It’s Called LAX for a Reason

20 Jul

The Ever Popular Burger King Starbucks Franchise at LAX

Day one of Australia took off on a jet … like a jet … as fast as a jet could go minus the six hour lay over in LAX (anyone else pick up on the shortened term for Los Angeles International – it’s like a laxative running through you sapping all of your resources and energy). The main terminal was not bad, Burger King/Starbucks, Chili’s to Go (still haven’t figured out that name) and a few book stores.  The international side, whew, absolutely nothing there with the construction going on.  Not much to choose from, a decent amount of space, and lot’s of waiting. Oh, and be prepared, not too many places to plug in appliances, probably part of their huge remodeling project.

Still, the kids were in a good mood, we were all excited to be on our way.  The girls hit on the cute dumb boys and made fools of themselves, the rest of the group formed their cliques (mostly by groups of boys and girls).  I’m still amazed to watch the boys and girls interact – the girls who are flirting will pull all of the same old tricks, the guys pretty much sit there and flex – like peacocks – not really saying anything.  It’s fairly awkward, but I guess that’s how it is in these early years.

We had one cryer that I could see.  It wasn’t so much her first time being away from home – or in another country – it was her parents making a big deal about her being away from home for the first time.  She was fine until her dad ran up and gave her a “key” (literally) saying it brought good luck and safe travels.  That’s when the tears started, but the tears were soon forgotten once we were unleashed on SFO.

Shopping in the airport is interesting, duty free speaks for itself though I haven’t figured it out.  What I can’t get is Swatch – when did they go airport exclusive? And, $50 for a colorful piece of plastic? Or, $75 if the band is fabric? Granted, if I were back in 4th grade I would totally go for a neon orange Swatch or maybe a Royal Blue one (I might even do that now, go Kimball), but only if they came with a face guard and someone else was buying them.  Otherwise, cut the price in half and I might think about it … THINK about (meaning I probably still wouldn’t buy the watch).

On the LAX International side, life was very different. I believe they call it LAX because it drains you of all life and energy giving nothing in return, much like the abbreviation for LAXative. There were not enough places to charge your electronic devices, the wall outlets were dead, and the few charging stations that existed were all full. One guy took up a whole station with his computer, iPod, and iPhone. A student went up and asked if he could use the USB charger on his computer so the student could charge their iPod, the guy just stared and said it would take too long. This tells me the guy is rich enough to buy the toys, but either too ignorant or too selfish to know how they work. There is another word for this guy too, but there are kids around, so I refrained. On another note, if you are traveling international any time soon, stay on the domestic side as long as you can, especially if you need a book or need to eat. There is a lot of construction on the international side, not much to see or do there.

Qantas was amazing.  I have never been on a 747 this big.  Granted, I would like some more room in my seat – it was more optimal for someone under six feet – but the entertainment was decent, food was better than expected, and I actually slept about six hours. The frustrating part was when I stood up to let the people next to me use the restroom, the guy sat on my armrest where he simultaneously turned on my light, called the steward and broke my headphones.  Now my headphones had the distinction of being broken by someone else’s ass, nice.  To add insult to injury, the steward came up asking me if I needed help – half asleep with my ears clogged from the altitude I had no idea what he said.  I thought he wanted me to turn off my light as the cabin was dark.  It was not until he pushed the button on my armrest that I put it together.

I’m surrounded by teens, meaning I have a few boys next to me who sweat too much, serious odor problems.  On my right is a group of girly girls, I had to ask them to not spray their body mist any more, it could be perceived as insulting by other people in a confined space.  They laughed, scowled, then acquiesced. It smells like BO with a hint of floral, the ideal locker room for Mary Kay.

We are about an hour out, paperwork is filled out for customs (hopefully they don’t take away my protein bars).  I had no idea soil on my boots could be a problem, I might be buying shoes here, we will see.  I wore a pair of black shoes here that I’m okay with if they don’t make it.  I need new work shoes anyway.  Black slip on shoes, no laces, perfect for security checks in airports and completely comfortable for long walks in big cities.  The boots are for the outback, time for rock climbing and swimming in waterfalls.

I’m looking forward to Sydney and the beach – I love the beach anywhere.  Sydney is just a great city, much to see and do, very metropolitan.  That, and maybe, just maybe, I will find Carmen San Diego.  I tracked her all the way from SF – my clues were an opera house, city next to water, large bridge and colorful dollars.  I just might have her now …

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