Wednesday, April 1, 2009



I think it's about time I get around to finally catching up with this. For a long time, it's been really hard for me to write because most of my mental thoughts have been so intense that I have a hard time putting them into words. So, I figured it's probably best if I talk about the physical aspects of my trip and get into the state of mind as I go along. Onwards...

The last post was from my first day in San Francisco. Since then, I've been traveling for 27 days. I was in San Francisco from March 4th until the 13th. My friends Pamela and Monica were with me for the first day with Meredith joining us on the second. On Friday the 6th, we went to the Opulent Temple party on Treasure Island and had a decent time. It was a bit hard to get into at first, but the party and vibe got better as the night went along. The girls stayed in San Francisco until Sunday night, the 8th, upon when I checked into the Backpackers Hostel which happened to be in an alleyway behind the hotel the four of us had stayed in. Over the weekend, we went to Fisherman's Wharf a few times, went to the San Francisco Academy of Sciences for a late night party with a dj and drinks, checked out a party on a pier, visited some art galleries where all the art was for sale, had some fun with ice cream at Ghirardelli Square, had a fantastic meal in Castro, and walked around A LOT!
After the ladies left for back home, I visited some different corridors of the city like checking out a dubstep/dnb party with my friend John from SF and this guy I met at the hostel, Carl. Carl was a cool dude, we ended up doing a few different things together during the day and night. Before the party for instance, we walked around the Haights District (after it was closed unfortunately) and got to see the famous Amoeba Records store. That record store was amazing by the way -- they had the biggest EDM section I've ever seen and the prices were so low for so much great music. I didn't buy anything though, things like that aren't really things you buy when you're traveling in my opinion. The next night, I went into the Mission District for a few reasons... the first was to check out a Couchsurfers meetup which happened to be at this place called The Coffee Bar. I got there really early because I saw they were showing Saturday Night Fever and figured I'd have a bite to eat, watch the movie and maybe see some funny people. As it turns out, my friend Rob who had moved out there about two years earlier lived nearby and upon seeing my facebook update came to join me. We chatted and had fun watching this couple dance disco-style during the dance scenes in the movie at the restaurant. Then the CS meetup began and we ended up meeting quite a few people which warranted some great contacts for the future. I left the meetup around 11pm and headed to my second destination for the night, a psytrance party my friend Anna was djing at. It was good times and she played a great set. I'm not even much of a psytrance fan, but I did enjoy the music on this night.
On Friday the 13th I took the metro to Oakland because I had found a rideshare on Craigslist to Los Angeles and one of the stops in that city was the meeting point. It was about a 5 hour drive and unfortunately we didn't take the scenic route 1, but that would've taken an extra 3 hours not including stops. So, the highway it was. A boring ride but we had some decent small talk along the way. He dropped me off in the middle of Los Angeles, near UCLA I think and told me the busstop was right on this corner. With all my stuff, I'm standing on this corner with no busstop sign looking like an idiot while all the college people walk by. I waited about 5 minutes before I pulled out my trusty blackberry and opened up the LA transit guide. Apparently, the busstop was about 3 blocks away, heh. I found the bus and made my way to Koreatown and the hostel. When I got to the hostel, all the lights were off and the doors locked. I had to call over and over again to wake up the guy on duty. It was after midnight and I was getting a little pissy. But, he woke up and checked me in. I ended up being the only person in this huge 10 bed dorm. I didn't mind it so much because I could stretch out and didn't have to use headphones for my computer. During my stay in LA I visited Rodeo Drive, La Brea Tarpits, the LACMA art museum and took a bus trip down to Venice Beach for the day. On Monday I boarded a train called "The Coaster" down to San Diego. This was a fantastic ride right along the coast. Some beautiful scenary. I also spent most of the ride making a mix of new and old music. Perhaps I'll post it later when I find a nice internet connection and it won't take 3 hours to upload.
