OK, so Day 1 isn't exactly a full day in LA as our plane landed at 9pm, but LAX airport is such a maze of craziness (perhaps a forerunner of things to come), that it warrants it own blog. If only to just complain about it being the worst airport in the world!!!!
Alright, so here's the list of what I hate most about LAX:
1. Signs: or complete lack of them. People, there is no excuse not to put up a sign to inform everyone where to go and how to get there!
2. No free wi-fi: are you flipping kidding me? This is the 21st Century, people! Even the tiny airport with 60 seats and 10 shops in Siem Reap in Cambodia had free wi-fi! How are travelllers supposed to spend their time whilst waiting for their luggage to arrive at snail pace?
3. Staff: not very well informed about the space they work in and the facilities. Maybe the excuse is that services are often outsourced to security, cleaning, and catering companies? But there really wasn't much use in trying to speak to the 1 lone person standing behind the Information Desk, unless you were prepared to stand in a very long queue/crowd of newcomers trying to navigate their way through the maze of terminals.
4. Bad design: it looks as if it's in a continuous state of renovation and the various spaces are either too small or too big for what is required. Well, let's face it, most airports in the world have some sort of construction work going on. In fact, I have yet to go through an airport which was not undergoing some sort of improvement work or other. However, the place looked out of touch, out of style and out of money. Considering that LA is supposed to be all about the glitz and the glamour, it certainly didn't give a great first impression!
5. Lack of food/services: considering the large amounts of people transiting through this airport, I was really surprised at the lack of choice (both quantity and quality) where you could eat, shop and s***. And whilst I'm on the topic of going to the toilet - and, yes, I DO mean the toilet and not the "restroom" as it is called in the States (how is it a restful place?) - why are there always massive gaps on either side of the toilet doors so that you can actually see through into what should normally be a private cubicle?
Anyways, rant over. I won't even bore myself or the reader with the details of trying to navigate our way through the terminals and how we went about finding and booking our first night in LA (which we had foolishly not done in advance), but, suffice it to say, we ended up taking an airport shuttle service to the YHA in Santa Monica at about midnight. En route, I met a fascinating author, Susan Suntry, who has written a book called "Sacred sites: the secret history of southern California". I think it is both the mystical and the promise of wealth that draws many to this part of the world and we are no exceptions'