Trip Start Aug 22, 2005
Trip End Feb 06, 2006

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Friday, February 3, 2006

Ah the jealous noises I achieved from my ex Andy when I said I was going to visit his best friend Weaselchops (aka Chris)... priceless.

You know I think I actually experienced culture shock in America?! The supermarkets were huge and filled with stuff that shouldn't rightly be called food; the salad dressing aisle alone was at least 10m long. People spoke so loudly that I wondered whether the English had exceptionally good hearing, and had so much energy that I wondered if we are also being given crushed sleeping tablets in our water... When I spoke I evoked one of three reactions; laughing, a request to hear me again (not particularly what I had just said, they just wanted to hear anything), or a blank look (because I said 'supermarket' instead of 'grocery store'). I did laugh at Chris a lot when I first arrived for having so many Americanisms in his speech, but by the time I left I could see that it was more out of necessity than subconscious influence.

Chris is having a great time living there and appreciated the chance to have a few days off work. Americans only have about 2 weeks holiday a year and most bosses don't understand why anyone would want to take any time off at all. The majority of people I met hadn't had a holiday in a long time.

We went out the first night and met plenty of randoms, we got so wasted that we have strange pictures of people and don't remember taking any of them... Always a good sign. The next morning we both felt horrendous but still thought the best thing would be to hit Universal Studios.. oh no no no. We just about managed to get through the Back to the Future ride without presenting our lunch to the curiously costumed employee and decided for a trip round the studios instead, which was v.interesting... even if they do think drenching us and then blowing dry ice on us makes things fun. One highlight of the day was meeting Donkey, for obvious reasons (a robotic donkey! who could refuse!). He thought I was going to flash him at one point but Chris's giggling makes it hard to hear the fear in his voice...

At the weekend we drove down to San Diego to see Chris's girlfriend Angela, who's at uni down there. I met her lovely flatmates and we ate a lot of fast food, saw some fat seals and 'hung out'. The next night we went out in Redondo Beach, which was definitely an interesting experience. People there seemed a little detached to their surroundings. The Sunday was excellent as it was 'Superbowl Sunday'! Angela's family had a huge party to watch the game and it was the most authentic introduction to American culture I think I could have experienced. It was great; everyone cheering, eating a lot of junk food, and generally enjoying themselves. It was only about an hour long in total but it was stretched into just over four. The channel was showcasing the newest and best adverts of the year, apparently a 10-15 second slot cost in excess of 2.2 million.

I would like to have explored L.A a bit more but was itching to get home. That doesn't normally happen so I thought I had better take it and run with it! I was just excited about the new job/flat/life in London, which I've been looking forward to for a long time.
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