(or A Really Bad Sort of Day).
Flying business class has a lot of advantages not least of which is being allowed out of the death cylinder quicker. Said advantage being debatable of course, when what is outside the death cylinder is LAX (insert more dramatic music here). Unfortunately when you fly from Australia you are pretty much doomed to enter the US via LAX. I’ve heard it said that John Howard only joined the Coalition of the Willing because Dubya lured him in with the promise that all flights from Australia would be re-routed through, well, anywhere but LAX.
The arrivals hall was packed, hot and airless and dominated by a huge American flag hanging from the rafters. Trust me on this, no other country in the world finds it necessary to do this and it pisses people like me off no end. Not because it’s hanging there, because goddamit, this is the US and you can hang your flag anywhere you want but because while it’s hanging there yelling out WELCOME TO THE US OF A WHAT A GREAT COUNTRY, I am standing in a queue, barely able to breathe, hot, exhausted and cranky for three quarters of an hour (and this, by the way, was no different prior to 9/11) and you know what? The last thing I am thinking at that moment is YAY WHAT A GREAT COUNTRY. I think the least they can do is hang say, a Bangladeshi flag up there until you pass by and have forgotten all about it.
Finally, I and my passport and my three pieces of carry-on luggage make it to Rodriguez the Surly and despite my having been reported to the CIA a couple of years ago (another story), and after some curious finger and eye scanning, through into the US. As per usual, our bags had been off-loaded from the carousel quite some time prior and were standing unguarded in the middle of the floor. This also annoys me – for so many reasons. Bah.
Now because this was a quick jetlag stopover, I had booked into the Crowne Plaza at LAX. Bad mistake. Firstly, two of their (empty) darn shuttle buses passed me by. When one deigned to stop and pick me up, it was crammed and we had to make several more stops – to pick up a bunch of very loud and obnoxious young Aussies (bah again at that word) who were off to be summer camp counsellors. Yikes, the hotel was swarming with them. Secondly, my room wasn’t ready. Thirdly, when my room was made ready it just happened to be at the end of Runway One. I was hit by the ambient noise as I opened the door and threw back the curtains to investigate – to find myself almost literally face to face with the pilots of a taking off jumbo.
The pilots happily waved off, I pulled out my rare and ergo precious (remember that, it will come in later), industrial strength earplugs and discovered indeed that the Crowne Plaza do have nice beds. A few hours of sleep later, the bar was looking decidedly attractive. I watched a game of basketball on the big screen TV and laughed when a bloke got elbowed in the face and almost cried. I decided this is why they play basketball and not AFL. It seemed to be a semi-final or something and a lot of people were excited when Detroit won. I was just excited to find that although I didn’t have Spicy’s number on my phone (drat!), I did have Zen's.
So after getting happily schnorked in the bar and feeling pretty brotherly happy for all the Detroiters there, I decided it might be time to revisit bed and hopefully kiss jetlag goodbye. No. This was not to happen. In fact, jetlag was my friend for the whole two weeks I was away. Oddly, I returned home and had no lag whatsoever, I seemingly just didn’t get into the zone at all. Ergo, two hours later, despite vodka and exhaustion it was *BOING, time to bounce*. Of course, the planes taking off outside my window just weren’t helping much either. I even tried the complimentary relaxation CD but gave up when I couldn’t hear it over the engine noise. At 3am, crazy with the thought of having to face LAX again in the morning and combined with some hellish EUAWTWTRTTDAOBTALOMTGAOOO, I decided on more sedation. Result of which was that despite two alarms being set (I once slept through next door’s house burning down) I overslept – never a good scenario when one has several planes to catch.
So, that was the day of misery. Trisherina enters the story tomorrow - all will be happy, happy, happy!