I know there will be plenty of posts dedicated to my trip to Los Angeles, but right now I just have to say how much certain parts of the city had to resemble Rome before it fell. I know it’s easy to criticize a place that is inherently foreign to me, but I’ve travelled around the globe plenty of times and no place gives me this same visceral reaction that I get when I enter into Beverly Hills. It is full of the decadent kind of wealth that I associate with Monarchies and those tyrants who amass wealth while the populace suffers. I am not a socialist, but it is hard to tolerate this kind of excess when the rest of this country is suffering so deeply. Yet, to the young billionaire who was stalked by the paparazzi, life was as it should be. She was catered to, and the rest of the crowd breathed in her glory. From what I gathered from some of the cameraman (who really are rude, by the way) she has done nothing to earn her special treatment in the world except to have been born into money. While I certainly don’t blame her for this, I do expect that a country whose very existence is rooted in the rejection of power by this kind of “new” monarchy, not perpetuate the belief that they are indeed better. Every person that stood on that street and waited for the celebrity did that. And while I stood there all surly and couldn’t wait to get back on our LA tour bus, I couldn’t help but feel inferior and obvious in my “touristness” I felt stalkerish, and I didn’t like that feeling one bit.
While we were lucky to know friends there and venture out to some pretty remarkable restaurants, it was obvious that for one in particular (Asia de Cuba) the simple people get treated far less respectfully that those who flaunt their money and position. At one point I wanted to smack our waitress who often made it clear that she would rather be serving someone else. On a trip to the Ladies, my size 8 made me look like a heifer in comparison to the women, who looked as though they were in a non-size category. They were twittering like pernicious little twits about everyone else at the Sky bar…Iguess I’d be crabby too If my daily caloric intake was smaller than my shoe size. I grabbed my phone and looked down when I started laughing nervously so they wouldn’t know that I was laughing at the ruthlessness of their conversation. They were…horrible, there is no way to couch the judgment. In fairness to our gracious friends who took us there really for the excellent food, I kept my mouth shut. I also did so because my opinion was clearly not wanted or needed. To that end, future posts will be all about the great things that I experienced on our short jaunt. I did ruminate on the possibility that I harbor some deep envy, but I truly think that I I’m just better than that. I was raised to believe that you treat people how you want to be treated, that money doesnt exempt you from civility. None of us are better or worse for the size of our wallets…that is earned by what we do with what we have.