Coming into Los Angeles

I hate everything about airports. It’s a clichéd thing to say. Everyone hates them. Well, maybe not everyone. I guess some people can see past the lines and see the destination. I can never see beyond the person moving slowly in front of me. I wish I could see the destination. But, in a way, I think that would be scarier than the flight.


I’m moving to LA today. I’m scared as hell. It’s a city that has its stripes drawn in the blood of all that have been lured in and slaughtered. It’s a healthy fear though. Like being afraid of the sea. Perhaps respect would be the right word. But then, how can you respect a place that happily elects a body builder/Kindergarten Cop as its governor?

But if I wasn’t afraid, I would be afraid. If it all felt like it was going to be a breeze then I would be in for an enormous shock. It’s going to be a harder transition than any I have gone through before. I need to adapt to an entirely new way of life. I need to learn to drive. I need to experience a Christmas in 30 degree heat. I need to learn to convert Celsius into Fahrenheit. I need to describe fluid not by its volume, but by its weight. I need to teach my skin not to contract melanoma. I need to get my knees covered in piss every now again so that I can suck some penis in a public bathroom. I need to learn to prepare people for my twisted metaphors. I need to learn how to describe myself in two sentences.

I’m Ross. I write shit.

I’m Ross Gardiner and I’m from Scotland. I write stuff.

My name’s Ross Gardiner and I’m from Scotland. I write fiction.

Yo! Whassup?

I’m Ross. I’m going to make you rich.

Ross is the name. Being a writer from Scotland is the game.

I’m Kevin Costner’s pool cleaner. I’m writing a screenplay.

I’ll work it out on the plane.


But another important side of this is my departure from Korea. But I saved this one until the end. I’ve left here before. I’ve said that I’m never coming back here before. When people asked if I would come back in the past, I would say, “Fuck no! This balls? Fuck this noise!” or something equally obnoxious and arrogant. This time round, I said, “I don’t think so, but you never know.”

I’ve had a great time here over the years. I’ve met some wonderful people. I’ve met some of the biggest pieces of shit I’ll ever encounter. I’ve earned a lot of money. I’ve spent a lot of money. I’ve been terrified when the North threatens to kick off. I’ve laughed when the North have threatened to kick off. It’s been a mixed bag.

The art scene helped and encouraged me to grow and change to the point where I feel confident (but suitably terrified) enough to be making a move like this. Were it not for the people I’d met there, I would have never considered something like this to be a viable option. There are two ways of interpreting that…

But it’s done now. It’s over and I don’t feel like anything. My significant other, someone who liked Korea very much, has said that she hasn’t missed the place at all since landing in America over two months ago. That’s a positive sign. Because I was hitting a point where I was starting to hate the place again.


But my flight is about to board and I need to go. No time to write anything particularly interesting, or challenging, or good for that matter. I just felt like I had to write something, since this is, I suppose, the biggest move of my life and one of the most important decisions I have ever made.

Today is the day that I feel like I’m moving out of my early-twenties.

“My name is Ross Gardiner. I’m going to take over the fucking world.”

There, that’ll do for now.

19 thoughts on “Coming into Los Angeles

  1. katinkatonka says:

    Hahaha! Nice descriptions of yourself! I wish you a good flight! Yes, I think you’re ready to take over the world, man! Have fun there and keep it real!

  2. VG says:

    All the best of luck!! Haha I agree with katinkatonka, you’re ready to rule the world!! Nice video by the way

    • Thanks very much! I used to play that song in our school’s band. Teacher didn’t realize it was about smuggling drugs until it was too late to change it. We performed it in a showcase show for schools in the Highlands of Scotland in front of about 1000 people! Love that song x

  3. Z says:

    good luck to you mr gardiner.. was a pleasure crossing minds with ya

  4. Barolojoe says:

    Hello from Heidelberg,

    well, I’ve never been in Caifornia. But the music scene in LA is meanwhile pretty lame, I guess. At least , compared with the early & mid-eighties: the heydays of ‘The Pailsey Underground Movement’ – with live acts like ‘The Rain Parade’ , Dream Syndicate’ & ‘True West’ in town…

    Greetings from Germany


    You are right – Neo-Psychedelia might offend conservative Arlo Guthrie & Bob Dylan fans… :->

    …so, as small compensation, I’m introducing you to Mr. Hans-Ulrich Jörges in Berlin, journalist & a leading figure of the German Anti-Facebook Party:!-bis-Online-wird-Leitmedium_105120.html

    • Thank you for all of this! I might need some time to get through it all! But I can assure you that I will do my best to as soon as I have time! Welcome to the blog by the way 🙂 It’s really nice to have you here and contributing. I really appreciate it! x

  5. Barolojoe says:

    In the haste, I’ve misspelled it above: ‘Paisley Underground’ – that’s the correct term.

