Saturday, February 3, 2007

48 Hours In L.A.

So, February 3rd won’t be a day that we look back on fondly. Vik awoke to a sore throat and transformed from his usual charming self into a silent, hand-signaling nightmare. At American’s suggestion, we left for O’Hare at 5:30 am to try to fly standby on the 7 am to LAX. When we got to O’Hare at 6:00 am, we found out that the flight was full, save for some middle seats. So, we decided to keep our confirmed seats on the 9:45 am flight and use the spare time at O’Hare to get our revised itinerary reticketed (required by United after the Singapore Airlines fiasco).

After checking in a duffel bag with American, we made our way to the O’Hare United ticketing office at 6:15 am and sat down with Alan, a dead ringer for the leader of “the Others” on Lost. Three hours passed as Alan pleaded with the United rate desk (an organization whose ruthless efficiency and split-second responsiveness ranks it just behind the Indian government) to reticket us. At 9:15 am, tickets in hand, we sprinted back to the American terminal. We made our flight, largely because O’Hare lived up to its reputation and the 9:45 am flight was delayed.

Six hours later, we touched down at LAX. Tired and hungry, we camped out in front of the American baggage carousel to await our bag. And waited. And waited. And waited until the carousel stopped moving and we were the only ones left standing there. No brown duffel bag was anywhere to be seen. American had just lost our 8-month supply of medicine, toiletries and Kaberi’s $42,000 per ounce Crème de la Mer. And Vik’s sore throat was now a head cold. This was turning out to be some day.

After making the 15-mile cab ride to downtown in 90 minutes and enduring the realization that many accomplished marathoners would have made much better time on foot, we checked in to our hotel. After a hot shower, a not-quite-gourmet meal at the nearby mall’s food court and a little venting, we were ready to put the previous 12 hours behind us.

The saving grace of the day was getting to see a couple of old buddies who knew us before we managed to become the uber-cool hipsters that we are today. After having dinner with her impressive and personable AAPIP board members, Kaberi met up with her college pal and former de facto editor, Julia, who is now an aspiring Hollywood writer with tons of entertainment industry scoop. Meanwhile, Vik met up with his Booz Allen and Disney pal, Anand, who is now a finance maven for a video game company, the proud father of two and a long-suffering Philadelphia Eagles fan. We wished we could have met up with a few more friends but with unexpected sicknesses, frenetic re-purchasing of trial size toiletries and hourly calls to American’s baggage department, we ran out of waking hours.

1 comment:

Vinay said...

If you think Vik's hand gestures are annoying during travel, you should try dealing with them during a sporting event. I guess so long as you have an ample supply of strawberry gel filled candy, cold medicine, and zinc lozenges, his charm will magically return.