Different kinds of street-art..
In Boulder they have round-abouts, Shelley!
The fraternities aimed for a big crowd. I mean, who doesn’t like boobs?
Scandinavians getting married in the Rockies. Weird.
Is HIV a big problem in Sweden?
I slept well on Gabe’s couch, we went into town and he had to do some errands, I walked around down-town in one of the places in the States that’s suppose to be a bit more alternative, the only thing I saw that was alternative was that the kids in the square all played xylophone. The new cello?
Later we went to Gabe’s AA meeting, which was interesting. An open dialogue among the people there concerning their problems. I kinda wish there was that kind of meetings for people with other problems too. The open atmosphere about serious shit. I like that. After the meeting a girl in the group lost her keys and we were true gentlemen and waited with her until the lucksmith arrived. After that we drove her home and went to a hot tub party. Gabe had a character of a friend that kept asking me questions about Sweden. It was both obnoxious and fun.
We’re off! We drove through mormon country without seeing any of them.
We passed the gas station “Kum & Go”,
nearby they killed babies,
while I had my double blueberry pancakes.
Gabe drinks Coca-Cola in the States. When he’s in Sweden he drinks mostly juice. I drink flavoured sparkling water in Sweden. When I’m in the States I drink juice.
Around six we arrived in Zion National Park. It sure was beautiful.
We started the day with a hike up to Angel’s landing. It was quite steep at certain places, and people have died up there. Jack-asses.
It sure was tiresome.
Then we tried to drive to the North Rim of Grand Canyon, but it was closed. We had great hamburgers and the most delicious oat meal cookies – ever. Ah. Want me one of them cookies now, damn it.
A quickie at Grand Canyon. Zion was more impressive, but we saw that from within the valley, it’s not the same if you just look from a view point up above.
As Gabe said, the first of many The Big Lebowski references. We had some burgers, some laughs, our fucking problems were over! The In-N-Out was a quick stop towards L.A., where we arrived at two in the morning. Lovely Tara and her friends had left us the key on the patio and we just snuck in.
In the morning we had a nice conversation with Tara and her flat mates. I ended up giving her that Jens Lekman song about vegan pancakes. She was vegan and loved Sweden. I hope to see her again some time. Did you guys read that Filter thing about the pig industry where there was a girl in Halland who came to Sweden and the reporter was the second person who knew who Jens Lekman was – “I thought he was bigger here”. Poor girl.
We passed Empeño Pawn Shop on Hollywood Blvd. No Sobchak securiy, though.
We picked up Gabe’s friend, erm, Callahan! Sorry dude, can’t remember your name… I normally write names down, but failed to do so with yours… First we went to Venice and then to
Mulholland Drive, where we were trying to find a short cut, but a lady on a big fucking horse told us we couldn’t.
So instead we went to Ralph’s and tried the half-and-half. It really tied the day together. That and some nice Indian food.
We started the day with picking up an Austrian couchsurfer, Ellen, who we’d been in contact with in the rideshare groups. She had been to Mexico on a hippie bus ride and there met Jonah, who also joined us. I drove like a true man of L.A. and we comforted the two in the back by telling them we’re both professionals. After a short while we got hungry and stopped for coffee and a sandwich. The coffee was terrible. Ellen has strange eating habits so she only ate muffins and chocolate. We stopped by The Hearst Castle, but it would take hours to get up to the hill and see his shit.
It was almost like being in Sideways, rah-rah, rawr!
The world’s most beautiful car, Porsche 356 passed us. It was bliss.
Jonah Lindstrand took this picture…
Gabe was not impressed.
We skipped the castle and took a bath in the Pacific instead. I had never swum in the Pacific so it sorta had to be done. It was fucking freezing.
