Letting my hair down

While I’m gradually figuring my way through my twenties as though I’m Alice from Lewis Carroll’s timeless tale, Alice in Wonderland, I can’t help but learn things about myself. Like the fact that I only have fun on vacation, for instance. This is true, it seems. And it’s always the same. I work hard. Period. So it’s no surprise I crave vacations as much as I do. It’s no surprise that all my thoughts are directed toward the next country I want to explore.

I can’t deny that there’s something magical about being on vacation. Something miraculous happens to me when I’m learning other languages and dipping my toes into the Mediterranean. When I’m on vacation I let my hair down, as the expression goes. When I’m in a foreign element I converse with the locals and I stay out late and I try food that I probably wouldn’t be caught dead eating in Los Angeles and there’s not an ounce of guilt that comes with it. So… why is it so difficult for me to enjoy myself in Los Angeles?

Tonight I went on a mission. Tonight I let my hair down. I and a few friends went to the Los Angeles Art Walk where I viewed the newest works by Bohemian painters and up and coming musicians.

I apparently missed that it was, in fact, a walk, so my three and a half inch high heels were a big mistake. Having broken-in these particular pair of leather shoes walking down the Avenue des Champs in Paris, they were more comfortable then one would think. I kept the European tradition and smoked a few cigarettes as I strolled down the crowded streets while viewing glow in the dark exhibits of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, nude women and skull heads.

After all the hustle and bustle of downtown Los Angeles we ended up at DuPar’s diner in the valley. We ordered banana bread, coffee and a split pea soup that was oddly yellow instead of green.

I took a look at my friends across the table. Anna with her mermaid hair and gentle long fingers, giggling and elegantly nibbling on her banana bread. Scotty devouring a cheeseburger in his rugged leather coat. And I sat cross legged, really taking in the moment.

“Life is what you make of it,” my Scottish friend says as he sips his freshly poured coffee. I just love his accent. He continues.

“Really, it doesn’t matter what country you’re in or what you do for a living.”

“So what’s it about then?” I ask.

He takes another generous sip and smirks.

“It’s about being with the people you love.”

There you have it. So maybe I struggle to let my hair down in Los Angeles, or maybe I prefer who I am when I travel. One thing is for sure — I really have some special friends.

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