Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The Earth was SHAKIN' in LA
No, for real, today I experienced my first memorable earthquake. So... last night we arrive at Andreas's house. We told him we'd be there around 9 or 10 but, of course, we arrived around midnight. Andreas was nice enough to let us in, give us the grand tour, show us where he laid out snacks and point out a big LA map draped over his living room table (which he moved to make room for the air mattress). Then we tell him that we're hungry and he recommends Fred 76, a total hipster - do hipsters call it a diner? - diner, down the block. Before we leave, Andreas tells us not to mind his crazy downstairs neighbor who might start pounding on the floor (from his ceiling below) if we make noise. We give him a puzzled nod and run off to get milkshakes. (They were unbelievably amazing, by the way. I got a black and white malted. I'll yelp it soon).
So, me, Paul and Mark get back to Andreas's around 1:30 after Fred's and begin to get ready for bed. Paul blows up the air mattress, we all try to access internet (to no avail) and we mill about, changing into pajamas and brushing teeth. Everyone goes to bed and then I hear a fierce knocking at the door. Of course, I get scared and hide under the blanket. Very reliable in these situations. The knocking gets louder and I hear "Police Department." As a New Yorker, I assume the worst. I imagine that there can't possibly be police outside the door but instead it's a murderer holding a weapon, just waiting for some moron like me to invite him in to shoot me. I wait for one of the three men in the apartment to answer the door... I know that's horrible and I should have been a strong female or whatever, but I just wasn't up to the task. Finally Andreas gets up, looks through the peep hole and...yes, it was the actual police. He opens the door and they say that someone below us has reported extreme noise coming from the apartment. This was obviously ridiculous since the apartment was completely dark and 4/5's of us were in bed. The police saw this, apologized and that was that.
So, now let me bring you to this morning. Andreas gets up for work, apparently. I get a slap on my hand that's extended off the couch and wake up from a disconcerting dream about a shopping mall (but like, not in a good way). Andreas urges me to transport my sleepy self into his room so I can sleep in a bed while he was at work. Fastforward several hours later and I feel some serious vibrating. I assume it's the crazy man downstairs pounding on the ceiling with a broomstick and I keep my eyes closed. The pounding went on for MUCH longer, however, and it was really more serious and intense than I thought any old man could muster up. So yeah, that was a 5.8 earthquake apparently. Paul slept through it.
It was pretty cool to be in L.A. for one of these authentic natural occurrences. That's one thing you can't pay a tour guide for on the quack bus, you know? (Have you seen these insane duck buses that tour around San Fran and Seattle? Everyone gets a quacker to make a duck sound and they take you around the important tourist sites. It's sort of obnoxious).
We did more in L.A. It was great to see Andreas and Erin! Erin picked me up and we drove to Manhattan Beach for a walk and fish tacos. It was a good time and I could see how someone could get really drawn in to this kind of sunny, laid back lifestyle over here. This is some place I'd like to spend more time.