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It’s Time To See the World

hollywood

I said I was heading to the airport, and someone said they hate flying because of the TSA. “I just can’t stand to travel anymore!”

I said I was passing through LAX, and someone else said, “Ugh, LAX. What a mess.”

It’s OK, I told them, I have a one-night layover in the city before moving on to Asia.

“My sister lives there,” I heard, “and I don’t know how she stands it. The traffic is terrible!”

***

Gosh, flying is such a pain. You have to take your shoes off to go through security! Sometimes there’s even a queue to stand in. We should all give up and hand in our passports—it’s just not worth it anymore.

And yeah, Los Angeles is awful. All that 80 degree weather in February and all those beautiful people walking around. That Hollywood feeling that you could be anyone you wanted and achieve anything you dreamed of—so overrated. I told the aspiring actor who made my coffee that he should go back to the midwest.

Comfort zones are comfortable. But since I spend zero hours commuting to work at home, I wasn’t too worried about a long wait with traffic backed up on Santa Monica Boulevard.

I had my layover two streets over on Sunset. A union protest on the sidewalk greeted my arrival, with lots of marching and slogan-chanting, but happily it was also free wine hour inside.

After free wine and a power email session, I went to a diner and had a flashback. Fourteen months ago I sat at the same booth during the final stretch of the Unconventional Book Tour. That night I was with good friends at a tiny bookstore with a crowded house, then at the best afterparty of the whole tour, and finally at the diner for omelets and ice water long after midnight.

Mostly I like looking forward, but once in a while it’s nice to look back.

I paid the bill and walked back to the hotel. It was just 9pm, but I had a cup of herbal tea in my room instead of a rooftop pool drink. Old age setting in? Perhaps not just yet—I was flying to Tokyo in the morning, and wanted to get some rest in before changing eight time zones.

The next morning I enjoyed a nice breakfast (“Another dry cappuccino, sir?” Travel is so difficult!) and hopped a cab to LAX. Security wasn’t bad at all, and before I knew it … it was time to see the world again.

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Image: Andy

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