I face-timed my mum one last time before I closed my obnoxiously pink suitcases and once again headed towards the airport. During the last year, flying across Europe every two months became something normal. I became a pro at packing two to three months worth of clothing in a suitcase. I downloaded all of the available apps for managing trips. I also pretty much memorised my passport number. Anyways, back to the talk I had with my mum – after she gave me her typical ‘before-departure-did-you-bring-everything-mum-talk’ she told me a story. When she went to the USA, I was around 2-3 years old. After she came back, I went on a trip with her to the Rhodope Mountains. As we were driving, I apparently had noticed the sun reflecting on a mosque’s dome and had screamed: “Mummy, look America!” Apparently, I had no idea what “America” was, but it did sound quite the place, even back then.
Why am I telling you this story? Because, starting then, the USA became a dream of mine – one of those far fetched, nearly impossible dreams that you secretly hope will come true. Being Bulgarian, it’s not easy even visiting, as you require a visa and of course a load of money for a plane ticket. As I grew older, I tried moving to NYC for my BA, but for many reasons, I ended up staying in Europe.
Well, currently, I’m coming to you from my room in my college apartment in Los Angeles, where I’m going to be spending my semester abroad. Never have I ever imagined, that at just 20 years old, I would get such an incredible opportunity. I remember how excited I got when I first got my confirmation email and how ecstatic I was when I opened up my passport and saw the issued official visa.
It’s been exactly one week since I journeyed across the ocean and arrived in the land of palm trees. My first week was definitely a handful with the going around campus, moving in, figuring out American door knobs and of course – battling the jet lag. On Saturday, we finally enjoyed an afternoon of exploring. Funnily enough, we found this article about L.A.’s most Instagram-worthy walls and decided we should pick one, go there and explore the area around it.
The wall we chose was actually part of a CISCO Home located in West Hollywood (correct me if I’m wrong). As soon as we stepped out of the UBER, we realised that ,apparently, we weren’t the only ones looking at those Instagram articles – there was almost a queue of people waiting to get a ‘gram in front of the infamous mural. That + the fact there was a CAR PARKED in front made us decide to explore a bit the area around and come back a bit later. I looked around Google Maps and saw that the Farmer’s Market wasn’t too far away. We started walking, went past an insane line waiting for a SUPREME store (I still have no idea what the fuss was about?!) and in about 15-20min we were there. As we were walking through the Farmer’s Market, we suddenly realised that it was in fact back to back with the Grove – an outdoor mall with high-end shops and a quaint free tram that you can ride from one end to the other. You can sit down and grab a bite, do some shopping or just relax by the *uhm* musical fountains. It’s an excellent area, and I will be going there for sure!
After a short stop at Starbucks, we made our way back to the wall. After 10-15min of waiting, we finally got our star moment and got our desired pictures (Mind you I was the top location post for a week lol, so worth it) and then *of course,* decided to explore some more. We literally walked in random directions until we ended up at something like a mall called Beverly Connection. We did some shopping for our rooms there; they have a good variety of shops and some places to eat as well.
Finally, after another short walk in a random direction our legs gave up and we UBER-ed back to USC. Funny story of the day, during our walk a couple of people stopped me to ask if I actually speak French (the T-shirt says I speak French Fries). A man even said “bonjour” to me on the street. Wow. From then on, this became the conversation starter T-Shirt, if you want to avoid awkward conversations pop in by Primark and get one – best 2.50 ever!
That’s all for my week 1 in L.A.! Next week I’m heading out to the BROAD museum and probably roaming a bit around Downtown L.A., so keep up an eye for that as well!