Saturday, 31 October 2015

"Excuse me sir, haven't you found a key by any chance?"

Friday, going to LA.
After checking out of the hotel in Vegas I realized, I've got plenty of time to my flight.
The airport in Vegas is really close to the city center, so I thought - I can actually walk there. The day is nice, I'll have a chance to have a look at all the interesting places, maybe visit Egypt on my way, have a beer, enjoy myself.
If you're ever in Las Vegas and this idea also strikes your mind - do yourself a favor, and forget it. Take a cab, a bus, a helicopter, but do not walk to the airport. Really, there are many idiotic ideas in the world, but you don't really have to subscribe to that list.
Ok, are you curious why it's such a bad idea? Let me tell you.
I think I've mentioned that Americans aren't really a walking nation. It resonates in their approach to civil engineering as well.
In the city there are pavements (or sidewalks, as they call it). But it didn't occur to them, to build some on the roads leading to the airport. So if you start walking there, at some point you'll find yourself in the middle of a busy road, with no sidewalk, just some stones and fences to your side. It would be probably ok, if you weren't dragging your freakin' suitcase with you.
So you're there, you're too far to turn back, there is no place for a taxi to stop, if you wanted to get one. You have to carry on, dragging this bloody suitcase (why it suddenly got so heavy?!) with you, amusing drivers. They have probably never seen anyone trying to walk to the airport before...

As I said, the airport is not that far, so eventually I made it there, but the views and joy of hiking in Las Vegas airport area are definitely not worth it. Don't do it.

After about 40 minutes flight, I arrived at Los Angeles. It's funny that you can travel 400 miles in 40 minutes, and then it takes you another 3 hours to cover 20 miles in the city. Using public transport this time.

Finally I arrived at the place I was about to stay. It's in Fairfax, I think it's still a part of Hollywood. It's about 40 minutes walk from Hollywood Boulevard.
My host left a key for me in the keylock. I got in, said hello to the cats, left my bag and went for a walk in the Hollywood.
The area seems really nice, plenty of nice bars and restaurants, interesting shops and galleries.
Then I decided to take a bus, and go to the Hollywood Boulevard. After 20 minutes of waiting for the bus, I was about to leave and just walk there, when the bus arrived. So I got in, and took a short ride. I could walk that twice already, but hell yeah, never been on a bus in LA before.

A few minutes after I left the bus, I realized I've lost a key to the place I was staying. Awesome, it had to slip off my pocket in the bus. I had a timetable for this bus line with me, and I figured out, that the same bus will be coming back in about hour and a half. So I went for a walk. After about half an hour I was passing near the bus stop - and there is my bus coming! Well, the same line bus at least. I run after it, but it was just leaving the stop. That's ok, I can catch it at the next one. The stops are not far apart, and there is a lot of traffic, so you can easily get from stop to stop faster than a bus. I got it on the next one, and started searching. No trace of the key on the seats, so I'm asking the driver:
- Excuse me sir, haven't you by any chance found a key here?
- No
- How long ago you've been going the opposite direction?
- About an hour. No, 2 hours ago
- Ok, so I think I left my key on the next one. It will be coming back as well, right?
- Yes, it should
- Cool, thank you

I got off the bus, and walked back those few stops to my bu stalking headquaters. I've got about 30 minutes to the next bus, but won't risk going for another walk. Instead, I'm starting to think what I'm going to do if there is no key on the next bus. My host could be away the whole night, it's a Friday night after all. In Hollywood.
And even if she's at home, it kind of sucks to lose the key you've been given just two hours ago... I decided to check my email just in case she send me a message that she's not coming back home or something. Ok, there is an email from Airbnb, from my host:
"Hi Bart Please leave key in locker all the time. Other house members use it also. Thank you"


Here comes the bus. Getting in, looking at the seats - nothing. Under the seats - nothing. Between the seats and the window - nothing. Well, plenty of interesting stuff, but no trace of my key.
To the driver, my last hope.
- Excuse me sir, haven't you found a key, by any chance?
- (Long pause - all the major events of my life are flashing before my eyes. Good no one else can see it, so embarrassing...)
- What color?

Thank you, thank you, oh thank you, Great Spaghetti Monster! Thank you for proving one more time, that this world of ours sometimes works in a predictable and logical manner!

Got my key, and went home, it was already 11pm. I have a race in the morning. In Long Beach. Which means - almost 3 hours travel. Then I realized I actually don't know what time is the race. I had a vague memory that it was at 8am - so stupidly early - but wasn't sure. Checking my email, checking the race website - no information anywhere. Shit. I send a message to the organizer, set my alarm to 4:20 am and went to bed for a short nap. It's going to be a hell of a race, I can see that. My leg still hurts, and I'll be so well rested...

Got up at stupid-o-clock in the morning. Feel like shit, just want to go back to bed. But a race is a race, no excuses. Quick shower, putting all the racing clothes and shoes to the backpack, some drinks and food are already there. Putting some clothes on, and just a quick look at my email, hoping that there is a reply from the race organizer, saying that the race starts at 11am, what would give me another 3 hours of sleep.
Hurray! There is an email. I'm opening it, it's quite short. All it says is:
"6:30 AM".

So that's probably my shortest race report ever.


  1. Oh man, you need to get your shit together, organise yourself, stop being on holiday and drink a beer with us back in London on the old continent ;-)

    1. aren't you supposed to be dry this month? :P

    2. True, but I can still have a soft drink, or we could get drunk next months (actually, we will).