Woke up with Tecate gut rot and dark circles under my eyes. “McBurger?!”. Where am I? Disoriented. “[Diesel], we only have an hour!”. Who’s that?. Oh it’s Tha Queebs. I’m home. Ok gotta move. Our ride to the train to the bus to the flight leaves in 30 minutes. Gotta pick up Agent Getz and get to the station. Getz, Tha Queebs, and I are going to investigate Taiwan and Hong Kong. It was high time for another adventure!
Tha Queebs is from Taiwan and has friends and family there so she’ll be able to connect with a lot of people as we find our way around the island. Always nice to have locals to show you around to all their favorite spots too. And Agent Getz spent two years living in Zhongli studying their culture and learning from little kids. He has a few friends still kicking around that we can meet up with for some wobbly pops.
McBurger has been doing deep undercover work in Brisbane, Australia. I tried to pull him into this mission but he’s been hard to track down. I hope everything’s Ok. Find him later on down the trail maybe.
Doorbell rings while I’m in the shower. It’s Miss Strollberry, our ride to the station. After a quick breaky and a briefing from the Senior Intelligence Director, Dr Birdrito, we piled in the Strollmobile and braved the thanksgiving traffic. Not too bad, we get to the station and the 10 minute warning sounds for train departure. There’s a line. One of the machines is down. Everything turns into a race. Every time.
A helpful security dude is working the ticket machine like a champ. Pushing buttons before the screen even refreshes with the information. “6 minutes to Union Station” the warning sounds. “Will they hold the train for us?”, “No they will not”, “4 minutes to Union Station”, security dude is firing the buttons off scraping tickets out of the bin for people. “2 minutes to Union Station”. Damn. Ok we’re next. “Where to?”, “Los Angeles, 3 of us.” We’re the last ones to get tickets. “Happy Thanksgiving, have a great trip!”. “You too man, cheers”. We’re on the train.
“You got the Machu Picchu cards?”, “Dammit!” “Tha Queebs, got any cards?”, “No”. Our international crazy eight countdown tournament is stalled. First mission: Find a novelty deck of cards.
We train it into central station and then hop the flyaway bus into LAX, Thomas Bradley International terminal. There’s some sort of wage strike going on outside the terminal. A group of ppl waving signs, banging on things and chanting. Can’t really make out what they’re saying, sounds like ‘Bo Peep’. So we dance and sing Bo Peep! Not often you get to hear live music at an airport.
We grab our tickets and hit the TSA. Agent Getz is harassed by the xray guard lady. “Pull your pants up!” she yells at him, “Wha?”. I walk through with no problem. She points at the xray results “You’re fine. Look at this” she points at Getz’s xray. There’s yellow warning zones cascading down his legs. “Everytime when they don’t pull up the pants” I start laughing. “Pull up your pants and get back in the machine!” Haha there’s a line I’d never heard before.
TB terminal has recently undergone some construction and I’ve gotta say it’s looking pretty swanky. Our first order of business is to grab some drinks. We’re on vacation! The Mezzanine level by our gate is fairly pimp, we grab a round of drinks (for a mere $45) and chill for a couple hours before boarding.
Hop on the Eva airplane and we’re greeted by a fleet of cute Asian flight attendants in full green pant suits and pink aprons. It was the cute equivalent of attack of the clones. All smiles and super polite we were guided to our seats. The three of us took up our own row. They welcome us to our 14.5 hour flight. Dear lord! That’s a long flight. Alright get comfy. No screaming kids, just one old lady with the most vicious SARS cough I’ve ever heard sitting directly behind us. Each fit of convulsive rasping sounded like she was scraping her entire head and throat of loose phlegm which she’d then collect in her mouth with a kccccgggggggccchhhhhhtt! and grossly spit out after. Into a cup I hope. I dunno, it was horrible.
International flights = free drinks, so that happened. In the form of whiskey cokes. I got pretty excited when I saw that they had the Attack on Titan movie. I’ve read all the manga (so far) and watched the animated series so I was pumped when I’d heard they were making a live action movie. But of course I also expected them to totally fuck it up. Which is kind of what they did. They changed some of the story and character names, and added romantic plotlines where none existed. Cut some key parts and… well, from a fan I’d say it was entirely disappointing. Actually the titans themselves were nice and creepy, but still. Perhaps if I’d never read the story and it was my first time ever introduced to that world it would have been a better experience. Meanwhile Agent Getz watched Scent of a woman for his first time ever. Great flick.
Outside the window was a full moon, tinted orange and squished slightly between two cloud lines. The air was clear over the ocean but we were frequently jostled by unseen currents, shaking us in our seats and allowing only nap nuggets. It was like that on and off for most of the flight leaving us restless in the turbulent airs above the Pacific.