We hit traffic on our way to our host, Jennifer. The iPhone told us we passed Shoreline lake. We came into a mad house. Jennifer’s fourteen year old daughter was cooking with a friend. Add to the equation an Italian Greyhound who’s scared shitless, it was insane. She went salsa dancing while we went to Haight-Ashbury, having some food, some beers and shooting some pool. I liked the independent cinema (that’s their programme I’m reading) and their selection. We first walked into a crowded restaurant where it smelled wonderfully of garlic, put our name on the waiting list, but ended up having steak across the street. We asked the girl at the counter about what’s going on and she went to the other side of the street to get us a newspaper with listings. That’s the kind of thing that makes you fall in love with San Francisco. I bought some road beers, but apparently it’s illegal to drink in the car, so I had to wait until we got to the beach to open up those PBR’s. We warmed ourselves by a fire on the beach and then went back to the house.
We had a slow start, chillin’ and trying to persuade the dog, Gucci, to like us. I didn’t succeed. Gabe and Jonah kinda did I think. I sat in my sleeping bag on the floor with my laptop in my lap until both of my feet fell asleep, then I got up with a jump. Bad idea. I twisted my ankle terribly and fell into a chest of drawers. It hurted like a mad man, but we went for breakfast anyways. The best breakfast – ever. Wonderful scramble and the best banana bread I’ve ever tasted (sorry, Shelley!). Afterwards we realized I needed to do something with my swullen ankle so Jonah, who use to play football knew what I needed – Icy-hot! We wrapped it up and it felt a lot better, but far from good. Anyways, that didn’t stop us from checking the city out. It was really expensive to rent a wheel chair, so I did a pretty good Keyzer Söze impression. We joked about it that now when I was a cripple I wouldn’t have to drive, so Gabe would have to drive all the way to Boston, and there, when we would part ways I would limp away and then just walk away like a “normal” person again, just like in the movie…
Show some thigh, guy!
Don’t you ever obey…
We never went to the Castro. This tram had some experience of the neighbourhood, though.
What the fuck, is that a car? A go-cart?
Jonah bought us icecream! Gabe was happy. So was I. I was a bit pissed off at myself for not ordering something with chocolate at Ghiradelli’s, though, so I bought a chocolate bar for later.
We walked to the beach and shot some photos at that bridge, The Oakland Bridge? I had great fun with a couple of dogs. Gabe relaxed with his phone with Alcatraz far there in the background.
You’re clear for lift-off! Go!
The US’ most curvy street. It’s insane.
We went up to the Coit Tower, a big fuck-off phallos symbol you can view the city from. Inside they had some paintings on the wall, with working class motives. Here’s a guy grabbing Das Kapital.
We had fun up there in the tower of ms Coit.
We went over to Treasure Island, an old military base that’s just been open to the public the last couple of years.
Then we met up with Jennifer, our host, at a bar that carded little Ellen, but she got away with drinking handed down drinks later on anyways. We played pool and me and Jennifer was down to the eight ball when I won once, I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I managed to win everytime, which made her really pissed off. Good fun. Haha.
We started the day by gift-wrapping my ankle while getting an oil-check. That’s something people do in the States. Leave the car and they’ll check shit and try to get you to change your safety belts. Yeah yeah.
This is a long drive for someone with nothing to think about. The meditation of driving long distances began. Or I wasn’t driving, I had an ice-pack around my ankle.
We got fortune cookies at the Mongolian grill place we finally found. Jonah was skipping work when he was riding along with us. That makes his fortune way off! My two was kinda spot-on. Or well, at least the first.
We got to our college host kids at eleven o’clock and the party was on the way. I thought, hell, I’ve never been to a frat party so I’m gonna go all in…
Beer bong! Also another bong was tried. Big mistake. I haven’t smoked a thing since I tried cigarettes at thirteen. Made me cough like a motherfucker. For a month. That was really bad in Barcelona, where everybody smokes. Ah! I sounded like a 60-year old with lungcancer. Swedish air cleared that up, though!
Ok, back to Portland. We went out to climb a tree, I did not since my foot was fucked. But when the opportunity of skinny-dipping in a pool we had to break into had arisen I was all for it! Then one of the college boys offered his bed. Kind dude slept as his girlfriend’s.
