Greetings bastards. I hope you’ve all been enjoying the sun or snow or whatever weather conditions you’ve been subjected to over the last week and a bit. I’ve been dosing up on an enormous amount of vitamin D, straight chillin on the beach in Hawaii, like a right spoilt little sod.

Before we get to that though we have some recapping to do, so get comfortable and ready yourself for Chapter 35: Los Angeles.

Los Angeles is a sprawling enormousness of a city, much more a collection of small towns than anything else. We stayed in Downtown. In pretty much every other city in the world ‘downtown’ means where the action is and where it’s fun to go. In Los Angeles it means where the crack is and where it’s fairly terrifying to go. Ok, maybe it wasn’t as bad as all that, but aside from our very lovely hotel, the surrounding neighbourhood was yet another example of the American antipathy towards its empoverished peoples. Wherever you go in this country, a large community of mostly black, homeless and/or drug addicted people is never far away. For this I would just like to say a few swear words. Fuck you America, you racist wankers. Pay taxes, look after each other, stop pretending to be leaders of the free world when you don’t have your own shit together.

Ahem.

Sixth form politics aside, downtown LA is great, if nothing else for the fact that you can walk to Little Tokyo in around ten minutes and eat unbelievable sushi for an extraordinarily good price, then be home before sundown, when the really scary men come out to play.

If you find abject poverty a little galling it might interest you to know that a short bus ride away live some of the richest people in the world, in a little town called Beverly Hills. And if you’re willing and silly enough, you can pay someone to drive you around and show you their houses. I know deep down that I ought to sneer at celebrity obsession culture, and I appreciate that it is weird and voyeuristic to creep up to people’s houses just to see what vulgar monstrosity they’ve spent their latest royalty check on. But I defy anyone I know not to shit themselves and lose all sense of perspective when they get told they’re sitting just footsteps away from Danny Devito’s front lawn.

Of course you don’t have to go to Beverly Hills in an open top bus to see a celebrity. If you hit the beach down in Venice, among the ‘doctors’ who will give you an on the spot ‘assessment’ and ‘prescription’ for ‘medical’ marijuana, the skateboarders who will give you a massive inferiority complex with all the rad tricks they can pull off while absolutely off their tits, the busking pianist with the cat, and the man with the implausibly relaxed dog whose belly you can rub for a small donation; in amongst all the weirds you can see Will.I.Am making a new music video. Or at least you could if you went last Monday like we did.

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In summary, LA is like everywhere else in America. It has a drinking problem, it has obscene wealth, its inhabitants are accordingly mental and despite all its obvious flaws, I liked it.