Now that I’m sitting at LAX, feeling all bittersweet about boarding my plane (25 minutes to go), I feel it’s the right time to start this post. Somehow. There’s just to much to say. (AKA this will be a long ass post, please approach with caution haha!)
I’ve wanted to see LA for a while, craved it and been desperate for it, but I’ll agree, it was pretty crazy of me to actually come here right now. It wasn’t wise, I should have waited and saved up some more, as many advised. (Hi, mom, by the way! Thank you for disapproving, but still letting me do this.) But if you know me, you know I’m not patient, you know I can be very “unwise” and take stupid risks. I figured no one had ever gone travelling and regretted it due to financial reasons. Or if they had, they didn’t do it the right way. And let me make it very clear – I’d take the last year all over again if that meant I could come here and stay here. I’ll take the hit right now too. IT IS SO WORTH IT. For me, it was wise.
Los Angeles is amazing. It’s so many little societies and cities in one, so much variety. With what’s going on in Europe right now, and especially in my beloved and yet recently very racist, very intolerant Estonia, I needed to get out of there. Needed to see places where differences are not only tolerated, but celebrated. LA is perfect. I have faith in humanity again, which is a pretty crappy thing to lose in the first place. I feel more motivated about myself, about changing MY world, about being a better person. I hoped this complete shift would help me gain some perspective and reload. It most certainly did and I am incredibly glad.
But ok, enough with the deep shit now. :D I didn’t really know what I was going to do when I came here. I had the idea of wanting to see LA the way locals see it, ignore the touristy stuff and go to the places casual visitors would never get to see and discover. I didn’t know if I’d even see my one local friend or if I’d end up with all new friends. I sure as hell didn’t expect all that I got, though. I got a whole collection of new favorite people. I can honestly, hand on my heart, say that I will forever love everyone I met here. I’ll miss you like crazy.
Morning talks and afternoon talks and karaoke warm-ups and cuddling sessions with Nikita The Pitbull – perfect. Karaoke with Ronnie B (The One Who No One Wants To Follow Because You’ll Sound Shit No Matter What), Tommy and Magic to Backstreet Boys – perfect. Liz’s birthday, dancing with everybody and watching the old couple in front of our booth get down – perfect. Accidentally hitting Jaz in the face with a cell phone, still ending up on her profile picture and eventually singing a happy birthday to her while having the world’s most amazing food – perfect. Drunk-ass visit to a Korean BBQ at 3AM with a bunch of people I hadn’t even met 24h before, apart from the Puerto Rican – perfect. Hangover morning, me and Lissa explaining to Kells why it’s totally legit to be mad at your side piece – perfect. Sunday funday at Kevin’s house, fantasy football talks, mimosas, black bean burritos so good I was practically in Mexico, FINALLY learning the Celsius-Fahrenheit conversion, holding their tiny baby and talking about exes who turned into bridge trolls – perfect. Saturday flag football when it was a million degrees and I could BARELY make sense of what was going on on the court – perfect. Watching UCLA play barely OK, but still beat Cal Poly – perfect. Accounting chats with Michelle, both of us being people who never thought about getting into accounting until they thought about getting into accounting – perfect. ALL the trasth talk in anyone’s direction, the roasting, the awesome hip-hop I’d never heard (or on the rare occasion, had) – perfect. Maybe I’ll just put it this way: every moment I had with any of you was PERFECT. I’m not saying that lightly, either. I told you, we Estonians don’t do that!
Random naps, being late to most places, seeing Little Tokyo and the Sushi Place You Know Is The Best Because All The Japanese Go There, all the sneaker stores, newest Bond movie, LACMA, old lamp posts, Union Station, all the best food places of many types (none of which we have in Estonia), The Berlin Wall, ALL the drives, stupidly dry humor, Pharrell as home boy, ring found on the ground (so now I can say I come home from LA with a ring), “If I fall, you know who they’ll blame”, Griffith Observatory and learning the American flag is now, in fact, a surrender flag, “There’s a joke about women driving somewhere in here, I know it…”, all the age jokes, all the people who randomly and amazingly know where Estonia is, weirdly deep chats out of nowhere, randomly found dirty old double decker toy that found its new home on a nightstand and serves as a reminder. All that and all the rest. PERFECT.
If I start thanking everyone individually, I’m bound to forget someone. I AM so thankful to everyone for all the amazingness, but just to avoid the embarrassment of a’la Robin Williams at the Oscars, forgetting to thank his mom, I’ll just go for the ones I owe the most. Don’t be mad, I love you all anyway!
Firstly – Evan. A friend of a friend who saved my ass is a HUGE way, letting me stay at his place and welcoming me even though he’d never met me before. You’ll forever be my favourite Taiwanese person and I hope to see you again some day. If I get really good at surfing in the mean time (SURE lol), we’ll go surfing, if not, we’ll figure something out anyway. When you’re in Estonia, LET ME KNOW! And I mean that in the European, not the American way, haha!
Lissa and Michelle – thank you so much for letting me stay with you, even though you didn’t know me and it must have been a little strange. I owe you not one, but 3000. If you ever need a favour of any kind, cash it in, no questions asked haha! I enjoyed every moment and am unspeakably grateful.
Martin and Jane, my LA buddies from afar, who advised me constantly on what to see and where to go – thank you! Whether I went to all those places this time around or saved them for the future, I’m so glad you found time to help me out.
And lastly, Alex. Oh man, what can I say. You went above and beyond and I didn’t see it coming at all. Some of the time, I felt guilty for taking advantage of your kindness, but mostly, I was having way too much fun to even remember to feel guilty. You were there for almost everything and I wouldn’t have it any other way now. You tolerated all my weird mood moments with seemingly unbelievable ease. I’ve said thanks so many times, but I still feel like it’s not enough. I’ll repay you when it’s your turn. Your turn is NOW, btw. I’ll expect you in January. (Kidding! February will be ok too.)
I know I’ve said it like 3 times and repetition is the worst in writing, but this will be the last time, I promise. From my whole row of 4 on the Virgin Atlantic flight to London, Heathrow: I love all of you now. You’re my people, like it or not (ok, maybe not that strictly, lol). We’ll need to do all this again. If at any time, any one of you is in my hood (which includes Estonia, plus all neighboring countries, just so we’re clear) and you don’t let me know, there will be consequences.
I will miss you so much. I’ll be back, I promise.