of Fame with all the Hollywood stars, we saw the Kodak theater, the Chinese one, The Egyptian theatre. It is interesting but the feeling of Hollywood bvd. is a bit different from what everyone thinks. It is decadent, and i felt that also a bit poorly taken care of. In some places smells like pee and there are enough homeless people around. On the second day here i went with the girls in a shoping spree around LA (more exactly Fairfax and Melrose). Here the people are so diverse, and they dress so different that the normal shops for clothes cannot satisfy all the tastes, so they have other shops of Vintage american clothes, or third hand or even shops where you can sell your own cloths or change them. In the evening we went to the restaurant of Jordan(an old fashioned American restaurant) and we had dinner with Jordan. It was amazing the food the company and the drinks:)BIG Thanks to Jordan:)!!!!
spending info: 2000$ the van. 70$ the smog, 400$ the registration, 400$ insurance, 95$ AAA, food and drinks-the last week-100$, new hard disk-105$(640 giga) , GPS-114$,Wood for the car-20$
Friday, June 11, 2010
Before starting this new part of the travel around the world, i was thinking that after such a long time, people should find out also my view of the journey, especialy when me and Jan, many times have different points of view on the same matters or we perceive much more different each event or situation. So i decided to start this blog and update it us often as possible.
I have to admit that this part of the journey was making me very nervous. I was affraid we wont get the american visa, then i was affraid that we arrive here and they will not let us get in the country...i had all this crazy negative thoughts and they all made me very stressed. Traveling is not easy and it requires many sacrifices....like clean clothes, daily showers, on time food, a constant bed in case you need it. Anyway beside all the disatvantages that may appear the delightfullness of traveling is uncomparable. You get to know people, you get to see so many amazing things...its a crazy day after another.
Yesterday 10 of june we woke up early ...me at 3.45 am, Jan at 4.45 am....and at 5 am we left to the airport of Barcelona (a very rainy morning)where our flight to Dusseldorf was taking off at 8.45am. I was all the time incredibly stressed.I was leaving home again...my new home catalunya, where i was starting to make friends and i have a new family, i was leaving Europe, i was leaving the new routine and safeness to which i was getting acostumed....This is exactly how my thoughts were flying through my head...i couldnt even perceive the true nature of my experience because i was completly overwhelmed by the anxiety of my brain. Anyway we managed to get into our flight with no problems. Airberlin proves to be a good company. We get on time to Dusseldorf and we look for the terminal to embark our next flight to LAX in Los Angeles. It was very very easy to do all this but the stess was so big that i was feeling completly exhausted when i got in the plane. Our plane was one of the big ones . We were 288 passengers and in total with the crew arroud 304. We got very good seats and i took my first sleeping pill because i knew that if i dont do it i will be a zombie when we get to America.And i did good because i managed to sleep and relax. A few hours later i took the other pill so i managed to disconnect a bit from all the crazyness of the moment. Our trip is not an easy one. It is not a vacation of 2 weeks....you have to realize that it will be 2 years that you are not in one place and that every day will be completly different. Anyway finally after 12hours of flight we arrived in AMERICA. My very negative expectations about the immigration procedures were destroyed by the fast and easy service that was provided. We got to the gate of immigration, we waited in line, the officer took our passports, checked the visa, asked how long we want to stay , then he said he gives us 6 months with possibility to come back and stay more time...which was just great and there we are ...AMERICA....the country of all possibilities. As soon as we go out of the airport we find the bus that we have to take , with a very friendly driver. About an hour and a half later we arrive to Van Nuys the station where our friend Sebastian from CS came to pick us up and took us to his home. Sebastian is very friendly. He is originally from Argentina, but his parents came to live here 20 years ago. We already met his son and brother and parents and some other members of the familly. We feel very wellcomed and confortable. There is a big difference from Europe. The roads are very big, the cars or at least many of them are different, the houses...the cities are also huge in space because most of them are made of unifamiliar houses.It is an experience. I went to bed very early to recover from the tiredness that i accumulated and got up early today ...i dont feel the jetlag...We went walking in the mornig and buyed a phone, a number, a bit of food...ad just came back to spend another day in the house of Sebastian getting to now him and his family:).Also today we will see a van and decide if we like it or not:)A car is very necessary here...Just goig on foot you dont get anywhere...the distances are too big:)
Expences made since we arrived:12$ the bus to Van Nuys. 52$ telefone and number with credit. 20$ some food, wine and a locker.
Monday, June 7, 2010
On the 9th of june we invite you to the presentation of our first travel book Europa, written by Jan , at the library La Tralla in Vic, Catalunya. You can also buy the book from us for 18 euro. The book its only in catalan for the moment. Future edition could be in spanish:) if we get positive feedback:).