The Pre-Trip Purchase
I bought a new lock for my luggage. My last lock got removed by Argentinean security so I bought a new TSA lock. I fumbled the attempt at setting up the three digit security code. Forget it. I went and bought a non-TSA lock. I wasn’t planning on checking my luggage on the plane, but I figured it’d be useful at my hotel room.
What Makes Me Feel Comfortable
I will say one comfort about traveling to Portugal is that they are in the Eurozone and so I had some Euros – equivalent to $40. I just feel more comfortable when I have local currency ahead of my trip.
Wednesday – Randomness on Flight Day
Since my flight to Lisbon wasn’t until the afternoon, I spent my morning eating crepes at Solar de Cahuenga. I re-learned (as I always do when I take these midweek brunches) that there really are plenty of people who spend their mid-morning hours at cafes/restaurants, scanning Facebook on their Mac laptops. Interestingly, I didn’t see a single iPad.
Is this one reason why folks become hermits? They get extreme anxiety not about facing the world, but about what they might have not done. I always hate the last hour or so before I walk out the door for a long vacation. Did I pack everything? Where is my passport? Money? Did I turn off the computer, television, and oven? Did I close the windows? Is my car door locked? Lights?
My bus trip on the 91 to Downtown Los Angeles was spent listening to a high school kid using “sh*t” in every sentence. “They really charge you for that sh*t. Sh*t, I hear the family plan is cheaper.” Sh*t this, sh*t that, and on and on. Yes, most of his conversation dealt with his irritation over his cell phone plan. I guess sh*t has replaced fu*k as the 4-letter word of choice among young people?
I do believe I recognized a TSA agent on the Green Shuttle. I travel too much.
The Tom Bradley Terminal looked amazingly empty.
Someone was bringing two cats with them on their flight. I didn’t realize that cats were allowed to travel with a passenger (or maybe they were flying first class and those folks get special privileges).
On take-off, one of the cabin lights kept on flickering. Typical Iberia Airlines, I thought.
The flight was relatively empty. Hey, cheers to a winter vacation in Southern Europe or maybe it was empty because it was Iberia Airlines.
While the plane was in flight, we got an old old video. It showed Nicolas Cage’s performance in “Adaptation” from 2002; and also Christina Aguilera singing Lady Marmalade and her Grammy Award from 2002. Typical Iberia, showing video from a decade ago.
Thursday — Arrival
Madrid, Spain was a rush. Our plane arrived on time, but the plane didn’t go to a gate. We stopped on the tarmac and waited for a bus to pick us up. The same video of cities from across the Americas kept looping (this video also looked like it was made a decade ago). After the video ended, an instruction video would play about how it would be best for those with connecting flights if we all exited the plane as quickly as possible. Okay?!?
The bus arrived and we went through Customs. If I recall correctly, I wasn’t asked a single question. They looked at my passport and stamped it. I was in Terminal 4S. I took the shuttle all the way to Terminal 4 and got my carry-on luggage x-rayed. I looked at the flight board and saw that my flight was leaving from M35, which was back at Terminal 4S. I then looked at the departure time, which I swear read 15:06. That was like 15 minutes away. I ran back to the shuttle that would now take me back to 4S. I was panicked. Then I looked at my physical ticket: 15:45 p.m. I already knew that, I kicked myself, as my panic eased.
As I was waiting to board my flight to Lisbon, I recalled how the Spanish love rushing into queues. Yep, it happened again.
After checking into the hotel room, I decided to stroll around Lisbon. First stop, of course, was to go to an ATM to get additional euros, but after that I headed over to one of the main Lisbon streets. As I was walking, I heard the sound of a rock band (if you read my stuff, you know this article would eventually get to music). Hmm, I decided to head over. It was coming from a fairly large building (Hall do Cinema São Jorge) so I was half assuming that maybe it was a well known band and that the ticket prices would be high. I walked closer and came to the realization that the band was doing a sound check in the lobby of the building. Hmm.
Some guys walked out so I asked, “Anyone speak English?”
One said “yes” so I asked the obvious, “Any bands playing tonight?”
“Yes, 10 p.m.”
“I’ll be back,” I said.
check back tomorrow for Notes from Vivace’s first “musical adventure in Lisbon”