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Friday, September 30, 2011

Drink, Dance and Fly

I'm still a bit jet-lagged (not JET lagged) from my red-eye from Las Vegas to Toronto this morning. As such, I'm going to be lazy and direct you to my pal Jimbo's Japan, and the piece he did on Izakaya.

Loyal readers like my buddy Rob who helped me become a better writer while I was living in Japan between 1990-1993 - you need to read this. I simply did not have enough sober memories to write first -and about this fun topic.


As an aside... in Las Vegas.... wifey joined me for our 10th anniversary... we were married in Vegas! She got sick her second day there, and while we did have an enjoyable time in Old Vegas on our second night, she probably contaminated the whole place to make even the Las Vegas CSI team unable to track who Typhoid Mary was this week.

Wifey and I took separate planes down and back - not just in case one plane goes down, the other can still be a parent, but rather because she procrastinated a little too much in getting her passport and I wasn't sure she was going to go. I had to go for work.

Anyhow, wifey left 3 hours before me... and almost immediately, I began to win at the slots, playing Dean Martin's Wild Party. Anyhow... I had to race to catch my shittle (spelling is correct). I made it, tossed my bags into the back, the driver locked the door and off we went to the airport.

The first stop to let off some other passengers... the handle to the door broke... meaning we couldn't get the luggage out. No one had tools. The airport maintenance guys had none (Really? Liars). No other shuttle driver had tools. No taxi driver had any.

One driver did have a Swiss Army knife... which one of the stranded riders used to try and get it open. Meanwhile a second rider chided him on the way he was trying to save us all. A swearing argument ensued. I just calmly watched. Finally a tow truck driver showed up... they pried it open, and only having lost 45 minutes we all got dropped off to our various check-in sites on time. I flew from Las Vegas to Cleveland on Continental 1436, and Cleveland to Toronto on Continental 4807. Decent amount of turbulence on the first leg - side to side mostly - which is rough when you are trying to sleep. Landing in Toronto in the rain, it was the smoothest landing I've ever experienced and told the pilot so. You couldn't even feel the wheels touch the ground. The Stew.. she was tough as nails, but dealing with jerk passengers - she did a great job - effectively and efficiently with humour and strictness. Cheers. I got home in 6 hours. By the way...  security in Vegas was effective and had a great sense of humour!

Wifey, who left three hours before me... still hasn't arrived in Toronto as of me writing this... 16 hours later. She traveled from Las Vegas to San Francisco. San Francisco to to Chicago. Chicago to Toronto.
Problem... she missed her connection from San Fran to Chicago. She and another woman had two minutes to spare, but United 828 closed the gates early ... and wouldn't let them on.

Here's wifey in her own words in an e-mail to me this morning:

I missed my flight by one minute - not really, though - they just closed the doors to the jetway earlier than they were supposed to. I banged on the doors, saw someone who paid me no attention.  Finally a guy from United asked me what I was doing.  Another man came and said that they close the doors ten minutes before the departure time - he was telling us (there was another woman in the same position) when there was still 12 minutes left before departure time.  I then went to United customer service and a woman there said she would change my flight direct to Toronto.  She also mentioned something about getting me in to Toronto at the same time I would have had I made the flight.  Fine.  I was just going to have to stay in the airport for a couple of hours.  While having a smoke, I looked at the documents/boarding pass the customer service woman had given me and it appeared as though she had just booked me on the Chicago to Toronto flight that I was already on - I had nothing for San Francisco to Chicago.  I pondered this for awhile, wondering if my earpluggedness was causing me to be in a time warp of some type.  I  then wandered the airport looking for a United person - no one was anywhere.  Finally, went down to baggage and found someone from United.  He was able to get me on a flight.  Before I tell you what flight I'm on, he told me that I could have been on a direct flight had the first customer service woman known what she was doing but it was too late for that.  As it is I am going to see Washington DC.  How nice.  Problem is, I won't be able to see it until tomorrow afternoon.  I won't get into Toronto until 6:30 PM. Crap crap crap.  I never want to fly again.  Three days at home with no responsibilities will be my next vacation.

Thank you, wifey. Oh yes... she got sick on the second day in Las Vegas. Germs, germs germs from slot machines... and no hand sanitizer anywhere (hopefully everybody at united gets the aviation flu)... except for $20 at the hotel inconvenience store. Did I mention the MGM Grand sucks? Light bulb out in bathroom for all three days. Crappy TV - not even a flat screen - and remote partially worked. Alarm Clock - I couldn't set the actual time... it was ahead by an hour... so I had to set the alarm ahead by an hour. At least I noticed it and wasn't drunk to not be able to deal with it.  $43.70 for a pot of coffee and a plate of fresh berries via room service. No coffee machine or mini bar in room. No combs. No tooth brush. No razors. No ice bucket. Hey... no positive review! An inch of dust on fake lion inside lion gift shop. No manners at pizza shop inside MGM (we say thank-you, you say you're welcome). And how old is that friggin' carpet?!

Got on Monorail. Nice looking. An overheard speaker says it runs 19 hours and 20 hours on certain days of the week:  Just like my sleep schedule in Las Vegas. Uh no... it's the opposite. I'm awake 19 or 20 hours a day, and asleep 4 or 5 hours. One trip on monorail, I got on at the MGM station... went North one stop. picked up a few people.. then instead of continuing north, it reversed direction and went back to MGM station. Opened the doors, added a few people and went back to Bally's station. Then sat there for several minutes before finally proceeding. Since it was an automated driving system, no announcement was made as to what the problem was. Next day, took bus to old Vegas - few automated ticket machines worked. Driver was a jerk... I mean liked to drive and jerk to a stop. Old strip was awesome for the light show. It all seemed more real than the fake New Las Vegas strip. Everyone should visit Old Vegas strip and sing along with the hourly light show featuring Don McLean's American Pie.

What's this got to do about Japan? It's about Jimbo's blog entry up above... and I'm giving you some news about me: Aside from not seeing a single Nihonjin (Japanese person) or hearing the Japanese language while in Las Vegas... this blog is really about my Wonderful Rife. And it is also about my wonderful wife who is still lost at that signpost up ahead,

Somewhere in the Twilight Zone,
Andrew Joseph's wife

1 comment:

  1. Wifey arrived 11 hours after she was supposed to. Still sick and of course, very tired.