Thursday, September 22, 2011

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I am now blogging solely from, where you can find updates on my music, photos, videos, sneak previews of new songs, indie music reviews, tour updates and more, so do come visit!

Thanks again, see you soon

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Something To Be Said For San Francisco

Upon a misty road I stood and tried to thumb my way further north along the Pacific Coast Highway. Solana Beach had been amazing, and a few days in Malibu with Aunt Deborah and the five cousins had been fantastic, but it was good to be moving again. After more than an hour of futile finger extending I began to lose hope (I’m impatient). I wandered back down the road and spent a risky $10 on a rubbery bowl of -apparently world famous- deep-fried calamari. Thus fortified, I returned to my post beside the tarmac, ready for another onslaught of blank I-can’t-see-you-stares. Due to desperate boredom, and a certain unquenchable desire to have fun, I began to experiment with alternative hitch-hiking techniques (think dancing, attempting the moon walk, etc). Soon after I was picked up by an awesome guy named Jeremy while practicing my double thumb move. Figured if one thumb was good, two must be twice as good…..shut up, it worked!

Jeremy and I moved further north together in his beat up little sporty-ish car…I forget the make. On our left the ocean lay tantalizingly close and it’s salty musk flowed refreshingly through the car as we drove by. On our right were cliff-walls looking ready to collapse on us at a sneeze…but fortunately neither of us sneezed. Jeremy drove me through Ventura, to an onramp for Highway 101, which leads eventually to San Francisco.

Once more I faced the prospect of an indefinite period standing hopelessly with my thumb out…and I folded. Deciding that I wanted to get up to San Fran as soon as possible, I made my way to Ventura’s Amtrak train station. One painless phone call from a payphone -when did you last use a payphone? Putting the coins in is so much fun- and I had exchanged my original ticket, which was from Solana Beach to Sacramento, for a new one from Ventura to San Francisco…at no extra cost!

A train journey filled with conversations about Jesus, religion, children and nappy rashes (don’t ask) and I arrived in SF just after midnight.

In my journal, just before arriving in San Francisco, I wrote, “Every city seems the same to me, every thing in nature feels unique.”

San Francisco is the exception to that comment. It is simply beautiful. The air feels fresh and the towering buildings fill me with awe and excitement rather than the repugnance which cities often inspire in me. The streetlights glowed silently bright as the coach pulled up and dropped me off in this strange new place. Faced with the choices one is faced with upon a late night arrival in an unknown city, I began slowly turning in circles, seeking a direction in which to move.

As I stood and spun myself around, I noticed two shadowy figures walking out of the darkness towards me. One of them was dressed like a monk, clothed in a cloth habit with a silver cross dangling from a silver chain around his neck. Everything felt kind of surreal as they came closer and I tried to work out what was going on. Had I suddenly been transported back in time, or where they the lost time traveller’s, having come from the middle ages? I surmised that perhaps they had come from a dress-up party, although that didn’t feel quite right as they emanated calm and quiet. Of course, I wandered up to them and asked what they were up to. Turns out they are spiritual Christians who model themselves of the Celtic Christians of old. They wander the silent late-night streets like benevolent wraiths, drifting from pools of light to deepest shadows, always carrying the light with them and always waiting to speak with anyone who wishes to speak with them (I guess about how much better for you church is than drinking, or some such). I must say, of all things I imagined, one of them was not meeting medieval monks on the midnight streets of San Francisco. This weary pilgrim much appreciated their presence as they were, of course, happy to send me in the right direction for a hostel. I walked up the road, thinking more with every step that life is truly more strange and magnificent than we can comprehend…but we can try!

At some point on my up the road trudging I walked past a man who called out to me as he passed and asked if I was looking for a hostel. I surprisedly replied that yes, I was, and he pulled out a tourist map-book, drew four X’s on it showing hostel locations, gave me the map and went on his way. Amazed yet? Wait, it gets better! While waiting for a light to change so I could cross the road I said a friendly hello to the inebriated Australian standing beside me. He asked what I was up to and when I told him I was on the hunt for a hostel he promptly invited me to sleep on the floor of his hotel room…which was LITERALLY the door we were standing in front of. I slept like a baby and left this morning a happy man, ready to continue today’s mission, which was: Find Cafe Gratitude.

I found it! The buzz of people enjoying their food and conversation surrounded me and I knew that I had finally made it to Cafe Gratitude, one of the premiere raw-food cafe’s in the world, with good reason! I started off with a glass of purple delicious kombucha, a fermented drink, then followed with their ‘I Am Whole’ macrobiotic quinoa bowl. It was all completely delicious and I stashed some leftovers for later. Upon arrival at Cafe Gratitude I met Rachel my waitress, Tsuriel (not sure of spelling) my barman and Greg, the guy who’s couch I’m sleeping on tonight! Greg has written a book called Pay Yourself First and is selling it for $30. He offered me his book and a spot on his RV’s couch for that price, so I went with the flow and said yes (hostels are around $30 a night anyway, and this sounded like more fun). We’re off to explore the Golden Gate Park shortly, catch ya laters!

So it comes and so it goes…

Thursday, September 9, 2010

London to California in 15 ‘Easy’ Hours

From Above, Rivers Look Like Snakes
From above, rivers look like snakes

“What is your reason for visiting California?”
”I’m here to visit my grandmother,” as the sweat began to trickle down my back.
”How long are you staying for?”
”My ticket is booked for just under three months,” as my heart rate sped up.
”Cutting it very fine, you know?” His pockmarked, meaty jowls shook at me from across the counter-top.

The customs officer managed to make me feel like a criminal in no time at all, and I'm not one! That unhappy man interrogated me to within an inch of my calm! Perhaps he spotted my open excitement at visiting the USA for the first time, perhaps he noticed that I am happy with my life or perhaps he has nothing better to do than pick on people (I KNOW he doesn’t). Who can say, but whatever did it, he gave me a grilling from hell! I managed to convince him that I’m not attempting to come and steal his job, involve myself in ‘terrorism’ or become a crack dealer, and he let me through! PHEW!

It was a completely surreal experience travelling across so many time zones, something I've never done before. I've always gone north and south: South Africa up to Europe and back again, which is only one or two hours time difference, at the most. This time, I was totally thrown off by the extreme time zone changes. I arrived in San Diego at 8:30pm, but for me that was already 4:30am! Anyway, today I feel slightly more human, although my mind is telling me that it is evening, when it is in fact midday...hehe.

One thing I didn't consider in this whole experience is that I will be hearing A LOT of American accents over the next few months. I don't think it's the accent itself which gets me -in fact I know it's not as some of my best friends are American and I love their voices - but rather it's the way that so many Americans throw their voices out into the world as though releasing an enraged bull into a field of incapacitated matadors. It's just a carnage of speed and unintelligible noise, with no respect for the innocent bystander. Okay, I'm being dramatic, but it is interesting how loud many Americans choose to be. Bring on the forests, the trickling rivers and the silence of Om ;)

Finally, I am on the road, heading to it doesn’t matter where. I am staying with my gran down near San Diego for a few weeks, then heading up north...and life is GOOD!

No time limits, no idea or preconceptions about what comes next, no need to know. Let life flow!
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