Day 8. There has been a drought in California for years. It’s hit the international news. The breadbasket of America, where they grow 90% of the world’s almonds. The trees are desiccated, the farmers have been boring thousands of foot down for groundwater. It’s a huge concern as there is produce grown here for use all across America. So all the rain that I’ve been experiencing is surprisingly welcome. But it ain’t raining. It’s pouring. It puts me in mind of the old song:
Got on board a westbound 747
I didn’t want to leave the house. I spent the morning finalising all the Vimeo crap and resumé nonsense that I have to put in place in order to have a chance of securing a meeting or two while I’m out here navel gazing. But I have to go out. I couldn’t just sit at home. I know rain, I tell myself. I grew up in The Isle of Man. I go out. How the hell am I drenched in 10 seconds in this part of the world? I walk to Koreatown. They really don’t expect rain over here. Like snow in London. There’s not much infrastructure. My friend across town messaged me saying he had seen loads of cars hydroplaning on the freeway. The drainage isn’t great. I’m in walking boots and the water is too high for them at the sides of the road. People are bailing water out of their houses. I have to detour widely to cross the roads dry. The rain is a thick solid horizontal curtain. Constant. Relentless. An old man with a load of animals is making a great big boat out of gopher wood. I wonder how he managed to get the cows to stand next to the lions like that. This is the second day of constant rain since I have been here, but hopefully it’ll go some way to replenishing the water tables. It’s miserable. And it’s the same tomorrow. By the time I get to Koreatown I am more liquid than solid. It’s windy too, that wind and rain combination that makes umbrellas pointless. I see them abandoned, all too familiar for the streets of London but not what I’d expect in Southern California.
Feeling like I have achieved something I shuffle like the creature from the black lagoon into a supermarket. I buy a frozen pizza. This has been the whole point of this expedition. The rain made me want pizza. The wallet made me walk through the rain to buy it frozen and take it back to digs to cook. Striking back out I think I should probably try and see more of Koreatown. This place appeals to me:
The proprietor speaks no English but I point at what looks like coffee. I get Nescafé. I’m not complaining, it’s warm. I nurse it, balefully watching the sky, trying to will this shit to ease off for 10 minutes so I can get home dry, I contemplate uber. But I’m already soaked. Fuck it. Back into the foulness. And that’s my day. Not quite the Trump March. More rain tomorrow. Oh joy.