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Why Travel?

Were all the same. Mostly. 99.9 percent physiologically anyway, is what I heard. Were all created equal. Its not me saying those things, its me believing them. I like believing were all the same most of the time. I dont like it when Im on vacation, like right now as I write this diddy. In a Caf_n Hollywood California called Psychobabble, Im looking at a dude wearing a red toque on his head, Chuck Taylors on his feet. Another guy has long brown hair, red shirt, blue jeans and sneaks. A gal itching her shoulder wears reading glasses, and sunglasses perched on a black knit cap, has an iPod, and like me and all the others is working on her lap top. Toward the back in a soft chair is a gal with a little boy hair cut, white shirt, dress jacket, dark blue jeans and black shiny shoes. The dude to my left drinking green tea wears a 1999 Gap ensemble, blue t-shirt with long red sleeves, green trousers, and loafers. He seems nice. They all seem nice but Im within black powder shootin distance of the Hollywood sign, Ive traveled by plane, and recently by car through a New Mexican snow storm, thousands of miles, and have spent thousands of dollars to get here, so dang it do hang is it too much to ask that I experience, see, hear, taste, or smell something drastically different from what exists in my good ole home state of Vermont?? Sure its a sunny 70 degree day and Ive heard Vermont had 16 inches of snow last night, so the weather is different here but its weather still. I think the same thoughts when I walk in the sun as I do the snow, so other than light in my eyes and heat on my brow, the weather fails to affect me, my inner life remains as if I was most of the way across the country smack dab happily stuck in snowy New England. Gad, I just went to the bathroom and of course had to carry my laptop and case so they wouldnt be stolen, and the bathroom key attached to a skull (fake), unlocked the door revealing a diaper changing table, too bad it had boogers on it, and the place stunk and why did all my cussed friends keep telling me it would be good for me to take a vacation? I blame it on them that Im not at my home bathroom which smells like a Spa, no boogers, no key on a skull, and no one to steal my computer within a thousand miles. The Chuck Taylor sneaker wearer just got up to go refresh his cup of coffee, and he looks at me and doesnt acknowledge me particularly, but just that same seems pleasant as he turns to the counter and just as I thought, he could be any of 10,000 guys stuck between his senior year and first year of grad school at the University of Vermont. Bummer. What the hell did I come here for anyway? Ill see three old friends, but you know what, I could have called them. I could have e mailed. Beyond seeing my friends (they dont travel to visit me) why did I come all the way here to see the same kind of people I can see every single day in Vermont? You know what would be cool? If all of a sudden a group of Crips came strutting in with big ole jeans and sneakers on, tinkling and jingling and all loaded down with bling and attitude, packing iron, dripping with blood, straight from a drive-by. Now that would be a scene Id remember to tell the gang at home. To break-up the sameness of events on my trip, I think I got to find me some Crips or a couple a Bloods to set and have a chat with. As I finish the last sentence a red haired chick, 33 maybe, green summer dress, white high heels, white shoulder bag, busts into the Caf_ll wired and pissed and goes up to the counter and yell- tells the service guy the place sucks as she drops something on the counter, busts back out spewing venom every step, and ends, slithering through the door to the sidewalk speaking, and if youre for Osama youre on the losing team, good luck enjoy the show. The girl sitting next to me looks up from her lap top as the preacher gal leaves, but I dont even stop typing. The red haired preacher is betting dollars to donuts shes different, unique, on a separate plain then all of us idiots sitting here typing. She thinks shes the zing in our green tea sipping experience, when all she is is; every person like her who thinks the exact same things. Ive seen the scene dozens of times. You cant go anywhere without it being the same these days. As I live this On the Road life, every Caf_unch spot/Bistro/Diner, is like the next. How many ways can you bake a muffin? How many ways can the clever cute art student girl with the thread bare retro Hands Across America t-shirt, nose ring, and wicker cowboy hat, chalk scrawl the list of lattes available? What the frig is Chai? Is this places fruit cup $5.50 or $6.50? Do I prefer slivered almonds, or brown sugar crumbles on my nutrient starved pastry? Ive been working out at Ballys. Its huge, but the same as every workout place in that the weights all weigh what they weigh, the water in the pool is wet, the cardio machine limit is 30 minutes, the juice bar is overpriced, the trainers are horny, the water fountains spew warm water, and the air is chilled and dank. The difference here in Los Angeles is that its loaded with Orientals, Asians, I think is the PC word, and Puerto Ricans, Hispanics, for those of you who someday might run for office. My buddy asked me how I liked the place (he hates it), and I said I didnt like it much cause every exercise you perform forces you to view the folks in the pool. He said, yeah, Asians. Now he likes all people mind you, he is not prejudice, this is a guy whose was once arrested wearing a Santa suit at a peace rally, but still he mentioned the group as a group. To my Vermontsensabilitial credit, I hadnt noticed the people playing in the pool where of a specific make. I went back today and noticed that not only were there many Asians swimming (actually they just stood in place and jumped up and down, made me wonder if theyre all Scientologists), but there were a lot of Hispanics too. There were a few, what do we call what I am, Whites? Then I started to notice that in fact my vacation had taken me to AsiaRico. Yup, this place is nothing but Asians and Hispanics and before I finish up I want to say to all you liberal blubberers who are going to be all mad at me cause of the last few sentences, Im just writing what I see, that doesnt mean I dont like Asians and Hispanics. (Leave me alone would you and actually read whats written, dont re write it as you wish it to read?) In fact, while visiting Ive found what I found when I worked with a crew of 20 Hispanics at an auction house in NYC for eleven years to be true, and that is that Hispanics are absolutely the most warm, kind, thoughtful, loving folks you can ever meet. I went to my share of Hispanic weddings and birthday parties and if you ask me those folks have more passion speaking for myself, than I could fake on the day my first child is born. So no, not being critical, just writing as I see it. For the Vermonter who hasnt traveled much, the scene at the Ballys pool might seem drastically different than the Fourth of July at Burlingtons North Beach. Id hate to have to tell them that the folks in the Ballys pool are mostly the dang same as the folks at North Beach. No need to come visit to see for yourself, I just saved you the trip. (I will say, forty or fifty Asian folks wearing swim caps jumping up and down in a lap pool is fairly entertaining.)

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