Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Wanderlust and whispers.


West Hollywood-Hollywood-San Luis Obispo-Morro Bay-Hearst Castle-Big Sur-Monterey

A man came to me in our dormitory room at a hostel in the quiet San Luis Obispo asking if he could borrow my cell phone for an alarm. The man explained that he was going to have to wake up very early in the morning to catch the earliest train possible to Los Angeles, and that coincidentally his cell phone had run out of battery, and that he had forgotten his charger back home. I eyed the bulky, dark-skinned man a bit, lying on my bed, and gave him a positive reply. I jumped out of my bed, gave him my cell phone with an alarm set on it and asked what drove him to the earliest train.

'A job inteview', the man replied solemnly, as if his thoughts were somewhere else.

'Cool. What kind of a job?'

'Quarterback for a team in NFL, National Football League.'

His reply caught me a bit off guard, my English turned into a foam of words, blocked by a fist-sized potato in my mouth, and eventually I fumbled back to my own bed and returned my thoughts into the book I was reading. The next thing I heard was whispers. Whispers from the bed of the gigantic African-American football player. Whispers in the dark, questions waiting for replies, hopes, wishes.

A prayer.

I like to believe that an honest prayer will get you far. That if you really believe in something, if you really want something to go in the way you want, and you pray for it, it will happen. I prayed when the morning, on which we were supposed to get our rental car, came and shone its first light on us.

We drove off from the car rental company's garage with enormous grins on our faces. I can't exactly recall the last time I've felt so genuinely happy, so utterly free, in my whole life. We were on the road, a good, upbeat song was playing from the car stereo and the sign said U.S. Highway 101. The land of freedom? Hardly - but for us, it truly was.

From the six-lane traffic to the winding roads of the Western coastal route, sun shone on our backs and our spirit was high. San Luis Obispo greeted us with a plesant hostel, a nice Easter dinner with the people in the hostel and a good night's sleep. The town was perfect for a one night stop, and with a full recovery behind us we were ready to face the magnificent State Highway 1 – one of the routes you need to drive before you die.

Big Sur gave the West Coast of New Zealand a run for its money as the most amazing coastal road I've ever seen, and in the end, after passing Bixby Bridge, I was convinced that I had found a new favorite. The ragged cliffs, colored in maroon, red, yellow, green, and every shade in between are not a sight for sore eyes – they are best enjoyed when feeling fresh. Driving under hawks, seeing a bobcat leap across the road and taking photographs of cute, little chipmunks, we felt like we hadn't seen nature in ages, even though nature was all we saw in New Zealand.

Now, after a decent meal in Monterey, I am writing words on inexpressible views and feelings from my bed, under my blanket. Soon I will close my eyes, lay down and whisper in silence.

A thank you.

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