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Wanderlust cured’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 17 Nov 2009

Location: Los Angeles, USA

MapI have been trying to write this for days

I have had trouble writing my blog, which usually flows quite easily. The reason: Los Angeles does not get my creativity flowing and offers little inspiration to write amazing things about. Here is what I have been up to, in brief:

Mexico

San Diego was different to what I expected, seems that the main attraction is the Zoo (which was amazing!). The waterfront had plenty of historical planes and boats if thats your thing, but there wasn’t really alot to see and do in the main city and waterfront area. We boarded a bus destined for Tijuana to experience Mexico. I knew before I left that visiting a border town, one which millions of Americans go to, it would not be a fair indication of what the rest of Mexico had to offer, but this is the best I could do for the short time I will be here. The security fence is huge, apart from the first 8 foot fence there is high powered lights in between the “neutral zone” before you hit a giant mesh fence with 2 lots of razor wire on top. Before the huge fence went up and before it was patrolled by guards 2,000 - 4,000 people would come into America daily. The fence only runs in areas where there is alot of people, so I guess they stop people just walking over, but you can drive into the desert and cross over if your desperate. The average hourly rate in Tijuna is $2 an hour, go a little bit further out in the countryside and its $0.70cents per hour, so alot of people from Mexico commute everyday to earn the USD to feed their families. Not having experience any really different culture it was nice to be on a bus with the driver giving directions on what to do. We got out of the bus and it started; men, women and gorgeous black haired children were trying to sell things, get you into their shops and would try all tricks in the book to get you in there. I bought a wonderful cotton Mexican blanket with all the amazing colours to boot, a cheap pair of leather sandals which I was quite proud of my bargaining there, a silver (or not) bracelet which I couldnt be bothered bargaining anymore so gave them $20 and last of all a "genuine replica" handbag before I got back in the bus, overwhelmed with the last hour of craziness. I spoke with a few shop owners and asked them about the countryside of Mexico and it sounds lovely - exactly the kind of travel I am interested in and I will be back. They have wonderfully big families, most likely to do with their catholic faith and I would love to spend more time in areas where having money doesnt make you a target, your just another fellow world citizen.

Los Angeles

There is huge amounts of rubbish lining the streets here, the biggest concentrations are where the homeless build their shelters, in other places its strewn along the sides of the highways and freeways for miles and miles. We did our last shop for some goodies that cant be bought in Australia in Wal-Mart. We left out hotel for Inglewood and what came next was my first experience of its kind. I was the minority amongst African Americans and Hispanics, in this area they are 50/50. I felt scared, stared at, like I stood out and that I didnt fit in. I was learning very fast what being in a minority group feels like and it certainly was an experience that everyone should feel. We are in an area where everyone has bars on their houses, the hotel we are staying in has double security with bars everywhere - its almost difficult for us to get in. Los Angeles is a city like any other and I know now Im not made for the city.

Tomorrow I leave on a plane back to Australia and I am excited! To have travelled and experienced other countries makes you want to experience your own country in a similar way. I cant wait to give my family and friends hugs and share experiences in the time to come. I will again put my faith and trust in the plane makers and the pilots to get me home safe.

See you all soon X