CALIFORNIA & THE PEOPLE WE MET
We arrived at LAX, tired with head aches after being sugar-high on airplane candy for about 15 hours. Closer by Kings of Leon was playing through the speakers at Starbucks and in the line to the airport customs we stood next to Aron, you know that guys who plays the main roll in Kick Ass? He was much shorter than I had imagined.
I didn’t really know what to expect from Los Angeles, but during our three days there, the city ticked boxes that I didn’t even know I had in the back of my mind. There were so many clichés everywhere I turned, as if someone had staged the most typical LA scene specifically for my arrival.
This ended up being the kind of trip where we drastically kept jumping from one situation to another, from one group of people to another, and how amazing it may be to travel this way, it’s also quite draining. You get so caught up in a situation and you get so very close to these people so quickly, and then suddenly you’re leaving to go somewhere else with new people to get to know. And so it goes on.
Really, the only way for me to cope with it, was to write about it. To write about the moments I shared with these wonderful, crazy, interesting people, the thoughts I had about them and the feelings I had for them.
When I met Alex and Aris, the two cycling brothers from Florida, I felt myself getting slightly attached to them only after a day or so, feeling strongly that they are two people who I want in my life. I fell in love with their close bond, their interest in me and the mysterious energy that surrounded them.
Two very all-American looking boys, who quickly showed me an amount depth that I didn’t expect would come from them, and almost found hard to trust at first. But I soon realised that they were the most kind and genuine of people.
I can’t really put my finger on what it was with Alex that I admired so much. I’m not sure if it was because we were a ridiculously good team when playing beer pong, or the fact that he reminds me of Ryan Gosling in The Notebook, or that everything we did together felt so natural and easy, as if we were the most obvious match.
With Ari it was more clear why I felt so connected to him. First of all, he has a twisted mind, which sometimes is enough to get me excited about a person. And Ari knew that unlike most other people, I caught him on his bullshit, and therefore he had no choice but to be raw and honest with me.
Without really having time to reflect, we suddenly found ourselves on the way to the desert in a big hippie van with two guys from Israel. Our days with Isaac and Einav were a haze of weed smoke, cheap american beers, cactus fields and cold desert nights. It was a rollercoaster of great moments and less great ones, since a few culture clashes are bound to appear when you put two Swedish girls together with two Israeli guys in a van for four days straight.
Many times I got annoyed with them. It’s hard to explain, but Isaac had a way of making you feel great and horrible about yourself at the same time. He constantly went from being kind and intelligent, to behaving like an annoying child. He’s the kind of person who’s a little too good at bullshitting, who says everything like he’s giving you a ‘valuable life lesson’, and who gives you compliments that are secretly insulting.
For some twisted reason, I didn’t feel that Isaac deserved to experience the best version of me, and so I was a lesser version of myself in his presence, which in itself probably made him liking me less likely.
It’s easy get stuck in that kind of bad circle with a person, however, somehow we did actually enjoy each others company in the end as I had learnt to accept his faults and observe them rather than let them get to me.
As we’re rolling through the desert in the Ohana bus, I’m lying down by the window, wrapped in my sleeping bag, writing and gazing out the window at the stars while Isaac is driving and singing songs in Hebrew, I still can’t help but to feel extremely fortunate.
Right when I thought I couldn’t possibly meet more interesting people, we stumbled upon Van and Neutrino. The two hand-pan players who randomly showed up outside of the Ohana bus, after a pan-gathering in the desert. They spent a magical night with us all out in Joshua Tree National park, right under the starry sky.
Actually, I won’t get into my love-hate relationship with Van that developed during this trip. It would just take too long to write down all the ups and downs and to get the full picture.
However I will mention Neutrino, since he probably was the person I got the closest to during the whole California trip. It almost makes me believe that some kind of supernatural force brought him to me.
We were lying in the narrow hostel bed next to each other. I broke down crying and he had a minor panic attack slightly after. Then we both simultaneously broke out in laughter, leading to more intimacy and finally resting in each others arms.
I’m not sure if it was the fact that I had an afternoon coffee, a beer and some other things I probably shouldn’t mention, all on this same day. Or if it was the overload of thoughts in my head that made me stay wide awake until 06 in the morning, head spinning and heart throbbing out of my chest. A situation that normally would give me anxiety, but now felt quite okay somehow. He was sleeping next to me, this person who I had come to trust and adore, who quickly had become a best friend.
It’s quite rare, but now and then you meet a person who you just know you’ll see again, and probably have a true, forever lasting connection with during your whole life. A deep trust and understanding for one another. That’s what I felt with Neutrino, and I’m forever thankful for it.