Thursday, December 4, 2008

Lounging in LAX

Oct. 30/08
It's hot and humid. I am pretty bored, sitting in Starbucks. Starbucks is the only restaurant/coffee place on this level of this huge, domestic arrivals building, and I am waiting for Sophie. I have a three or four hour wait, so I am people watching.

Leaning over, talking intently to each other is a flipflop wearing, yuppy surfer dude and his lady. Dressed in expensive resort casual, they look like they spend a lot time with a plastic surgeon and on the tanning bed.

Then there is the mid Western looking couple in their matching plaid shirts, and matching on board wheelie luggage. They look like they are about to join a cruise or tour group to the Grand Canyon.

People walk around with phones attached to their ears that look like large cellphone parasitic insects boring into their heads.

A group of late teens have commandeered two tables, and are almost invisible behind a mountain of luggage, backpacks and surfboards, playing with their phones, listening to their ipods, using their small computers.

Occasionally I am approached by a sprightly retiree with a fancy hat and blazer, provided by LA tourism or airport authority or something, asking if I need help.

We all sit for hours waiting, waiting, waiting.

Sophie's flight finally arrives and we grab a couple of trolleys and walk to the next terminal. By this time we were starving, and we figured LAX would be best for Mexican food, and we were right. We had to wait until 8 pm to check in.

As the line snaked up to the checkout counter, I could not help but notice a very distinctive white haird woman, dressed in bright, colourful prints, pushing a trolley overloaded with luggage, boxes, and a huge collapsed down dog carrier. I don't know why.... but I asked: 'Are you Barb?' And she said: 'Yes'

I had never met Barb, but I 'knew' her from the online Tahiti Forum. She spends a lot of time in Moorea, and is very helpful for people planning trips. I remembered her story about a dog she had befriended, and it all clicked together. The dog cage was so that she could take the dog back to Arizona with her this time. We got her phone number, and plan to contact her when we get to Moorea.

The flight was uneventful, the seats unusually uncomfortable. A car was waiting for us on arrival to take us to the Ahitea Lodge, with turned out to be in a quiet residential area not far from the centre. Our room wasn't ready, so I sketched and swam, Sophie went to town. When she returned, I headed to town to pick up lunch and had 'The Accident'.

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