Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mainland Culture Shock

I've been on the mainland for a week now. LAX was the first stop and, boy, did I have a shock. I've been living island-style and Los Angeles rudeness was appalling. I exited the plane and headed straight for the restroom, where the woman behind me was right up on my back. Personal space means nothing here. Women pushed in line, also something that never happens in Hawaii.

The hallway floor of LAX was covered in grime, gum, dust and litter. After more rushing and pushing at baggage claim, Mark and I rushed out to the shuttle to take us to our hotel. Where were the soothing tropical tones at the LAX Sheraton? Nowhere. "So, L.A." I remarked at check-in. The Sheraton is decorated in shades of gray, accented with black and bold geometric shapes. Trendy and hip, yes. Soothing and serene, no.

Our friend, picked us up and drove us to Barney's Beanery in Santa Monica to watch the USC-Cal football game. Good friends and food helped our shock, but, seriously, does everyone in Santa Monica drive a BMW?

Back to the Sheraton, where I couldn't wait for the next leg of the journey, to Georgia and the hospitable south.

Our flight to Atlanta didn't start well. Delta charged us a huge amount of money for our baggage fees. When we had boarded, Mark and I tried to tell the flight attendant how the baggage fees were over the top at Delta. She argued with us. The passenger next to us, who travels all the time, confirmed what we were saying. She argued with him. The man in the seat across the aisle also told of his baggage experience with extra fees and the flight attendant continued to argue with all of us! We all agreed, we never fly Delta unless we have no choice, and Atlanta airport is pretty much only Delta.

Atlanta airport is huge and crazy with lots of people, but it's clean and organized. People are aware of personal space and many offered to help me with my bag. Mark and I said our goodbyes for the rest of the week. I was staying in Georgia, while Mark was continuing on to another destination.

Off to the hotel for me at the Gateway Center, where I took a clean, efficient tram to my hotel directly off the airport terminal.

The following day was a drive to southern Georgia to watch my Godson play college football. I wanted to be full of rest and energy, so I went to bed at 9:30 PM Atlanta time. Uh, that made it 3:30 PM Hawaii time. I didn't fall asleep for a long while. The clock on the nightstand read 3:30 AM last I saw before I finally fell asleep.