    Another cult group from L.A., founded there in the early eighties: legendary Jeffrey Lee Pierce’s ‘Gun Club’.




    Their album’s ‘Miami’ & ‘Las Vegas’ should be among the first items to buy – from the incoming fat royalties of your authorship soon… ;->

  6. Christine says:

    I wish you all the best Ross! It’s always scary/exciting to move
    to another country. Have a save flight 🙂

  7. hannah says:

    Will be there on Sunday giving the Venice Beach, Abbot Kinney, Santa Monica Pier tourist tour to the girls. Feel free to join in 😉

    • I’m sorry for getting back so late on this one Hannah. I was still all junky and jet lagged then. Plus we live miles away from Venice. It’s so weird because it feels like the same city. Another time though?

      • hannah says:

        will be back there this saturday, but that’s kind of on short notice. still it would be fun to see you.

      • We just got our new place in Koreatown (I know, I can’t quite drag myself away from that tit…) so we’ll be moving things and driving around town all weekend.

        I could do with going out and getting fucked and meeting people on Saturday night though, so we’ll see what happens. x

      • hannah says:

        … nice, korea town. try the soup at the “beverly tofu house”. very little restaurant run by two old ladies, cheap, wierd looking but great.

  8. Shawn says:

    Welcome to beautiful Southern CA. We’re glad to have you. A few tips:

    1. I need to adapt to an entirely new way of life. Yes. Laid back unless you’re making a deal.
    2. I need to learn to drive. Absolutely. You can’t get out of this one. But there is pub transport in & around the immediate LA area.
    3. I need to experience a Christmas in 30 degree heat. Not likely. In Sydney, yes, but in LA, it SHOULD be a pleasant 21-24C if sunny, so no sweat (ha ha – sorry, my bad).
    4. I need to learn to convert Celsius into Fahrenheit. See above: about 70-75F. I had a hard time learning it the other way. My hubby prefers not to and has all of his gizmos set to use Celsius (weather websites, satellite temp gauge, etc.) and metric distances (navigation system gives distances in Kilometers).
    5. I need to describe fluid not by its volume, but by its weight. DH hates this. Hates, hates, hates this. You need to get a universal measuring cup that lists imperial and metric, volume and weight. It exists, and we use it constantly.
    6. I need to teach my skin not to contract melanoma. SPF 45 (to 100) Neutrogena Ultrasheer Dry Touch sunscreen (not greasy) — or Ocean Potion SPF 50 sunscreen (smells like orange). They say it doesn’t matter how high you go, really, 100 is no better than 30. So, I think 30 is the magic number, but I still take at least 45-50. Higher than that, it gets gunky.
    7. I need to get my knees covered in piss …. Uh, I’m not going to go there.
    8. I need to learn to prepare people for my twisted metaphors. No. Surprise them. Wink. Put your sunglasses on and leave them hanging. They’ll think that what you said was really cool even if they don’t get it.
    9. I need to learn how to describe myself in two sentences. One of the first things you will hear when meeting someone is, “What do you do?” Be prepared to answer it, own it and be proud of it.

    Side note: You will also often hear, “Oh, you are English?” Don’t be offended. “Are you Irish?” Again, don’t be offended. And finally, you will hear from girls and young women, “I just loooooooove your accent.” You will be treated differently (in a good way) because of your accent — especially if you lay on the charm.

    That’s all for now, dear friend. Welcome!

    • So far so good Shawn! The advice is much appreciated! It’s been such a trip so far. I’m fucking exhausted. As it turns out, my body has recently decided that it’s going to catch up on all of that sleep it hasn’t been getting in the last few months. I’ve been trying to work out getting a new life started and sleep wheelbarrow loads in the last few days. But still, like I said, going very well so far. We’ll be fine out here…

      More coming soon…


  9. Christina says:

    Good luck, Ross! 🙂

  10. eringoing says:

    Let the taking over begin! I’m with your lady, as I have not missed Korea at all since being home, just friends I made there. I wish I could give you your first driving lesson. So long as you stay on the right you should be a-ok. Looks like you got aplace before I did! Miss you and hope your new haircut grows out fast.

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