Los Angeles is extremely unique, I’m supposing. I haven’t travelled to many U.S. cities as an adult but through referencing my experiences in Atlanta and New York, L.A. is a completely different beast. Yet, it’s just like every other place I’ve visited through a plethora of contradicts and paradoxes. Its integrated but yet segregated, progressive but blind, vast and divided, inspiring but depressing, healthy and also, very ill.
Right now, I’m staying with a few cousins in Inglewood. They’ve been super hospitable, fun, and understanding — so grateful for that. Down the street from their house is a diner that served me a bomb ass egg croissant sandwich for $3.50, which reminded my pallet what breakfast food tastes like without lime juice and chilies. The owner is a Cambodian man, who hasn’t seen his hometown since the 80s. He fled after the genocide during the 70s, which the country still hasn’t recovered from. Of course, he’s adapted to his new home. He speaks Spanish fluently. His diner was filled with Hispanic workers playing cards and talking shit. It felt great to show him recent photos I’ve taken of his hometown. It felt great to connect with a migrant who had experienced my native land more recently than I had and vice versa. I drop by sometimes on my walk to the train station. Its a nice walk. The train is pretty reliable and accessible. I’ve seen some wild shit on these trains though — especially the blue line. Kids openly begging for money to get high and getting a positive response, people doing bumps of cocaine, theft, belligerence, people smoking bowls. So, of course, there are some neighborhoods where the train has no route. These are the neighborhoods where the Bruce Willis grabs a smoothie, where tourists are far from plenty, and a ton of restaurants selling tasteless food that’s overpriced. Every now and then, the homeless has roamed their way into these communities, only to be bussed back downtown — the international home for the homeless. These dynamics are interesting to think about but far from surprising. Politics are hardly ever surprising.
Before I arrived, I thought that it was insanely wonderful that my drug of choice could be legally consumed in California — especially since this enjoyment almost landed me in legal trouble in Thailand. Martial law is no joke. Needless to say, I was stoked to get here and smoke weed without the paranoia but that shit is sooooo overrated. I’m being completely honest when I say that I’m not even that glad that it’s been medicinally legalized. For one, the weed sold in dispensaries that’s manufactured by Uncle Sam is fucking scary. That bad boy is way too potent and meant to basically paralyze you. I’d rather not. Also, now that it’s legal theres a culture that’s been created. Uncivil behavior has been normalized. There’s a fine line between social & personal responsibility and I think that the legalization of targets a group of people. It’s a sensitive topic but it’s almost like the crack epidemic in a way. I guess it’s just survival of the fittest though. I’ll just find the weed that was bred in the dirt and not a lab to get my feels.
As I get older and learn myself and gain more understanding about the nature of things, I settle on the idea that these paradoxes and contradicts give our world equilibrium. Although, everything seems to happen in extremes nowadays, it seems to be balanced. As negative energy might seem to be on the rise, positive energy is just a powerful to even out the paradigm shift. I don’t believe in this picturesque utopia of a world without hatred, destruction, corruption, and disease. I just have faith that no matter how sick, twisted, and fucked up this life may appear to be, there’s another energy out there fighting to combat the evils and ills. That’s basic science. Karma is a clever bitch. We work well together.