Monday, 20 April 2015

Vancouver to Los Angeles

At Denny's in the morning the first glass mouthful of white wine tastes funny, as it sometimes does right after brushing teeth. But the second one tastes even worse. It almost tastes like water.  I dimly remember the night waitress once protesting at shift change to the morning shift that any accusations directed her way were entirely unfounded and that she had not touched the wine.  Put 2 and 2 together: Now she has figured out water for the consumed amount ;-).  Denny's staff confirms the watered-down taste and state and brings me a new glass.  The new wine is red though; they're out of white.

For some reason (most likely boredom) I head to the airport early. Good thing too because when the bus reaches downtown, the driver announces that it is being rerouted to Pender Street, because West Georgia Street, the main thoroughfare is closed.  Terrorists?  Riots?  No, just some happy stoners celebrating 420 day. Robson Street was supposed to be closed to traffic for then (at least Robson has shops for them to spend money ;-).  No idea which brilliant mind decided to close West Georgia and cause GridLock that even ambulances can't get through.  Since I notice hat pedestrians travel at about twice the speed of cars I get off the bus and walk to the nearest SkyTrain station.

Vancouver INTERNATIONAL airport actually has a pharmacy hidden in its lower levels and I was hoping to acquire some more Polysporin there, because my various cuts and abrasions have soaked up the last tube.  6 pm is the time and the pharmacy at the airport is CLOSED.

The US Immigration office in Vancouver is friendly but the whole passport inspecting and asking lots of annoying questions is taking MUCH longer than in the past. Maybe she thinks my facial abrasions are in fact shrapnel burn from trying to build my own  bomb.  She finally lets me through but not before remarking that she thinks I'm funny and asking whether I spend my holidays in Cuba after she discovered a Cuban immigration stamp in my passport. I always thought that Cuba NEVER stamps passports to avoid the holders getting into trouble with the Americans. But maybe they thought that it wouldn't matter in a German passport.  NO. The American woman spotted that one Cuban stamp among the roughly 50 stamps in my passport. Maybe because the Cuban stamp was pink ?

Highlight of the day: I get 200 Camel cigarettes in the duty free store for CDN $43.  Last time I was here they cost $64, but I guess they realized they weren't selling many to travellers since that was the price they cost in the U.S.

Eating at Canucks restaurant in the security-cleared area of YVR is no fun either. They start cleaning the table while I'm still eating. They close at 8pm and the tip doesn't even produce a Thank You.  Next time I'll take sandwiches.

Am I sad to leave this pinnacle of civilization, this Metropolis of Magnificence?  God NO!

Little did I know where I would end up though ;-)

LAX is a maze being renovated, but at least no one cares where you light a cigarette.

The Russian Babushka driving the taxi has no idea where my hotel is despite fiddling with the GPS on her phone constantly and even missing green lights while she puts her glasses on. I finally use Google Maps on my phone to tell her where to go and she is surprised at not receiving a tip.

A small  bottle of Dasani (filtered tap water) costs more than a can of Sprite in the vending machine of my motel. 

There is a giant flat screen TV in my room but no coffee machine.

This better improve or I'll take a train to San Francisco.

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