Woozy morning. Last night we went to pick up Jason from the airport, and now we know why people hate LAX. We didn’t know where Jason was arriving, and we couldn’t find out except by trial and error. It is nearly impossible to get any straight inter-terminal information from anyone there, and the signage is nonexistent or misleading. Moreover, there is no good way of getting from one terminal to the next without driving, and since you can’t stop or wait next to any of the terminals, you have to park. We were running around for two hours and we spent $9 just getting in and out of parking lots. My cell phone battery had died, and Jason doesn’t have a cell (I know!), and he didn’t have Erik’s number, so we had no way of getting in touch with him.
It took us a long time to figure out where he might be. We didn’t know that all international arrivals come through the Bradley International Terminal, because Jason’s flight hadn’t left from that terminal. So we went to Terminal 6, where he had departed a week earlier, and saw a screen showing the correct flight number, departure city, and arrival time (though this was in the Continental section, and he flew Copa). So we figured we were in the right place. There were other confused-looking people there, so we thought we were in good company. If there had been any employees there (besides security and janitors) we would have asked them, but there weren’t.
After forty minutes or so we became anxious. The screen that showed the Panama flight no longer showed it, but the baggage claim sign said baggage from Continental flights could be picked up in Terminal 7. So Erik ran to 7, but the only flights coming in there were from United. Then Erik ran upstairs to the Departures area and asked a clerk where Copa might be coming in, and he said Bradley. So we reparked our car ($3) and went to Bradley, but the screens showed only a flight from Guadalajara, and everyone who was there looked like they’d been there for a while; there didn’t seem to be any just-arriving action. Nevertheless, we waited there for a while, but when there was still nothing, we went upstairs to Bradley’s Departures area (again, no staff in the Arrivals section) and each asked a different clerk there. Erik’s person had no clue, while mine directed us to Terminal 5.
Off we went (another $3), but Terminal 5 was nearly empty. We checked through 6 and 7 again just to see (and if you’re familiar with LAX you know how much you have to walk to get from terminal to terminal), but they were almost empty too, so we went upstairs at 7 to catch the Departures employees as they were all going home for the night. They could tell us nothing.
Not knowing what else to do, we headed back to Bradley (another $3), all the while running through the possibilities for what else we could do if we didn’t find Jason there. By now it was nearly 1.30 AM, and Jason’s flight had arrived at 11.45, so we were getting desperate. Would he have called for a taxi and gone home, thinking we’d had an emergency and couldn’t show? We hoped not, since we had his apartment key! Should we go home and check our answering machine? It was our only (dubious) way of contacting Jason, but going home would mean a thirty-to-forty-five-minute drive one-way. Could we make a loop around the whole airport in the car, with Erik hopping in and out at every terminal to check, without getting stopped by security? We were very anxious as we ran into Bradley for the second time.
Thank goodness, there was Jason, looking tan and tired and at least as relieved as we felt. He hadn’t gotten out into the waiting area until 12.45, so luckily he hadn’t been waiting as long as we feared, otherwise he just might have called a taxi for home! We drove back out to WeHo and to the Yukon Mining Co, where we joined the late-nighters and transvestites for some dinner. We’d all eaten, us at home and Jason on the plane, but he was hungry and after our run around the airport so was I. We ate egg-white omelettes and soup and drank chamomile tea, talked about his trip, and then came wearily back home where Jason was happily reunited with Chairman Meow and Erik and I were happily reunited with our bed.
It was two-thirty AM.
Jason brought us coconut sweets from Panama!
So far I’ve tried the brown spheres and the pink squares. The brown ones feel like dense coconut macaroons, which texture I enjoy, but I’m not so wild about the strong burnt-sugar flavor. I’m crazy about the pink ones, though: they taste and feel like sugar cubes with coconut in them. Mmm!
[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at satsumabug.livejournal.com.]