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Brad moved out of his room and needs “my” couch for the next few weeks, so I had the obligation to find a new sleeping space. I desperately asked around and facebook-messageed people. For the first out-of-stoner-apartment night a friend named Mike let me crash in his place.
Mike is living in the basement of a close fraternity house, and for the first half hour hanging out there, we mostly talk about women, Europe and California and stare at a blue, blank screen on his TV. While watching some crappy movie about a wannabe-gangster in posh Malibu, I doze off.
The next day, I am quite sure that I will be able to sleep at Leif’s – another buddy that goes to UCLA and has a talent for math and nonsense humor – place on his couch.
The night I arrive, there is no Leif there tough – he is on a party and expects me there – and so I innocently plan to sleep on one of the 6 huge couches in the fraternity lobby. This fraternity was thrown out of the house for a couple of unknown reasons, and little by little, people are moving in that want to start the fraternity again.
Not everybody is out that night tough, and instead of falling asleep, I randomly meet a couple of people, go to a trashy sausagefest (the vast majority of a party crowd are men), learn about various French fish dishes and nearly manage to force three guys to the ground in their laughter about some transvestite remark that I make.

Leif doesn’t show up, and I want to hang out with Lorena the next day early in the morning, and as random as the rest of the night was, I meet one of the oldschool fraternity guys and he offers me room number 16 for th last couple of days I will stay in LA.

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Schools starts again for Lorena, and so I have the choice of either sleeping into the day in room number 16 or getting up at 6 in the morning and spending my time at Starbucks. Due to the high working efficiency that I exprience in coffee places, I choose the latter one. So I meet Lorena for a couple of days with my laptop under my arm in front of the fraternity, and while she adjusts her school clothes, I race up Sunset Boulevard to drop myself off at Starbucks while she sits in school. In the last couple of weeks, I made random aquintances in Starbucks, out of which I handpick you the best:

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Mr Ogidobodo-Rastafari
A man of maybe 50 years, with huge rasta dreads and a really talkative mouth that misses a couple of teeth. He is surly on of the candidates for medical Marijuana, and starts telling me stories how he had a TV show in Los Angeles every monday with more than 10,000 viewers, and how her interviewed all kinds of famous scientists for his show. He wants to put the show online and following to my answer “if I would be good with computers”, he asks me for assistance to buy a computer and get his show running online. The conversation gets pretty odd after he tells me about this tribe in Africa that has connections to extraterrestrial beings and that the world needs to accept wonders like that.

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The guy in the blue shirt
He claims to not look his age – I guess him silently in his seventies, before he reveals to me that he is in his fifties. There are two cool stories that he tells me and everybody else: The first on is that he was once going to a boy school pretty much opposite of the girl school that Lorena goes to, and in those good old days where there were no security cameras, the good looking boys (he seemed to be one of them in his story, altough I couldn’t tell his handsomeness in young years) would sneak across the street over to the girls dorms and “kiss them” and “sometimes touch them, you know”. He is very good in telling that story with hand and feet, and even if you don’t requestit, hewill repeat it for you about four times in a row before he is finished.
The secondstroy is that he used to work for the fire fighters before he retired. Actually, he first worked for the fire fighters, then the ambulance, and then the police. I was amazed and asked him which was the most fun, and he chose the fire fighters as his favorite. On the question if he was on scene he objects and clarifies that he worked for all these departments in an office.
The guy in the blue shirt always wears his blue shirt, and seems to be in Starbucks every day. He sometimes just sits and stares straight ahead for more than an hour, and sometimes he approaches the people sitting next to him and telling them his story.

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The Turk
I don’t know much about him, but one day I asked if I can sit on the same table, and he said yes. He was about 30 years old, three-day beard and business attire. After a couple of nonconversational minutes he produces a sandwhich in this typical hard plastic wrapping out of his business case and offers me to join him eating it. I thank him and take one of the halves that are in the box. Twenty minutes later, he puts his laptop away and says goodbye with a smile – and leaves the other tasty half of this sandwhich with me. The box sais something like “$6.55”.

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Douglas
Actually, I met the Turk last, but Douglas was by far the most interesting one. First of all, I still have no idea wether Douglas is a legitimate person or not. Out of all my Starbucks-aquintances he is the only one whose email adress I keep, and the only one that really raises interest in me.
This particular day my cellphone is accidentally empty. I make myself dream about waking up and wake up at 3AM, 4AM, 5AM and 5:40AM in room number 16. After a shower, I still have a good amount of time left, so I start working on my paper for the Gedenkdienst. Completely in flow, I forget about time, and the next thing I know is that the watch on my laptop says 6:46 – and I have to be outside a 6:45. Accidentally, Lorena is still in the parking lot, and we drive to Hollywood.
By chance, none of the big chairs is free, so I have to plug my laptop in on this table where this one guy sits.
We really get going after I look after his laptop for a couple of minutes, where he opens a Word document and lets me read the first two chapters of his autobiography. Later I find out that he started off as a bush pilot in the US, then South America, the Russia and couple of more countries. He tells me about how he had a gold mine in the Amazon jungle and how he trained himself to wake up every day at 4 in the morning, with four hours of sleep, because if you want to be a global player, so he always tells his son, then you have to get up in Los Angeles when people in New York wake up.

The story of his rollercoaster carreer, which includes yacht companies, privatye jets, gold mines, and on the other side two times homelessness, is pretty fascinating and at the same time dubious.
He tells me about his recent project, an invention his brother made together with him, that shall be sold to General Motors; I tell him I would recommend him to do that whole thing in 3D and show him some of my portfolio.
He grabs his wallet, pulls out fourty dollars and says “Let’s get started then!”

While I work next to him in Cinema 4D, he tells me to ban words like “maybe”, “if”, “probably” from my vocabulary, and to stay away from dreamers.
“The people you want to meet are doers, not dreamers. Stay away from dreamers.”

At the end of our aquintance he gave me a business idea. Afterwards, I asked my dad for advice and he told me the idea had a couple of flaws. I think about realizing the idea any way, not because it is so good, but to get my mind started on thinking business.

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