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We decided to take a quick trip to San Francisco, nominally to see Fedi and Danielle‘s new baby, the almighty Noemi, but really because we love SF and will move there soon.
I had found this great rate for a rental car: 5 days came to about . The company was unheard of by me, ACE rent a car, but I figured, they have a website and all, they seem alright, let’s give them a chance.
They are near the airport, of course, as most rental car agencies are. So on Thursday I took the bus from school that goes to LAX. This takes an hour and a half, traversing several neighborhoods. The bus gets full, and empty, and full again, and stops and goes, through traffic and the Santa Monica Third Street Promenade madness.
But it’s alright with me, I have a book to read, I have a seat, I have time. I figured I’ll get off near the place, and walk.
Except, as you might know, nobody walks in L.A., and mostly it’s for a reason. What, on the map, looked like a couple of blocks actually translated into 40 minutes of power walking with a heavy bag on my shoulder, down wide high-speed avenues in the middle of nowhere, flanked by empty warehouses and parking lots, often without a proper sidewalk, with cars and trucks careening by and shadowy figures peering out of dark places.
It was quite an adventure, I tell you. Finally I found the godforsaken place, and was told that in order to rent a car, I had to produce a utility bill addressed to me with an address matching the one on my driver’s license. Which, of course, I didn’t have, you know, on me. There was no reasoning with bureaucratic pigheadedness: they wouldn’t rent me a car.
So now I was stuck at the airport, without a car, miles from the nearest bus stop, where I could take a bus that would take me back to school, but certainly not home, where I now wanted to go. I contemplated going mad for a few minutes.
Then I realized that I had my camera with me! All of a sudden, I could make this situation into a "night-shooting at the airport" photo safari! Yay!
So armed with renewed enthusiasm I trekked back to civilization, taking it slow, occasionally taking out my camera to take pictures, like this one above (taken on Aviation Blvd, looking north), or the previous one, a little further on.
All in all I had a good time, until I came to the bus stop and realized that there was no way to get back home via public transportation. My choices were either take a cab and pay something around (all for having tried to save money in the first place), or call a friend and plead that they come pick me up.
Luckily, Chris is a rockstar, and him and Erin left happy hour, even, to pick me up.
Thank goodness for redemption through photography, and for good friends.
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