Shiny Metal Guy

Trip Start Mar 14, 2006
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Trip End Mar 15, 2007


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Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, February 3, 2007

All you can make pancakes for breakfast seemed like a fitting way to wake up on my first full day in America, could still have done with a muffin though.

Met a Chinese guy, whose name I never got, while munching on my third and best pancake attempt who wanted to see Jackie Chan's star on the walk of fame. Remembering that I stepped on him yesterday we headed out to find the spot noticing a bunch of people gathered outside the El Capitan theater down the street. It turned out to be the world premier of a new Disney flick Bridge to Terabithia, which I had never heard about so we hung around for some alternative star spotting to see who may show up.

Seeing no one we knew we were about to leave when the Terminator himself turned up. No not old Arnold, but shiny metal guy as someone close by put it in the form of Robert Patrick. Fighting past the guys hanging around for autographs to sell on ebay, they even said so while he was signing them, we got a closer view before continuing our search for another unstoppable machine finding Bruce Lee just over the road before the Chinese guy was off to Universal Studios.

Choosing instead to go for a walk to see what else I could stumble upon it only took a few minutes walking back down the street for me to stumble. Being asked where somethingorother was I spoke only a few words for this guy to know I was from Scotland. Introducing himself as Gary and a fellow traveler having lived here all his life, we talked for a bit before he offered to take me up to see the Hollywood sign in his typically huge SUV, of course we first had to stop at McDonald's - couldn't make it up if I tried.

The sign appeared smaller in real life snapping a few pics before expecting to return but instead we embarked on a whirlwind tour of LA under Gary's excuse to evade going to a funeral with his Japanese flatmate.

Driving through Beverley Hills seeing little but large gates and no doubt expensive roof tops we on to their playground at Rodeo Drive but seeing little of the sort of high quality I usually shop for we continued downtown while my wallet came out of hiding.

Downtown LA is quite a contrast to the Hollywood side appearing a scrubbed clean modern city with fancy concert halls, glass covered buildings and towering skyscra...IT'S THAT BUILDING FROM INDEPENDENCE  DAY!...pers. It was also a confusing maze of diversions due to film crews shooting which is apparently run of the mill here but had me amazed that they could so easily just close off a street or two so regularly.

Gary then took me to the Farmer's market a busy old inner city market full of plenty of fruits, vegetables, pastries and other snack-able goodies but not stopping as he continued right through to the far side to show me a building across the street. IT'S THAT BUILDING FROM THE END OF BLADE RUNNER! The building had been fully restored looking a good deal perkier than at the end of the film with the inside full of impressive cast iron metal work.

Wanting to show me more of the less toursited parts ofthe city we headed to skid row the down-and-out capital of LA a completely depressing dilapidated place of homeless and passed out bums with countless shopping trolleys being wheeled around. Can't say I was to eager to take a closer look around on foot though as we passed through, winding the windows up on the way.

Stopping in Chinatown for some lunch with some BaoZi a type of steamed bun I'd gotten to know well in China we continued on to Pasadena a city/suburb of LA filled with top-class restaurants according to Gary as we passed a Hooters.

Being a traveler his apartment walls were covered with knick knacks and souvenirs from all over the world as I wondered how the heck he ever managed to get some through the front door never mind from some small Asian town. Cracking open a few beers we sat talking for hours with him revealing that he had lived in Thailand for 3 years as I tried to remember as much Thai as I could from 4 months ago. I really miss it.

As the empties piled higher though the coherent reminiscing about Asia got lower which was also the direction I started to head in with the number of brain cells killed probably equalling the number of empty beer cans.
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