Filed under: travel
On the way back from Australia I visited my best friend from High School, Rachel, in Los Angeles. It’s ironic that Rachel moved to Los Angeles last year, because when I moved to Canada in 2004 I vowed I would never enter the US again. This is because I went through LAX (Los Angeles airport) and got grief from immigration who thought I was going to stay in the country – even though I was only transferring to a flight to Calgary, for which I had a student visa! I wrote about it back then here.
So I made my vow, refusing to go to Seattle when my friends went down from Vancouver, in protest of US immigration’s arrogance in thinking that young professionals, from ‘friendly’ countries even, are going to put up with that kind of hostile treatment. You don’t want me even passing through your country? Fine! I won’t.
Of course the powers that be transpired to undermine my ‘never’ statement by putting someone I love in tantalizingly easy reach on a Sydney to London voyage. I give in. I feel somewhat justified given the US has just launched the E-3 visa for professional Australians to work in the US legitimately. So, I reason, they’ve changed their stance, I’ll change mine. It just so happened one of my best friends moved there at the same time.
So, I went to LA and stayed with Rachel and her lovely new husband Keith, an American stuntman-turned director/producer/scriptwriter. It was a great experience. I went to California when I was a kid and did the touristy things, so I told Rachel I wanted to do the things that made LA a nice place to live. So I went cycling on Venice Beach and surfing at El Porto Beach, hung out at lots of Starbucks (the coffee there is good in comparison to the average American cup of joe) and sung karaoke in a bar.
I met some great people, Keith and Rachel’s friends Layla, Eric and Mike, who lent the cycling and surfing gear. Thanks guys! I really appreciate it – you helped make my stay in LA one to remember.
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