I started the day with skyping my nephew Melvin, who was having his, hrm, seventh?, birthday. I’m lousy with years and shit. Unfortunately my sister hadn’t managed to get their webcam working, but I guess he got to see me at least. But I think the gift I’d already left him before I left, My Neighbour Totoro, the world’s cutest movie, was more appealing, though. Haha.
Then we had breakfast and I wasn’t as hung over as one would think. We had a great breakfast at Fat City with two of the guys.
Ell(k)en liked my pillow.
Next time. We didn’t get to see much of Portland, we didn’t know where to go, so we drove around for half an hour and then left for the airport, where we dropped off Jonah, who had finally decided to go home for work. And then we were just three.
Are you gonna pitch in Tillicum?
We came to Seattle and ate a great meal at Gabe’s friend Katie’s restaurant/micro brewery. Ale just ain’t my thing, but I tried it anyways, it was brewed right in front of you, I mean you gotta try, right? The salmon was delicious. And cheap. Katie knew how to get things cheap. So she got a big tip instead. Win-win-lose. The third being ‘the system’. Yeah. Her restaurant was right by the market.
Then we went to The Nunnery, Cookie’s house. Cookie is a friend of Shelley’s. This is where me and Ellen spent the next couple of nights. We walked right into baking and shaking. It was a nice atmosphere. I later learned that Marie, the girl holding out her hand, liked Mirah and you know what I think about people who like Mirah – they’re all gorgeous people. Gabe left for Katie’s and Cookie came around and some of us walked over to this roof party, but none of us were really in party mood so we soon returned.
Me and Ellen finally slept like kittens, then had a discussion about oat meal. She doesn’t put water in and put it in the microwave. She uses oat meal like it was müsli. Weird Austrians…
Me, Ellen and Cookie went downtown and checked out the weird library. It was pretty cool and Cookie found his book. Yay.
We met up with Gabe and everybody had a different choice of food. I used my bandage roll thing to take pictures…
Gabe went to see Katie and the rest of us had coffee at Capitol Hill, this beautiful place called Bauhaus. Me like.
Then we went to Cookie’s friend’s house and played rundpingis! That was shocking, that people would play this very Swedish sport in Seattle. And when you wanna be Rog – choose Rogue…
No buses, so here we are waiting for a taxi. Gabe was hanging out at Katie’s restaurant and there he met Evan and Spencer, who was on a trip exploring the micro breweries in Oregon and Washington. They were from Vancouver, where we had a lot of trouble finding a couch to surf, so they offered us theirs, totally outside the CS system. Nice.
The day started with Marie making us french toast, something I actually hadn’t eaten before. It was delicious. We talked about music and stuff. Then Ellen and I went to Fremont where we found a Lenin statue and a very sad Han Solo towel.
After that we took a bus down to the Space Needle and that weird music museum thingie (the pink building). Outside you could take “a duck”, sightseeing on both land and water. Nice.
We chilled at some park.
Don’t touch the trees, they’re art, damn it!
We walked down in the harbour. It was a very pleasant day.
Never forget your salmon heritage!
It WILL hurt!
My luck? We went shopping for Couchsurfing presents and we decided to do mix cds and get the nunnery some flour. They did a lot of baking… The blank cd’s wouldn’t burn though, so I uploaded the mixes at petal.se/temp/nunnery. When me and Ellen were out looking for blank cd’s and dvd’s (for her pictures) I convinced her that we should try at the porn shop, they might have blanks. Not Very likely, but hey… So we went in and asked for DVD’s, you know, if you wanna make your own… Haha.
The weekend ended with all of us watching Hedwig and the Angry Inch. It’s a funny little movie, and even though it’s a musical I quite enjoy it. Shortbus is better, though.
To be continued… (I’ll post the rest of the trip when I’m done sorting it all out.)
do yous wear underpants in sweden?
Haha. Kortare kommentar kunde du inte skriva, Marcus. Konsekvens. Det gillar jag.
Det roliga är ju att det är på engelska också. En annan av Marcus’ små pet peeves.
Haha. Precis. På tok för mycket för Marcus i alla fall. Eller?
175 bilder x 1 000 ord = 175 000 ord, eller mer än så!