Not a a huge fan of traveling solo. Not a huge fan of traveling with someone either. I want to be on my own but I also want attention. And a body to cuddle with. A body that belongs to a person who will not judge me unfairly.
I was in Los Angeles in 2015. And now again in 2019. Very different experiences. The first time, in 2015, probably because it was my first time in LA, I was EXCITED. The 2015 trip was for about 5-6 days but after 30 days in New York with my sister, Akanksha.
This one, in 2019, was straight from India, with Adobe for their Adobe Max Creativity Conference. 31st October to 11th November. About 10 days in total. I’m overwhelmed. So much so that I feel like I might be burnt out. Is this what getting old feels like? I don’t like it one bit.
I’m more discerning about where I spend my time. The things I do and the people I do them with. I’m leaning more and more towards the SLOW life. Because it is exhausting trying to keep up with the world. There is too much happening and there are just too many people doing cool things and how is one person – aka ME – supposed to keep up with everything?
Solitude is something I enjoy. But more when it’s in a place that I’m familiar with. It seems more rewarding when it’s in the midst of all the day-to-day hustle and bustle. In LA, it seemed like the only solitude I got was when I was in the toilet by myself. The rest of it felt more like loneliness. There were other people around and they smiled and said hello but I wasn’t feeling it.
India exudes a different kind of warmth. It is as if we all know that we are all well and truly and equally fucked.
Cafes for coffee and breakfast. Restaurants for lunch. Whole Foods for dinner. Walking across many blocks to get from the Airbnb to lunch. Or to get from the hotel to the LA Convention Center. So many strangers. The smiles rarely seemed genuine – they felt more like they were out of politeness and courtesy. Not because people actually wanted to smile.
Maybe it’s an LA thing, I don’t know. I don’t even think I want to know. While some part of me wants to stay back and live here forever, some part of me wants to go back home and vegetate.
In LA, I don’t know anyone and no one knows me. We all say hello to each other. I compliment someone’s make up, they compliment my pants or my jacket. It feels obligatory. But it also feels nice because it comes with no strings attached. I’m not saying nice things to them because I want something from them – I don’t even know who they are.
I’ve mentioned it earlier – the freedom that this brings can also be addictive. That no one cares. No one stares. No one wants to poke their nose in your business. That’s the opposite of India.
In Delhi, it seems there’s always an agenda of some sort. I would probably never say something nice to someone famous because I’d be worried that they would think that I was doing it only because I knew they were famous. Over thinking aside, this doesn’t apply in LA.
Maybe, the problem is in my head and not so much in the cities or countries or their people. And that, right there, is the most scary part. What if I am the problem? And what if there’s no way out?
I was at the Apple store at The Grove and I saw this fellow walk in. He was wearing black denim dungarees covered in paint. And he was returning more than $10,000 worth of stuff he had purchased previously. I was wearing my paint pants. And I HAD to say hi to him and I did. I told him I loved his clothes and then walked out from behind the table to show him my pants and he was SO excited! Apple store employees weren’t interested in the conversation, which I noticed and which irritated me for some reason. I regret not taking a selfie with this fellow.
( Just calling that hot guy “fellow” is an indicator to my brain that I am getting OLD. Thanks. I hate it. And what’s with every second guy in LA being so goddamn hot anyway? )
Los Angeles did not feel like real life.
I want to get back to my real boring desperate life so that I can finally start parsing all that information that my brain received in LA. It’s proven impossible to do so while in LA.
I’m typing this while on the Qatar Airways flight from Los Angeles to Doha. Made my first ever Apple purchase you see. iPad Pro plus the Apple Pencil and the the Logitech keyboard cover for the iPad.
LA felt like a revelation. I just don’t know what was revealed. Yet.