Saturday, June 30, 2007

My First Day



My first day in the US was almost as tragic as my first day in Auckland.

Begin: getting on my second flight from Tahiti (layover) to LA.

For the first time on an international flight, I have to share my seat with others. Not only am I not good at sharing, but I don't sleep well sitting up. Amount of sleep gotten on combined 14 hour flight: 5 hours.

Arrive in LA.

Turn on my cell phone and realize that it won't work in the US (lesson learned: never trust a friend who tells you your NZ phone will work in the US). Even bigger bummer since I paid $40 for credit right before I left. Now am $40 short AND without a phone. Consider pretending to call people and have imaginary conversations so that it looks like I'm talking into my non-working phone, but think better of it and decide not to.

Am extremely disappointed in how incredibly rude people are. Bypass a shouting match with a lady who thought her ticket issues were more important than everyone else's. Deal with disgruntled airline workers. Am treated badly.

Make first phone call from airport pay phone to Aunt Barb. Was pleased to only pay $.50 for the call. 'Am in America;' I say. She relays the message to Mom.

Make it to the plane on time. Whew. No Cinnabon, though. Gutted.

By the time I reach the ground at Vegas, have decided that if I never step foot on an airplane again, it will be too soon.

Get baggage and get to hotel with very little effort (whew!). Only bummer? My hotel room is three doors from the furthest spot from the elevator. With no exaggerations, I have to turn through 7 corridors to get to it. It's a long walk.

At ticket counter, am asked to pay for the second night's room. Thinking I had already paid it, I was confused. Then I realized that I had only previously paid for one night, and am glad to hand over my debit card.

Debit card denied. Credit card expired. No cash. Can't book second night until Mom comes and does it on her card, which won't be until 11 that night.

Come up to room and try to use internet ($12.95/day), but can't connect as there's no credit card on file to charge it to. As a result, can't check bank balances to find deficit.

Try to call Aunt Barb again from the room, but can't make a long-distance call as there's no credit card on file to charge it to.

Grab $1 and the room key and head downstairs to call Aunt Barb on the hotel pay phone. The pay phone is in the furthest lobby from my hotel room. Figures.

Put my dollar in and dial Auntie. The phone asks for another $2.60. I don't have another $2.60. I try to call collect. The phone won't let me. Don't have my wallet with me to buy a calling card from the gift shop.

Decide to fugeddabouddit, and head back up to the room to take a bath, which I have already drawn the water for (and left to cool). When I reach the hotel room, my key won't work. I try it again and again, and again and again it won't work.

I use the guest phone in the hallway to call the front desk (there's no way I'm walking all the way back down the hall, waiting for the lift, and going to the desk). The lady connects me to the security department.

The security head answers the phone, but tells me that it is shift-change time, and that there are no workers to come let me in my room for another 30 minutes.

I decide it would have been nice to know that in advance, as I would have robbed the damn place if I'd have known that there was no security for 30 full minutes. I decide against this idea, and instead wait for exactly 3o minutes, sitting outside the door of my room, for security to come.

And then I finally got my bath and the day was good again.

Viva, Las Vegas.

(photo: New York New York hotel where we stayed)

1 comment:

Nikki said...

I was extremely frustrated as I read this entry. I think traveling is exhausting, and the only thing I can think about after flying is getting settled and relaxing. I would have started crying in the hallway or at the front desk after any one of your misfortunes. I'm not even kidding. I would have started crying from frustration. It also worries me when my bank account/credit card account is not accepted, and all I can think about is getting online or contacting the bank to determine the problem. To think that you couldn't do that irritates me.