southern california, nevada and arizona

Here I am sitting on an air bed in the home of a WWII veteran and his Malaysian wife in Arizona. They don’t have internet access and I’m stealing wireless connection from someone very generous.

America is a very weird place. The first person I stopped to ask for directions from was a man outside a warehouse by a van. Then I saw fuchsia and orange colored lights coming out of the warehouse and his van sported phrases like “striptease dance” and “lingerie dreams.” Very helpful and polite man he was.

While waiting in line, I heard too many people talk about their myspace. In one store, a girl yelled to her friend, “This song is in my profile!” And a lot of people greet you with “how are you?” without expecting a real answer.

The food portions here are huge. I can never finish anything I ordered. Despite being pro-green, most eateries here use a lot of plastic and paper. Walking into a supermarket is like being in a gastronomical Vegas. Everything here tempts you to eat more, drink more and have more. Speaking of Vegas, I hated it. I know hate is such a strong word, but I can’t find a more appropriate word to describe it… okay, maybe sleazy. And um, artificial.

I stayed in Silver Lake in Los Angeles. Very lovely environment… I’d come back to America just to walk around Silver Lake, Echo Park and Sunset. Possibly. I caught a glimpse of that Elliott Smith wall on Sunset Blvd. the other day but could not stop to photograph it. It was a stab in the heart.

Oh, and there was Amoeba. Love.

Los Angeles can be quite a lonely city. There’s so much activity going on, so many people everywhere but there’s something sad about it. Something vacuous. Listening to Rob Bell share about reconciliation and life minus the Christian jargons at the Wiltern was refreshing and much needed. I left knowing I’m cared for because God can be trusted.

And then there was the Grand Canyon. Catching the sunrise at 7,000 ft in toe-numbing weather was breathtaking. You stand in the midst of greatness being more aware of your breath, your breathing and life. Strangely, people watching the sun rise over the canyon don’t talk. They whisper. It is as though talking would disrupt nature or cause the sun to halt or stir the canyon from its slumber. A fitting way to respond to majesty, I suppose.

Here are some photographs:

Los Angeles

Nevada and Arizona

Walking alone along the edge of the forest in the canyon was good. Very good. Then came the squirrel poop, rabbit poop and poop by some larger unknown animal.

I’ll leave Arizona in two more days for Yosemite and then San Francisco.



  1. Line

    Hello,Happy to have stumbled upon your blog. The photography is amazing, and your writing so reflective and interesting. Thank you for sharing – I’ll be back for more!

  2. Anna

    I like the ones of the railing and the pew especially, but they are all lovely.

  3. astrobuddha

    I’m glad you were able to stay in Silver Lake. If you visit again, let me know, that’s where I call home. And yes, LA is can be quite lonely.

  4. sounds like you’re having a good time there! and the photos, …wow…. they just get ever more stunning!!!!!! you have such an eye!!!!!!!! carry on having a good trip, looking forward to the updates! :)

  5. A.PETH

    shoot. I wish I was in AZ (born and raised) when you were. I would have bought you coffee and we could have made fun of america together (although…I can appreciate my country). oh well. next time.If you’re ever in Oregon (specifically portland) let me know.great post.

  6. thundered cat

    line: thank you for being here :)anna: thanks!astrobuddha: i will. thank you.nà: thank you :) will post more when time permits.aubrey: i was thinking of stopping by portland on my way to seattle but couldn’t fit it in at the last minute. would’ve loved it though. when i come back, i will take you up on that :)

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