Jamming on the Streets of Laguna Beach.
As soon as I crossed from Mexicali, Mexico, to Calexico, California, things started to work in my favour. Simply because of the language barrier. I was determined to travel Mexico by land to get familiar with it and pick up a little spanish. But now was not the time, because I was flat out of money. Mexico is certainly a cheaper place to get by, but not if you don’t speak spanish. Half-ish way up the Pacific coast I caught the next bus for the border and spent my birthday and Good Friday staring out into the Sonora Desert. It was like totally spiritual, man.
North American rambling is a culture I understand a little better. Where to sleep, where not to sleep. Busking, The English freaking language. I could talk to maybe 1/25 people in rural Mexico when I needed help. Since returning to inglis, I’ve scored free guitar strings, bus passes, a $20 from the guy who drove me to San Diego.. Discounts, that kinda stuff.
As I’ve run into colder temperatures, I traded in my #beachlyfe Shorts and sleeveless shirt, for my much more raggedy army pants and Blue Jays bunny hug. It was a particularly brisk day in Oceanside and I’d been bumming around town for my second day, having missed the city bus north to county limits. Now looking scragglier, I sat there on my bag waiting for the bus outta here. When a guy in a suit walks by on his cell phone, tosses me a buck. Sweet, thanks man! Moments later, same spot, another guy walks by and gives me a pack of cookies.
Dios Mio, they think I’m homeless!
Now anytime I stand or sit in one place too long, waiting for a bus or what-have-you people start giving me things. I’ve made more money sitting on my bag, than I have busking.
So there I was sitting in the park waiting for a bus, as this lady walks up with 2 big bags.
“Hi! I’ve got Juice and sandwiches here, would you like some?”
“You mean like a charity, or are you selling them?”
Out of the goodness of her heart she comes to the park and offers the hobo’s free food.
But my word, I’m a homeowner, with a macbook pro in my olive green army bag. And the safety of essentially one phone call away from GTFOing outta here.
Carlsbad. More like Joelsbad
They don’t know that. Today I was given a 6 inch sub from a guy at the LA Union Station Subway. So for the last week-ish I’ve been bumming up the California coast, sleeping on the beaches and busking occasionally. City-bus hopping more than hitchhiking, it doesn’t work through the cities. I got off in Laguna Beach because it looked ritzy.
From across the street I saw a man who looked exactly how I would look like had been doing this kinda livin’ for the next 30-40 years. Fully equipped with a guitar, and a smaller bag of stuff. He waved me over, though I had already turned in his direction.
His name was Outlaw. He has written platinum selling songs for artists such as Adele and Jason Aldean. Except for he hasn’t. But he wanted to jam. It was fun. He played solo over my songs… never really hitting the same note twice. He also sang a few of his own. We made 9 bucks, but the liquid courage cost $7.
Feeling the need to move I made it up to Long Beach by sundown. No actual beach in sight, or a remote-ish location to sleep. That and it was freezing, so I dipped into the emergency fund and got a hotel. On my walk to where I heard there was a cheap hotel, I met a mom named Holly, walking back to the homeless shelter before curfew.
From the rural community of Collins GA, Holly and her son moved to California a few years ago. Her boy is half Samoan, and was therefore rejected by her supremely white community. She was no longer allowed into the only store in town. A family friend for over 30 years. And so she decided to move to the coast. Starting off with no Home, herself and her 8 year old Son camped in the Caves along the beaches of San Clemente. <— Crazy enough to share, I thought.
Anyway, I’ve got no money and no socks and don’t feel like doing this all the way up the coast, so I booked a train to Seattle, then back to Canada as I’ve saved a $300 CDN fund in my wallet.
From Vancouver I suspect I’ll work my way East back to Eyebrow, So if anybody along those west Canadian trails feel like harbouring this hobo for a night, send me an email!