Ottie threw a hissy fit. At the sight of the suitcase landing with a thud at the bottom of the stairs, his tail slowed its wagging while the dawn of recognition, the sight of something familiar that carries unpleasant memories appeared on his face. He refused to be sweet talked into believing I will be back relatively soon and my worry of not being able to explain to him what was happening was replaced by the understanding that he knew very well what was happening – he has been through it enough times before. And the process doesn’t get any easier for either of us. My parting words to him was that we would Skype – has any dog ever skyped before? I have great faith in him.
Sitting at LAX I have to forget Ottie and the number of hours I will be flying or simply hanging around airports. Like this one that, on a Tuesday afternoon, is semi deserted – probably a different picture from the upcoming Labor Day Week-end. Although I have nothing good to say about Los Angeles International Airport and its lack of services and amenities, it’s clear that they are making an effort. The dark tables in the food court have been replaced by white ones with bright red chairs – the food is still crap although the addition of Pink Hot Dogs should be noted. Either Pink’s quality has gone down the toilet to match the rest of the food on offer at the airport or you will finally be able to get a decent hot dog before take-off. Doesn’t help vegetarians or the multitude of non pork eaters but I believe high-profile restaurateurs have been offered a chance to open their establishments here so we might see some changes in the not so distant future.
Security is still painful and requires an octopus’ tentacles to keep everything straight: taking the shoes off, removing items of clothing, the laptop from its bag and then putting everything back together. The difference is that the security personnel seems more friendly and better predisposed to the passengers’ blunders and their inane and repetitive questions despite large boards explaining the procedure. Americans like to be told what to do – not to read it.
My flight seems relatively empty – it would be a first in years of packed and smelly cabins, especially after a night of unwashed people doing their best to get some relief from the uncomfortable seats and the inedible dinners. It’s the usual European crowd that will disperse in a myriad directions upon landing in London plus a small assortment of curiosities. While checking my luggage I noticed a Buddhist monk of some sort, in his saffron robe, checking a tiny bag – I wondered if it was full of identical saffron robes and how often they got washed. He turned towards me and gifted me with a huge smile – not sure whether it was the Ganesh on my t-shirt that prompted his reaction or if he bestows such smiles on everyone who catches his eye.
It’s always fascinating to see how people rush to board a plane like cattle to the slaughter – unlike cattle, they know full well they will be stuck on a seat for 10 hours so what is the rush? Wouldn’t they want to delay the torture to the last possible moment? Another mystery I will try to crack while pondering life and travel is why some women would choose to wear tight outfits, high heels or miniskirts on a plane. I might not look glamorous in my sweats but I will be comfy. And with the help of friendly Ambien I am counting on a few hours of sleep. I am trying to be optimistic and yes, your drug averse, healthy conscious blogger does resort to extreme measures when necessity calls.
From here on, blogs will be posted as WiFi or other means of posting are found. I am not exactly travelling to the Congo delta but still…the perils of travel…