Friday, 5 June 2009

One Last Post

You may have noticed that someone hacked into my blog, email and Facebook account. They deleted all my posts on here. Don't worry I still have them saved! Anyway I never actually finished writing this blog because I lost motivation after I came back and because all the other posts had been deleted. I doing this as much for myself as for anyone else because I think it would be nice to have a complete diary of my trip.

The part I didn't write about was my time in the USA, which was only 5 days but it was very hectic! I was to stay in LA for a night and New York for two nights. I would be flying during night the night aswell (that left me really exhausted!).

LA was very hot, and huge! Unfortunately that made it pretty hard to get around (unless you got taxis and I didn't really have the money for that). I stayed in a hostel near the hollywood area which was cool. The first afternoon I was extremely tired and I didn't want to make the same mistake as I did in Singapore (fall asleep on a park bench) so I slept for a couple fo hours in the hostel. In the evening I went to this cool lively market place that was near the hostel. The city struck me as such a classic american city in that it was a complete grid of boulevards and avenues. The hostel I was in was a pretty lively and social place at night but I didn't want to stay up with people because I wanted to make the most of the next day. Unfortunately the noisy people were really annoying when I was trying to sleep!

The next day I decided to walk to the hollywood area because I knew I couldn't go without seeing the famous sign. On the map I had it looked like it was in easy walking distance, but it actually took me about 2 hours to walk there! Oh well, I saved a few dollars on a bus... It was very touristy when I got there of course. I went and saw a film in one of the cinemas there which was pretty cool, and went and had a look at the sign which was sweet. Someone was touting guided tours of the area and I decided to go for it after haggling a bit because it was quite a cheap way of getting around and seeing the area.

We were taken up a hill where we got an even better view of the sign, and also a great view of the city sprawled below us. Did you know that the sign origionally said 'HOLLYWOODLAND' and was an advert for selling real estate in the Hollywood area. There was a landslide and some of the sign fell down, but they decided to keep the Hollywood part because it had become so iconic.

We also got show around the Bel Air and Beverly Hills areas. There were a lot of famous peopls houses there that would got a look at. Keanu Reeves' house was pretty cool and science fiction looking. Amongst many others we also saw the Playboy Mansion and the Mansion where The Fresh Prince of Bel Air was filmed. We saw one of Michael Jackson's mansions, it was funny, there were a load of girls waiting outside the house. The tour guide made a joke to the saying something like "I don't know why you're bothing waiting outside, he's only interested in young boys", I'm sure you can imagine how well they took that!

It was interesting on that tour I sat next to two guys from Mumbai. I was talking to them quite a lot because we had a lot to talk about the Indian cluture compared to Western culture. They were in their young twenties and were there on a business trip. They said it was a complete once in a lifetime oppertunity for them and they couldn't believe how expensive everything was!

Anyway enough of LA or this will be way to long! Off to New York...

LA was hot. I knew New York would be colder, but I was mistaken. I got from the airport to the centre of Manhatten where my hostel was conveniently located by a 2 hour ride via public transport! When I got off it wasn't colder, it was probably the coldest place I've ever experience. It was late at night and I later found out it was -10 degrees. Not something I'm at all used to. It didn't help that I was completely underdressed for it. I couldn't feel my arms by the time I got to my hostel.

The first day I just looked around the times square area and checked out a bunch of the cool shops around there. Oh and I did havea few coffees! I really liked New York. It was modern but at the same time it has all these oldskool skyscrapers that I would imagine are at least 80 years old. I also recognised a load of the areas from films I'd seen - that was cool.

The next day I started by going up the Empire State building. That was a really cool way of seeing the whole city, but my god it was cold and windy up there! Oh, and I forgot to mention, the whole city was completely covered in snow. It looked really beautiful from up there. I walked around the central park too, and then took a train down to the bottom of the island. I saw Ground Zero. It looks like they're building some even bigger and better buildings there now. Clearly as some kind of 'Take that terrorists, you can't hurt us' gesture.

I took a ferry to the Statue of Liberty. The ferry ride was really nice, and the statue was really awesome. It's a shame no one can go all the way up anymore though. When I saw things like the Statue of Liberty it was hard to believe that I was actually there! There was a hell of a lot of queues there so I was a bit rushed because I had my flight that evening.

On the flight back home I don't think I got any sleep at all. It was a very wierd experience. It was amazing seeing my family again in the airport and it was very strange being back in England. This country has such a unique feel to it that I only really realised from not being here. When I saw all my friends again and went back to my old job it seemed like nothing had really changed in England. In a way it felt like I had been gone so long but now it feels like I was hardly gone for long at all. I often now forget if things happened to me before or after I went away. I supose it's because what I did was so far removed from every day life that it feels like a dream. But I still have the amazing memories!