I’m up and out of bed 6 am, ready to greet the day and my new life since I haven’t done this in decades. I’m a classic late riser. When I say late, I mean really late: 11 am, 11:30, maybe even 12. It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s just that my works has me keeping other hours, those of a night watchman, say. I have only ever experienced the beauty of the morning second-hand or after writing all night long. Today, the nine-hour time difference made waking up this early possible. Good morning, L.A. – and half a day’s work is done by noon.
I stop by Mel’s Drive-In and we sit down in the 1950s – the good old days of cinemas and life, the backdrop for a thousand and one films. American Graffiti made this diner famous, and that film was George Lucas’ very first box-office hit. You could even say he launched Star Wars from Mel’s. And what about me, a guest now in this diner? Am I just an extra or am I playing the lead in the film of my life? I find myself thinking like this in L.A. before the day is half over. It’s good. It’s cool. This is not jet lag, it’s real life. By now, it’s afternoon and I’ve soaked up more sunlight than I would in several days in northern Germany. Rising early makes you happy. Three palm trees tower above my hotel and the sun goes down beyond Sunset Boulevard. The evening sky looks like painting in pale pink. And, I’ve said, I’ve finished the work I had to do now and will be flying home tomorrow to my life as a nocturnal animal. But one last time before I go, I get to wake at 6 am. I’m looking forward to it!
Our columnist, Helge Timmerberg, an irrepressible globetrotter since 1969, writes travel books and contributes monthly to our magazine.