15 hours. Thats how long it takes for a direct flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles. You can break it down to 8 movies full length, God knows how many glasses of orange juice and packets of peanuts. Add to that about 15 minutes of waiting in the plane after we landed as the customs hall was overflowing with people. Add to that a personal time of one hour trying to clear customs as this was my first time to the United States. This lengthy delay ensured that I missed my flight but managed to get a connecting one to San Francisco and finally arrived at my hotel at about 3:00pm PST. I had had lunch and therefore decided to take a walkabout downtown San Francisco and garner impressions.
It feels different. People open doors for others but no one says thanks. You achieve eye contact but no one smiles. There are lots of people and many of them are lying on the street. There are street evangelists yelling at about everyone loudly, people with signs saying “Need $1 for weed” and what not. Its very different.
It is expensive as well. The Australian dollar is definitely better at the moment but that does not help you escape the fact that things are definitely expensive here. This is based on the one subway and power socket converter I bought. Prices displayed also do not include the GST at times and you are definitely supposed to tip. It is the unwritten rule.
There is a shopping centre close by called “Westfield” and it reminds me of Highpoint. Replace Myers with Bloomingdales, DickSmith with Radio Shack etc and you get the idea. The accent is not that pronounced but then I have not really stuck up conversation with anybody yet, except the people at the hotel while checking in. Who knows, maybe I might strike one up tomorrow at the first day of the conference.
Went back to my hotel, and I slept, and slept, and slept. Woke up then in the middle of the night, had a cup of coffee and spent about 6 hours browsing the internet on free wifi. At about noon, headed to the conference centre to register in and currently am sitting there using the free attendee wifi provided by Google to do some Android coding on Blamer
To quote Lawrence of Arabia, “It is going to be fun”.