Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Final Days (Bidding farewell to a Beach)

Yes, there are mosques in America
I check out of my hotel in Culver City at 10:30. Time to head back to Venice Beach.
I head back, past last night's motel, because Best Buy had a camera ( a display model) on sale very cheap. After I find someone to charge the camera battery (amazing how difficult this can be ;-) to open the lens cover, I discover that the  lens is already decorated by several finger prints and one scratch.  What is wrong with people? Since I already donated the exact same camera with a scratched lens to a 9 year old, I let Best Buy keep their damaged goods.  But I buy more groceries (& vino ;-) at Ralph's  ( I left olive oil and balsamic vinegar at the hotel) so it's going to be tomato salad again for dinner ;-)

I cycle back (AGAIN), make the tomato salad, put it in the fridge to marinate, and head for the beach.

On the way back, I head into Peter Demian again, who today is playing by himself, and happy on SOME substance (in his words: "It's hard to stay serious if you're on so many psychedelics") and he screeches out loud in joy at seeing me wearing the Street Smart button.  

I told a friend about my impression that the people that reside permanently in Venice beach fall in 3 categories:  The Rich, the Gym Bunnies, and the Homeless. My friend knew right away who I would socialize with if I did.   

Do seagulls feel more comfortable close to the homeless?

Drumming for world peace. Drum LOUDER!
The bike is not due back until 7, so I go for another ride; South this time.  But as soon as i cross Washington Blvd, the neighbourhoods quickly get boring and sterile. BMWs, skinny blonde women carrying tiny white poodles, same old same old. I could see that in Vancouver in the unlikely even that I ever wanted to, so I turn around.
Seagull admiring human ignance in the construction of this anti-bird device

How Venice got its name

Return the bike, back to the studio, type some.

6 pm. Time to say good bye to the beach. It almost seems as if the play and reflection of the waves is especially gorgeous tonight.

The alarm clock was set for 5:45 am but I'm awake at 5. Lots  to do; it's a travel day.
Dishes are done, I'm showered and packed at 7:30 am and I start walking to Rose & Lincoln to catch a bus to the airport. That's part of the appeal of this holiday. Take a vehicle with internal combustion engine only 2 times in 6 days, and both times it's a public transit bus ;-)  The planet is dying quickly enough as it is; no need to contribute more to it.

No point waiting for 7:30 to leave if I'm done at 7. The bus comes 2 minutes after I have walked to Lincoln & Rose.  At LAX parking lot C, the bus depot, I discover that there are shuttle buses to the terminal. I could have saved myself the long walk when I arrived.

Checking in is easy, but the computer tells me that my flight is delayed by one hour. Darned, so much for my meticulous time scheduling. Security is THOROUGH. and then it's time to kill 2 hours.

At 10:42 I have my FIRST Facebook friend. But only  because I called a REAL friend and told her to be my FB friend OR ELSE!!!

I don't think Facebook and I  will get along ;-(

My flight is further delayed until 11:46 am.  Then I'm informed that it just left San Diego.  What the H is it doing there?  

I'm slowly being driven to boiling point by constant security messages, yet another general passport control. It's like the Chinese Water Torture, it's the never-ending repetition that hurts.

I have more than enough time to admire the general aviation insanity. Duty free stores are now run by one company worldwide, DFS Galleria. You can't get a small bottle of Minute Maid juice for under $3.59 at LAX. Are you people INSANE. I go thirsty for a while until I find a vending machine with Aquafina Fake Water (actually it's filtered tap water) for $2.00. Still outrageous, but it's the cheapest available in this airport .  The whole airport feels like the city of Vancouver.  Very SAFE and REGULATED but mind-numblngly BORING.

The  take off route lets us admire the sun-drenched beaches of LA for a last time. Glorious sunshine and colours everywhere. 2.5 hours later I am shocked at the dreary wet darkness of Vancouver skies and the 6 degree Celsius chill of its street.  People actually LIVE here???  Or is it just surviving instead of living?

Noon on Tuesday.  7 degree Celsius that feel like 3 degrees says the weather forecast. It's not wind chill as there is no wind to dilute the exhaust dome.   Is it the bone-chilling ugliness of this town that produces the felt temperature drop then?

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