28 March 2012

Touch down in LA

Travel Buddy tucked in, ready for the flight to LA.

Plane flights suck.

It is 13 hours from Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles, America... erghhhh. And that's actually lucky because it was meant to be a 14 hour flight, but I guess even the pilot knows how stupidly boring the flight is so he must of put his foot down.

But on that note I can announce that I have actually landed in America!

Although I am too tired for it to really register at this point...

The flight wasn't too bad I guess, I was on one of those Airbus A380's which was pretty smooth. The only downside of the flight was that I just happened to be in what I bet was the only seat on the plane where the button to lean your seat back wouldn't work... so that made sleeping tough.

Oh, and then there was that time the guy in front of me put his seat back... so the TV was about 10cm from my face.

Not to mention that for some reason I was sitting in between a husband and wife... whom for some reason opted to sit away from each other... which later became clear when they were completely ignoring one another (awkward...).

Then of course when I finally managed to fall asleep in my perfectly upright position, said wife got really sick and started throwing up everywhere... that smelt nice. And despite my strong suggestions to the husband of "I don't think your wife is going too well", he still wouldn't swap seats with me.

But I'd have to say that my favourite part of the flight was when I asked the air host for some help filling out my Arrival/Departure form. It was going fine until he read the address of the hostel I was to be staying at, looks at me with a questioning glance, and goes:

"Oh, you're staying on Crenshaw Blvd, LA... hmm."

"Yeah... why's that? Is it not a nice place or something?" My voice a little higher pitched than usual due to my already frayed nerves tearing a little further.

"Ha, well...", obviously he then notices the distress in my eyes because he suddenly changes his tone "Nah it's an alright place, I've been down there once."

There was a little too much emphasis on the word 'once'.

"What do you mean 'once'!?"

"Haha, nah don't worry it's fine. Just don't go out at night time".

What does that mean!? I call after him to ask more questions but he doesn't reply. He either didn't hear me, or knew a lost cause when he saw one. 

Good times!

Like always, I seem to get on the wrong side of the authorities every single time. Airport customs officers at Los Angeles International Airport was no exception. He was not happy at my answers... Ha! But I somehow got though, and miraculously managed to get from the airplane, through customs, baggage, quarantine and then into a cab in under 45 minutes! That has to be a record.

Taxi guy was boring, wouldn't really talk much. He only got chatty when I asked him what he thought of Crenshaw Blvd in which he replies with "depends which part of it you are staying on" (apparently it is like 20km long and there are different 'neighobourhoods' along it). I said I didn't know which neighbourhood I am in. We eventually pull off the highway onto the off ramp... to my right while we wait at the traffic lights is a mattress, three homeless people, high (yet completely broken) chain-link fences, tonnes of graffiti, and I swear I saw the taxi drivers' eyes dart to see if the doors were locked.

I want to go home!

'Please turn left, please turn left' I thought to myself as we wait for the lights to change. Thankfully we did, with a sudden dramatic improvement in the state of the area! Palm trees, nice looking apartments, shops, clean(ish) streets... it was now that the taxi driver explained to me that LA is split into 'boroughs'. We were now entering a Korean mid-to-upper class dominated part of Crenshaw Blvd, where as the part before was a lower class African-American district (the place I am told to avoid).


I checked into my hostel to be greeted by a super-friendly staff member, got shown my room, got settled in, then went to check the place out. It turns out I make friends scarily easily at times, as before nightfall I'm already friends with Manuel (Holland), Lewis (England), Julia (Germany) and Roger (American).

Spent the night chilling with them, with Lewis on guitar and Julia singing along. I already know we are going to have some great times over the next few days.

And that was my first day in LA.


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