Super Shuttle

My driver was a nice man named George who spoke with what seemed like a Russian accent. I was the first of his 5 stops in the Super Shuttle to LAX. Everyone else we picked up stayed in a hotel downtown. It made me realize that I’ve never explored the unique hotels in my own hometown. If someone from out of town asked for a recommendation, I’d have none.
Since everyone else we picked up came out of a hotel, I was tempted to ask everyone where they were from and if they enjoyed their stay in Los Angeles. I was curious what they thought of us Angelinos and if they had to endure the weeklong terrential-record-breaking-downpour that flooded the city. I also thought about how it wouldn’t be bad to actually stay in the heart of downtown LA these days–there are definitely more and more restaurants, bars, shopping and entertainment. Five years ago, you’d pretty much be fucked. There was absolutely nothing. You’d walk for blocks and not see anything nor anyone–esp after work hours or if you were strolling on a weekend. I used to live near Chinatown and a father and son from Germany asked us how to get to Hollywood–by foot! Too bad no one told them that Downtown was not actually “LA”. I can just imagine whoever’s promoting Downtown as “the place” to stay when visiting must say it’s a “convenient 10-minutes to Stars of Hollywood! 5-minutes to Chinatown! A quick 20-minutes to the famous Santa Monica beach! And only 25-minutes to the Happiest Place on Earth!” Too bad these poor souls don’t know it’s a car ride AND a ride in LA’s parking lots that we call freeways. How do tourists get around if they don’t have a tour bus? Taxi cabs are virtually non-existent and if you do find one, you better provide them with directions. The bus stops and schedules are just as confusing as the dewi (sp?)decimal system and if you attempt to take the metro, you’ll only end up halfway to your destination (if you’re lucky) AND you would still need to use the dewi decimal system.
So what was I saying again? Yes, I wanted to ask where everyone was visiting from. But instead I opted for the silence you normally experience when getting packed into an elevator with strangers. Plus, the driver stuck me in the very front row since I was getting off at the first terminal.
The last passengers we picked up came out of the Miyako Hotel in Little Tokyo. The driver asked them which airline they were flying, as he did with everyone else, and the mother answered enthusiastically, “Yes!” And the driver repeated himself a little louder, “What AIRRRLINE are you flying?” And I assume she told him her flight # since she said a bunch of letters and numbers.
Okay, so back to transportation in LA. I said it like a true Angelino. I know a few people who know how to work the dewi decimal system but most of us don’t, let alone have ridden a bus. I do on occasion take Amtrak to San Diego to visit my sis and the kids. But besides that, public transportation is a novelty to me in LA.
“How did you get around?” will be my second question next time.


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