The sky here seems so broad and expansive, making the entire city feel like I'm experiencing it through a widescreen shot. I think the fact that skyscrapers and tall buildings aren't common here---which isn't necessarily a terrible thing---also makes the sky seem as large and vibrant as it is. It truly can be so beautiful at times, and now I fully understand why people like living here for the area's weather. It pretty much seems sunny and clear here on a daily basis, so one never seems to have to worry about the weather ever affecting their days. And without that worrisome factor, it seems to leave so many other things open and possible. But, I do have to mention this permanent tinge of something that completely blankets L.A.. At first it makes everything look really beautiful with its slight tint of color, but when it's been made known that it's actually just a haze of smog that creates a visible layer of pollution between the earth and the sky, well it's a pretty big letdown.
Anyhow, it's been so great living with my friends Jenn and Daniel again. Being around them feels so natural and comfortable like I had never even left or been separated from them, so a part of me on occasion wonders if the past two-and-a-half-years-plus in Asia really happened. On my my first night back here in America with them last month, I remember rubbing Madden's belly and thinking, "well I guess that [Asia] happened, huh?" I only know a handful of people here in L.A. so meeting up individually and catching up with some of them has been nice. However besides that, I haven't been going out much. I just spend most of my time with my two close friends, so sometimes it's easy to even forget that I'm in this city---or even back in America for that matter.
I feel like I've been in a daze since returning to America/L.A.. A large part of it has to do with the fact that L.A. is not a city of walkers or pedestrians, so it's been difficult for me to adjust to. Since growing up in NYC, walking has been a vital part of my life. It's one of my all-time favorite things to do, and exploring places by foot whenever possible is something that helps me get a sense of where I am. I like feeling the energy of a city and people around me through the soles of my feet, and whether it was in NYC or other Southeast Asian countries during my travels, I have always always walked whenever possible. Don't get me wrong, if I can hitch a car ride to a far away place I will, but if I'm traveling alone or not in a rush, walking or taking public transportation is always preferred. Basically, my body needs to walk and work up a sweat because it's what I've been doing for forever---and it just simply feels so weird not to. Back in Thailand, I guess I didn't really know how good I had it. There, I always walked or commuted to where I needed to go. And because of the tropical climate, it usually meant going through cycles of sweating throughout the day. Walking from my studio apartment to the bus stop would be cycle 1 of my shirt being drenched in sweat. Then getting off the bus to walk to the subway/sky-train would be cycle 2 of my shirt being drenched in sweat, etc etc. My days back in Bangkok usually comprised of this schedule---and all of it made my body feel a lot more healthier and like I was constantly ridding away toxins on a daily basis (on top of helping me to feel better and maintain my weight as well).
But all that has changed in L.A..
I've tried walking here, but it just seems impossible. And don't even get me started on the public transportation system here---it makes me long for the buses with no air-conditioning in Bangkok. Most of L.A.'s sidewalks seem as desolate as an evacuated city sometimes---there's just no one out. And for the people that are visible on the sidewalk, it's sometimes difficult to use them as a gauge to get a better understanding for the city and the people that represent it. In NYC, for every person that roams the street, there's an ample amount of others for them to blend in with. The same goes for Asia, where city streets there are just bustling and bubbling over with people. There's definitely an energy to these metropolises where walking down a busy street can make you feel stimulated alive, and the ocean of strangers that always surrounds you feeds and drives you in a way that feels as natural as taking a relaxing bath alone. There's magic that comes along with this daily exposure to unexpected and chance occurrences. Whether good or bad, or exciting or boring, that zest for life keeps you on your toes and helps shape who you are. But these sorts of everyday and random encounters don't seem to happen here, so I'm trying to still figure everything out. I'm usually always either at home, with my 2 friends, or in transit to somewhere inside a car with them, so interacting with strangers and spontaneity does not come often.
Don't get me wrong, I'm still so happy to be back in America and here in California though---especially with my friends Jenn and Daniel. And to keep my non-walking self to stay active, I've started taking Bikram Yoga classes a couple of times a week. I first began doing Vinyasa Yoga back in Thailand, so it's been interesting to switch things up here in terms of practice-style and yogi classmates. And just as the locals do, I've been to Runyon Canyon and the reservoir at Silver Lake a few times as well.
Until next time, happy walking!