May
31
2007

Arriving, First Impressions & Accommodation

The trip is underway; I arrived in Los Angeles a few hours ago, and haven’t slept in about 22 hours, still feeling pretty good though. The flight was relatively painless, despite being sat right at the back of the plane and amongst a large and interesting Jewish family that seemed to have relatives visiting every few minutes from different parts of the plane. The flight was 14 hours, I thought I was going to have plenty of waiting around at Melbourne Airport when I went into the departure lounge at 9am for a 10:25 flight, but after I’d made a few purchases they were calling for boarding nearly right away. The flight went by quickly thanks the on-demand in flight entertainment. I didn’t get a window seat and the people that did had there windows shut the entire time, so I didn’t get to see anything until we arrived in LA.

It is currently midday and I was lucky enough to be able to check into the hotel as soon as I got here (not the 3pm that they advertise). Getting to the hotel was easy, there were hundreds of free shuttles that were zipping past every few seconds and it was just a matter of hailing the one for my hotel. My room is pretty neat, overlooks the airport itself, but there is no noise through the windows whatsoever. The room is equipped with free high speed internet and there is wireless in the lobby apparently. I managed a download speed of 2MB per second at one point. The TV has 18 channels; CBS, NBS, WB, CNN, ABC, CSPAN, Local, Headline News, FOX, Discovery, UPN, TBS, HBO, ESPN, TNT and Weather. The only downside of the room so far is the lack of fridge, hopefully that isn’t the case at other places I stay though.

The traffic here is everything it is made out to be and more, it is unbelievable the amount of cars and the speed at which they are moving, I’m sure it is exaggerated in my mind a little though because I am still getting my head around the whole opposite side of the road thing. Even though I’m not driving, just crossing the road throws you off a little, in my brief walk before I found the drivers to be courteous though. The amount of 4WD and trucks though is astounding; I even saw a stretch hummer limo.

Once I was settled in the hotel I took a deep breathe and went for a walk on the streets. It was nerve racking, but I never really felt threatened, it was actually strange how few people were around. I walked a fair way up West Century Blvd, there wasn’t much to see besides fast food restaurants, I took some photos along the way. I stopped off at 7-Eleven and picked up some fruit and snacks. There were a few strange characters hanging around there, I saw quite a few homeless people on my short walk as well as some windscreen cleaners that looked like they could be too.

There is a Subway just outside the hotel, so I decided to play it safe and have lunch there (I think I’ve had two breakfasts and two lunches in the past 24 hours). Well, what I thought was playing it safe was entering a foreign world. You have to place your order on a touch screen computer, most of the menu items were the same as home, apart from the cheeses and a few other things. Once you put your order in on the computer you get a ticket number and then you wait for them to make your sub and then go up and pay. When you pay, the cash register has a chute that automatically spits out all your coin change.

The weather report says it is 21 degrees here and in brackets it has (feels like 25). It is pleasant outside and while it isn’t super hot, the sun feels like it has more bite that it does on a 21 degree day at home. The morning was smoggy, but now that has cleared up a bit and it’s relatively sunny. That’s all I can be bothered writing about now, I’m ready to go to sleep for a long time now. I’ve put up the photos I took.

About the Author: Andrew Ferguson

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