08 May 2009

California

There is something about listening to the Beach Boys (oh go on then, Dave Lee Roth!) that just makes me wanna pack a bag and take off on a jet plane headed for California. That's America to me (well, that and New York) but California is slightly addictive once you've experienced its laid-back, hippy ways. I spent three pivotal years there and boy, they were good years. Boy! Boys! Beach Boys! Bleached sandy hair, tanned legs 365 days a year, surfboards, frozen jogurt, marine biology, my first CAR: a gold VW beetle (chosen in favour of a 1968 Mustang - my father and especially Mr R have never forgiven me for this faux pas). And yet some demon inside me told me to leave this sunny paradise and head across the water back to London Town. Totally inexplicable now, but at the time and with the maturity of all my 19 years behind me, it was London or certain death. These days I unashamedly spend hours trying desperately to remember what it felt like to watch the sunset over Del Mar beach or walking into the Pannikin coffee/bookstore and smelling the roasted coffee beans and freshly baked muffins. It would be interesting if I were to endeavour in a spell of time travel and be transported in my current state, to those heady days of 1986 - I would probably keel over and die with emotion. Life in southern California is, in a way, even more remote than it is here in Ticino. You are so (pleasantly) removed from what is real (I don't mean in an artificial L.A./Hollywood kind of way, no sir!) that there really is nothing else but the abovementioned ingredients (Dave Lee Roth, frozen yogurt, surfers, hippies, beetles, pot, marine biology etc). It's its own special little universe where you just live for your immediate surroundings. Sounds shallow to you? It shouldn't. Pure nature all around you, the most fantastic marine life, incredible universities where you can study till you're 90, great music culture, and the knowledge that Mexico lies at your feet. If you get bored just rent a Mustang (not a Beetle) and head north along highway 101. I often ask myself what devil inside me made me leave this place?
A few more haunts: La Jolla and Jake's and finally, for all you academics or parents with kids looking for a superb university, look not further than UCSD.

4 comments:

dan said...

I tell you: this must stop! I'm beginning to get really jealous. 40 and such an eventful life? If I didn't know you I'd think you were making it up... They were right about the Mustang, though.

style inside said...

You are such a sweetheart. I promise you that I find it totally and utterly baffling that my life should raise anyone's interest more than that of the next person. I'm just grateful that I can string a few lines together that are readable! xxxxxxxx

Richard said...

.....still cant believe you chose the VW....

Anonymous said...

YOU ..... r a go-getter!

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