Leave the comforts of La Quinta and a mere $30 cab ride later I’m at the greyhound bus station in Indio, California. It’s about 20 minutes or so from La Quinta. The MOMENT I arrived in Palm Springs, had this feeling of “why the heck did I book a ticket home!?” As a result, messaged a friend of mine from Huntington Beach and that’s where I am now. Basically took a bus from Indio to Los Angeles then took the metro to Long Beach before getting picked up. You know I like it all, this was the biggest 180 I’ve ever had on my trip…
The bus station in Indio is little more than a trailer, both the bathrooms are out of order and there is an outhouse beside it that smelt worse than the time I helped clean a sewer on the streets of Bangkok. Inside was rather depressing so I slouched over my bags after the 5 hour sleep I had the night before. It was hot and I was dehydrated and weary. A bus appears and out get 4 guys in white shirts and tank tops covered in tattoos.
They begin smoking and chatting to me, moments later they tell me they just got out of state jail. One of the gents had his entire body covered in tattoo’s. I mean everything including his entire head, eyebrows, moustache you name it, it was nuts. They kinda made me a little uneasy to be frank and we ended up chatting for a while. At one point this guy said what’s your phone number, if I come to Canada I can kick it at your place, if you ever come to South Central, you can crash at my crib. This was the guy who just got out after 10 years. The other guy who sat next to me on the bus asked if I ever went to jail, replied no and he was like “really?”.
At the first stop, ended up conversing with a gent from Fresno who missed his earlier bus. The lady at the hotel gave me great directions, the problem was they were from LAX. I realized this as I arrived at the Los Angeles bus station. The lady said easiest way is to take metro to Long Beach. Having no clue I asked her if it was safe to walk, she said at night, no way, now should be and it is 1/4 mile. It’s not 1/4 mile at all, it’s way more and since I planned on a 3 day vacation at one location, brought a large suitcase with rollers. Wow do you ever feel exposed walking around an industrial zone with a roller and laptop bag amongst many random guys asking me for change or drinking from a brown bag. Easy mark, nothing you can do if anything were to happen. Finally arrive at Union Station… Click the link to see the area I walked near, just take a cab.
Union Station is busy and from there I saw a sign saying “No Trains to Orange County”. My heart began to palpitate as the thought of going back to the bus station for the 7:30PM bus made me cringe. It was already 5:30 as my bus from Indio was super late. Got on the red line to the blue line. Looked for a payphone, can’t find one anywhere. No wifi so can’t use skype, great. Finally find myself inside the lounge at the Sheraton with free wifi only to realize I’ll never buy another Samsonite suitcase, the handle had warped so now it won’t go back down, great. Suitcases are fine if you have a planned route / trip. If you’re just going with it, they are an incredible hassle, felt like a mule carrying pulling around lead bricks. Also my shoulders are strong, my hand hurts from the aggressive tugging and marching like I was in a band.
This is where it gets interesting. You take the blue line to Long Beach. You go through Compton, yes the city of Compton. When arriving at my friends his roommate said I have to take the metro to really get the idea, I did and I get the idea. Some guy asked the gent in front of me if he can get a 13 for a dime, this gent who looks like Dave Chapelle replied “I can give you a dime for a dime” and they did the deal right there. Then this guy gets on with a bike and this homeless looking man asks if he can have the can, he says it’s full and the man replies “ok, maybe after”. It was a really interesting metro ride and felt out of place with my luggage and laptop bag. Lots of people were playing their own music it was like the metro meets 106 and Park. To cap things off, a tranny who looked like Wesley Snipes sat across from me, really random metro ride.
My friend picked me up in Long Beach and drove us to Huntington Beach where I am now with the dog above named Ziggy. Really loving the lifestyle / vibe / people I’ve met so far. California is well California from what I’ve seen, could live here and most definitely wouldn’t be hard to find a California moving company… Will be here for a few days then attending Blog World Expo in LA as my main business is a media partner. Will be spending the day laying face down on the couch, exhausted from the festivities and have many more coming up.
P.S: If you don’t have obligations, never book return trips.