Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Hollywood, Here I Come!

I weighed myself the day I moved to LA. I lost 25lbs (more than 11kg). I was psyched! I had probably lost a little before I bought a scale because I felt like I lost at least two dress sizes, which is about 14kg. I still have a long way to go, but it all starts with one step, does it not?

I took the Greyhound bus. Oh my goodness! What a shack! I had never seen such a filthy, run down Greyhound bus in my entire life! This is an international bus company that has been around for the longest time, are this people kidding me? In South Africa is the bus! Not the last one I took before I went to Georgia though, hot mess! Maybe Greyhound in general is going down, who knows? I had a ton of luggage! Initially I thought I could fit everything in my two huge bags and a small one and then carry the laptop bag. Nope! I needed another bag, and another one, and another one! This is all after I had donated four huge Black bin bags of stuff! I had to keep taking stuff out, putting it in the donate pile. Not a  very smart move when youŕe pressed for time cos youŕe not thinking clearly. I had these tiny little bags together with my two huge ones, it was a mess. When I went to check in, the lady told me, I was allowed one free checked in bag, everything else had to be paid for. I could take one, maybe even two of the small ones in with me as carry on luggage, but that was it. Uhm, what about the other five small ones and the second big one? Oops. I paid about $15 for the second big one, then she told me every other one was going to cost me $40 or so each, my best bet was to buy a box, $10, stuff all the small ones in there and pay $40 for them collectively. I had no option but to. She couldn't find the bigger boxes and her supervisor who had the key was busy, she told me to try taking them into the bus, see if the driver would let me. I tell you, I was rushing, tired and sweaty, I just needed a break. I wasn't up for carrying the bags onto the bus, being turned away, and going back to check them in, they were heavy, and I was tired. The driver didn't even look at me twice, I took everything in and found space for it inside. Yippee! I sat right behind the driver, female driver, with blonde fake hair, long, fake eyelashes and nails. Surprisingly enough, she could see the road. She was a fast yet safe driver. My kinda girl! Her son was sitting across from me, playing games on his Play Station.

The bus was FILTHY! IT reeked of body odor, sweat and just grossness from never ever being cleaned. We left around 7pm. It was going to be a 15 hour bus ride. I wasn't looking forward to being on the road that long, I was exhausted so I knew I was going to sleep majority of it. Which was a good thing. We had a few stops on the way and one major one in Vegas where we changed buses. Thank you Father! Our last stop before Vegas, an Eastern European girl got on crying, ran back out, back in, out, in Gosh! I was just like, make up your mind woman! She left her stuff on my seat. When she got back in taking her stuff, I realised she was crying, so of course I asked if she was ok. She said she was and decided to sit next to me. Don't you hate it when that happens? When you still plan on sleeping some more and someone comes and sits next to you? Not only that, she poured her heart out, she was weeping! Apparently she was leaving America for good. She had been here for a year or just under and had met and fallen in love with a man. She was sad to leave him. I understood, kinda why she was so sad. Kinda because I am hardly ever in a relationship so I don't recall going through the same thing myself. She was going to Vegas.

We entered Las Vegas! Lights! Lights! Lights everywhere. Flashing lights! Casinos and hotels, that's all I saw in every corner. It was pretty exciting, I won't lie to you! I took pictures with my silly phone which kept freezing on me. We stopped for more than fifteen minutes, I walked around and took more pictures, taking it all in! I'm in Vegas, babe! So thrilling! I wished I could spend at least the night. We got onto a nicer bus from Vegas to Los Angeles. By The way, Las Vegas means The Meadows. Los Angeles -  The Angels. Just FYI (Spanish). The new bus was much newer, it had outlets to charge out electronic devices, wifi, air conditioning, nicer, comfy leather seats #HoneyLetMeUpgradeYou! I took the same seat as before, right behind the driver, cute guy with a nice butt. There's more room there (behind the driver not in the driver's behind, get your mind out of the gutter!)

More casinos and hotels on our way out of Nevada (The State where Las Vegas is based). I had always wanted to go to Vegas, it was nice to get a taste of it, even for a few minutes. I will be back!

I tried to get some sleep the rest of the journey, I had my iPod on, listened to some music I haven't listened to in forever, I hardly ever use the iPod or listen to music on my phone for that matter. We had a few more stops, we passed through Arizona. I had been there before, on my way to Utah, when my sister's old friend took me out for lunch and a hike up the mountain in the scorching heat! All in good fun though, all in good fun! We had another stop as we entered the State of California, some dodgy spot that wasn't lit. It was still locked when we got there. A lady who was in uniform (hell, could have been a man! Welcome to California) came out to open for us. She let us into the restrooms but didn't turn the lights on, I made the hugest mistake of asking her on her way out if the lights did work. She flipped! I just came in, Just give me a minute yada yada yada! I told her, ít's a mere yes or no question. You wasted more time yapping than you would have just giving me a simple yes or no, which is all I asked for! EXCUSE ME! I gave her my hand to talk to and walked away, secretly freaking out, hoping she wouldn't follow me into the dark and stab me, shove the roaches that were having a field day all over that building down my throat or worse! She did! She followed me in there, I quickly got into a stall, sat down on a wet seat, YUCK! Clearly  I wasn't thinking because I never sit in a public bathroom and I didn't even need to use the bathroom, I just wanted to stretch my legs.

She left when she saw how much of a coward I really am haha. Oops!

We drove through the Inland Empire, the county where I lived in Ontario, then into Los Angeles County! It was morning, the Southern Californian sun was shining, it was a new day! In every way! I had really left Utah, it all happened so sudden, but it was done! I had just arrived in Los Angeles. A whole another world was ahead of me. A whole lot of uncertainty, I had nowhere to stay really, and no job, nobody was expecting me, but I knew in my heart of hearts I be just fine.

