Touchdown in L.A.

I'm here...posting another blog entry at about the same time I did today (yesterday or tomorrow, or whenever). I’m sitting in the American Airlines terminal at LAX across from a Starbucks (where else?!) waiting for my flight to Chicago. I had to pay $6 for an hour’s worth of net access, so I’m using the time that I have left (after checking my email) to jot down a few lines here…

My flight was OK. It took nearly two hours of standing in line in Brisbane to check in, however. There were only two employees standing at the nine Economy check-in counters to process a nearly full 747. Sure, there were two counters open in Business class too, but that didn’t really help things. As a result of this staffing shortage, our plane left nearly an hour late, after several of us had to run to the gate when they made the final boarding call, just seconds after we got our boarding pass.

Anyway, I made it. I sat next to a very large woman, which made simple things like eating and sleeping a challenge. I watched three movies, several sitcoms, and probably slept an hour or two. Going through immigration and customs here took about 15 minutes. I picked up my rental phone, and walked out into the cool California sunshine. Of course, I was immediately accosted welcomed by three different solicitors begging for money (and I couldn’t even make out what “cause” they were mumbling about as I shooed them away). Back in Australia, I haven’t run into one panhandler yet, and anyone soliciting for charity sits quietly at a card table with a sign. They must come meet up with their American equivalents for some tips!

It does make me smile to hear those bilingual recordings of the LAX public address system and to be barked at once again by an unfriendly TSA agent. It feels almost like home.