I’ve finally arrived in LA after months of preparations and dreaming and saving, and well, it was a pretty good welcome. Clear blue skies, plenty of warm sunshine and the Hollywood sign greeted me.
After a shower it was down to the business of getting a US sim card for my phone. Easy peasy. T-mobile will give you a sim card and some pretty good prepaid deals without running a credit check, so it is a good option for travellers. Plus, unlike in Australia, it wasn’t a massive rigmarole of paperwork to get it. Here they have 3 digit prefixes which supposedly tell people where you are from. My rep Palmer asked what I wanted and I just stared blankly at him. 310, 323 and 123 mean nothing to me. So he said “I’ll give you a 310, that’s Beverly Hills, all the cool kids want that one”. So, I am now a cool kid with a 310 prefixed cell number. [yes, cell number, not mobile number, gotta get the lingo down because my pronunciation of data already got me funny looks]
I also called in to Target for a blow up mattress and pillow to get me by until a) we get our apartment and b) til I get a real bed. Another simple procedure.
And then it was lunch at Birds Cafe/Bar where I ordered the turkey baguette with brie and cranberry mayo that came with a side of sweet potato fries. It was delish, if oversized. I tucked into the sweet potato fries, these yummy little waffley looking things, but could only manage half of it. However, the waiter came over with a plastic container for me to take the other half home for later! Two meals in one, my kinda eating out.
Feeling a little sleepy around 3pm, I wandered up the road to a little supermarket in Hollywoodland where I came across my first Australian accents. Three guys had broken down and they wanted to know if I knew somewhere nearby they could have something to eat. I must have exuded some confidence about where I was going (I didn’t feel it) but then when they heard my fumbled response and Australian accent, they just wrote me off.
I think I’m still running on adrenaline, because I barely got any sleep on the plane last night, had 5 hours sleep each of the two nights before that and have lasted til 5pm since I got in at 7:30am. I look forward to sleeping on my new airbed tonight and seeing what tomorrow has in store for me.
When coming to the US, always fill in the I-94 form, even if the airline staff tell you you only need the Customs Declaration. It could save you time if the officials then say you need it, as happened to me. So I ended up being one of the last three people to get my bags off the carousel. In fact, I was so late that airport staffed had already taken them off and loaded them on a trolley for me.
Airport parking was only $3 for about 30 minutes to an hour. Melbourne Airport’s is ridiculously expensive by comparison – $12.