Last stop, Greyhound Station, downtown LA. I was the last one to get off. IT was around 11am. We did 16 hours on the road. I was ready to get the kcuf Out of that bus. I didn't know which direction I had to go for the hotel, I didn't care, I'm in LA Trick! I took off my many pieces of luggage, took everything inside the station and started looking for means to the hotel. I called the receptionist, she told me of two shuttle companies. One didn't work that route, the other one was going to be able to pick me up in two hours. I checked with cabs, they charged more than three times the shuttles. Crap!

I sat there trying to figure out plan C. I thought of paying for a locker, getting a day's bus pass and making two trips to drop the stuff at the hotel. The locker guy gave me a deal on that too, so I would have been set, kinda. A man who had been sitting at the station waiting for someone told me to go outside and negotiate with the backdoor taxi drivers. You know the ones who's cars are unmarked? I found one who agreed to charge me the same as the shuttle or a little more, can't remember. I had to carry my own stuff to the car though, they weren't allowed at the station. I did that bit by bit always making sure nothing was out of sight. I felt like I was in Joburg, I tell ya! Park Station. Been there, done that! Driver was sweet, he asked about me, I asked about him. He asked for my number and asked to call me that afternoon to arrange taking me out that night. He liked how excited I was to be in Hollywood.

I took my many bags upstairs, the hotel/hostel turned out to be just a hostel, which suited me just fine! Especially for the price and the location. It was a small walk from the Dolby Theatre where they hold the Oscars, The Jimmy Kimmel Studio, Chinese Theatre where they hold red carpet events, movie premiers etc, you name it! It was in the heart of Hollywood. I wanted to live there. The lady told me they might be hiring, so I talked to her boss, he told me it was a very quiet time of the year, to try again in the Summer. I understood, there weren't that many people there. I was in a six bed room all by myself, which was great. Otherwise I would have had to pay for storage for my baggage, which took over most of the closet. The lady let me put it in the room because I was alone. I bought my food across the street, at the Fresh n Easy. Nice grocery store, cheap and has fresh stuff. I got yogurt for the week, fruit and a few TV dinners and some sandwich stuff. They offered breakfast, bread, peanut butter, jelly, oatmeal and milk. I used to have the oatmeal with my yogurt as I usually do at my own place.

It was nice having my own room and only pay a sixth of the price, I also got a discount because I booked online. Score! The stars were aligned! The receptionist fast became my friend, weĺl call her Jen. Nigerian who apparently had lived in London and was now going to school in The States. She worked at the hostel in exchange for accommodation. She became my guardian angel who helped me with a lot of things, she referred me to people who helped use me as an extra, so I did that for some pocket money. I went to a lot of TV shows, and still do, too fun! Just being the same room with the likes of Queen Latifah, people I grew up watching on tv (U.N.I.T.Y that's the unity, who are you calling a b!tch?) and never thought I would get to meet in person. The first shows I went to was Craig Ferguson's, I had of him but had never seen his show. The only talk show I had ever been to before was The Felicia Mabuza-Suttle Show in South Africa when I was Weighless Slimmer of The Year early 2000's.

I stayed at the hostel for a week. In as much as I was enjoying it, I had to move somewhere where I was going to save money, I couldn't stand paying every morning. I did that because I was actively looking for a more permanent place and didn't know when I would find it. Los Angeles is rough when it comes to accommodation! These people don't play, some will put on their ad that they want you to weigh no more than 110lbs (less than 50kg) and be a certain height, go to the gym no less than 4 times a week, you must have two full time jobs and go to school full time. Basically, don't ever be home, just pay for storage. Loony, if I want storage, I will rent storage for far less! Majority of them want to room with someone they are going to have sex with. Not officially but that's the elephant in the room. So you have to pay this person for the convenience of having sex with you. How nice! Simply because they got to the apartment before you. Cos, let's face it, these people don't even own these places, they are tenants just like youŕe gonna be when you finally find a place. Some even pay less than you do, just for the heck of it!

I didn't qualify for most of the ads I saw on Craig's list, unfortunately. Some women wanted bisexual or bicurious women to room with them, someone they could have fun with behind closed doors. F#ck you! I'm not gonna pay you rent and still let you have your f*cking fun with me behind closed doors! What if youŕe not my type? They all wanna see your picture as they are for sure a catch, I mean they may not be your type! Ever thought about that greedy, horny fool?

I would go for walks everyday, and interviews, cos not only was I looking for a place to live, I was also looking for a job. I would go sight seeing, take pictures etc. I was still tired though from the last few crazy weeks I had in Utah. I wondered about Ted, called his house a few times to no avail. One afternoon after having gone to view a place around the corner from the Hostel and not being let in, the guy didn't even pick up the phone when I called from outside, I went back in disbelief, wondering if I would ever find a place in Hollywood. What a vain society! My gosh! Jen told me about an ex resident at the hostel, someone who works on the boulevard as a character, he had, not too long ago found an apartment and was looking for a roommate. She didn't have his number, I was to walk the boulevard looking for him or ask around. Apparently everybody knows him. She gave me some details about him. I googled him that night, found his facebook page and sent him a message. I was wary of weirding him out, but desperate times!

I walked down Hollywood Blvd looking for him, asking around, they told me they hadn't seen him in two weeks. They told me he had a part time job somewhere, I called the store and there they told me they hadn't heard from him in two weeks as well. Great! I hoped he would get back to me on Facebook. He seemed to be kinda active there. Unless he had taken a two week break on there as well.

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