San Diego was awesome. I stayed at the Ocean Beach International Hostel in a 6 bed room that was full most of the time. My first night there, they had 'Beer Pong' night. I was a bit worried that the hostel was full of an underage frat crowd.... and I was right for the most part. It turned out there were some really awesome people there. During my stay, I explored Mission Beach, went to a party where Skandar was djing between sets of an Adam Freeland concert, trekked on the trolley down to San Ysidro with two Germans, Nils and Isabell, where we crossed the border into Mexico and visited Tijuana--Tijuana was a funny day, just check out the photo album. I also went with Skandar one night to two clubs, the first is not memorable but was the big rave club in the area, it was a decent space but I didn't really enjoy it. The second place we went was the Kava Lounge. That place was great. The vibe, the music (even though the dj wasn't really mixing), and definitely the people. I had a lot of fun dancing. On Saturday, I met up with Skandar and his roommates to go to a desert party. I was hoping to get a chance to dj at the event but hadn't gotten my hopes up so I never really practiced or bought new music. The drive was about 3 hours and it wasn't what I expected at all. I expected a burner type of event with theme camps, multiple music stages and hundreds of people. Instead it was a desert rave with one main promoter setting up the stage and about 200 people camping out. The vibe and crowd was awesome though. About 20 minutes after we got there, I met the promoter and he mentioned that one of the dj's wouldn't be showing up so since Skandar had put me on standby, it was my slot to have. And, the time of the slot? 11:30-1am, and right after Skandar. Talk about butterflies in the tummy! I spent about an hour in the car studying music and trying my best to prepare something for the set. When I say "prepare" it means I like to find a good intro track and a good track to mix into depending on what I believe the dj before me will be playing so as to keep the flow and vibe strong. My set turned out to be a huge success :) In fact, during the tail end, I was playing one of my favorite songs and all of a sudden the wind picked up creating a dust storm which ripped the tarp off of the shade structure that was set up. So, I like to think to myself that I actually ripped the roof off of the place, hehe. We stayed up all night listening to fantastic dj's play some fantastic music, and having some great conversations. There was a pretty strong dust storm in the morning when we were trying to leave which made packing up a bit frustrating. Finally, we got on the road exhausted yet still wired from the party. The drive even became part of the adventure... rock slides, an overturned truck with RV, and some tired aggression between the group. But we got home safely and passed out shortly after. I stayed with Skandar and his roomies for 2 nights before leaving on the 24th.
On Tuesday the 24th, I took the trolley down to San Ysidro again with all my gear and walked across the border into Tijuana. Then I caught a cab to the airport for a flight to Acapulco with an overnight layover in Mexico City. Mexicana airlines reminds me of flying to Arkansas when I was much younger... the plane served free food and even free booze!! Of course, I had one, a tequila and coke. I landed in Mexico City about 11pm and took the metro all the way into this district called Sevilla. I was staying at a hostel for the night, which turned out to not be the best idea in the world because I had to get up and out of the hostel by 7am. I finally got to sleep around 1am. I woke up at 645 and left the hostel by 715am. I then boarded the metro to the airport, but ended up getting lost because during morning rush hour the trains run on a different schedule and stop/start in weird places. I got to the airport at like 915 for a 955am flight. Security was a bitch! I had to go back and forth a few times because their detector was malfunctioning and wouldn't let anyone past until it worked. Through security at 950 and sprinting for my plane only to find out it had just left the hangar. During my sprint I actually tripped and scraped up my knee in my hurry. Nothing like karma hitting those precise moments in life. Anyways, I went to the counter to get a new ticket and got stuck in line behind a family of about 25 (seriously) and was stuck waiting for over an hour. At this point, my frustration had already drifted into just plain acceptance of my fate. The agent then tried to charge me an extra $50USD to get a new flight. After some complaining and pleading in my broken spanish, she bypassed the charge and put me on a 2pm flight. Phew. I made it to Acapulco that afternoon because the flight was only about 90 minutes. I paid for a shuttle to the hostel and a cab ended up taking a few others and me.
The hostel was called K3 International Hostel and this marks the beginning of an insane week.

To be continued...

Thanks for reading :)

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