Touching down in LAX last night gave me almost immediate Vietnam flashbacks; vivid and painful recollections of the seven excruciating hours I spent wandering through it back at the start of my trip. It’s only been ten days, but that feels like a lifetime ago.
Anyway, lucky me, it seems that that initial experience was only the start of the trauma that dear old LAX had in store for me. Unlike JFK, which has frequent trains that can take you directly to Manhattan, getting anywhere from LAX is a little more complicated. There was one bus that would take me to Hollywood, to only one location and at the time of my arrival there was only one more scheduled for the day. So I settled in to wait for it with no clue whether it would take me anywhere near to my accommodation.
Here’s the thing; the only place to wait for that bus is on a narrow traffic island just outside the American Airlines terminal. And, as it transpires, the day after the Thanksgiving period is a rather busy time at an airport. I had thought that Manhattan was an, unpleasant and aggressive place. Compared to LAX at 10pm the day after a holiday, it’s a lovely, docile city of constant peace and relaxation. Standing on that traffic island I was pretty sure I was going to die. The beeping horns, shrieking and enraged bellows were everywhere around me, making me jump every two seconds or duck for cover as another careening car or bus would shoot toward me, pulling away at just the last second. Which of course, prompted more beeping and yelling. To make matters worse, the scheduled time for the last Hollywood bus came and went and there was no sign of it. I started to wonder if I was in the wrong place or had missed it; the people around me had no idea where it was or just ignored me and so, for an hour, I stood there becoming increasingly more stressed and on edge, wondering if I would ever escape this nightmare.
Luckily, the bus did eventually arrive and to make matters better, dropped me about ten minutes from where I was staying. As I was still on New York time, my body was insisting that this midnight was in fact 3am and after a day on a plane I was more than ready for bed.
I woke up early this morning, mega refreshed and ready to get out into the city. The moment I stepped out on to the street I saw the Hollywood sign, which was a bit of a “oh shit, I’m really here” moment, but it was a great start to an awesome morning. Already this city is so much more relaxed than New York, and I had a lovely walk and breakfast at a great little café. I even had a rather grumpy gentleman throw a piece of plastic at me, inform me that I was a “bitch-ass motherfucker” and that he would “beat me down”. Don’t know why or what I did, but I thought it was funny.
After a great meeting with my L.A. based manager, I’ve been set loose on the city and am ready to get some good old fashioned exploring done. Tomorrow I’m meeting with a pretty major producer, which is a bit bloody exciting, and after that who knows? It’s hard not to be in a great mood walking along Sunset Boulevard, the Hollywood sign in sight and palm trees hanging above you. After New York, I feel totally revitalised and ready to dive into the next few days. They promise to be a time.
Just some thoughts.