Drinking in LA

Trip Start Oct 22, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Friday, December 1, 2006

So what have we been up whilst incognito in Los Angeles waiting for our flight to Sydney?
Let me tell you about the most entertaining hotel in the world.  It all began with a walk from our expensive hotel on Century Boulevard to the local shops down the road.  It was whilst walking we saw the sign "Airport City Hotel" and beside that "Rooms $40 for 1-2 people".  "Wow!" we thought that's cheap there must be a catch.  Well yeah the catch was that you had to put up with the really narky owners and the mass population converging on the front desk two minutes to 11AM (check out time) to pay for the next week or night; but more about that later.
Although we had been told that the rooms were $40 USD, after lugging all our stuff a kilometer down the road from the previous hotel we found the price was actually $43 bucks plus tax which bought it up to $50.  Hmmmm, still cheap though, so we checked in and headed up stairs taking note of the sign that said "No refunds after 15 minutes in the room".  Megan was horrified the day before when looking for another hotel when she was asked how many days we wanted to rent the room.  When she hesitated slightly trying to decide how many days, the hotel owner asked "Well how many hours then?"  After stammering out "no it's not like that" and getting a "Yeah that's what they all say" look we didn't even hang around for the price but left in embarrassment.
After seeing the no refunds sign the first thing we thought was, if you can have sex within the 15 minute window and be back to the desk in time, do you get the room for free? Hmmmm now can you picture the establishment? So the hotel looked ok at first glance.  The carpet was a bit worn but who sits on the carpet in a hotel anyway?  The bedspread had cigarette burns but honestly who ever touches the bedspreads?  The TV worked, was colour and had about 10 channels most had crap reception (the aerial cable kept falling out of the back) but hey we were happy to hear anything in English after so long in South America.  The bathroom was spacious enough to stretch your arms out wide, so we didn't worry that the bath was moldy in places; it wouldn't feel the same not wearing thongs in the shower anyway.  All in all we were happy with the place for what we were paying and decided to pay for the rest of the week the next morning.
We were still not deterred the next morning when we discovered the shower smelled strongly like rotten eggs after we finally figured out how to turn the water on.  It eventually faded and left no lingering smell on our bodies so we decided to put up with it and headed downstairs to negotiate a weekly rate.  Not surprisingly they had a very reasonable weekly rate as evidenced by the number of people we saw moving in with their microwaves and belongings while we were waiting in line at the desk.  The guy behind the counter was happy to let us pay $100 bucks then and the rest that afternoon after we had been to the bank.  He gave us a receipt with this highlighted as a different person would be on the desk when we returned later. 
After a day in downtown Los Angeles which to be honest was boring as hell we caught the bus back to Inglewood.  With honest intentions the first thing we did on our return was head to the desk to pay the rest of our bill.  Megan approached the desk, receipt in one hand and cash in the other and was immediately yelled at by the guy for not paying in full that morning.  Despite having a receipt which outlined the situation the guy was cranky as hell.  Megan tried telling him that the guy at the desk that morning had said it was fine and was refuted with "I am the boss, I run this place, what I say goes!  Do you have a problem with that?"  As Rick walked off laughing (it was pretty funny)  Megan was left to calmly say "No not at all" then endure a 10 minute lecture eventually winning the guy over, paying the bill and receiving instructions on how to book the free airport shuttle when we needed it.
So we learnt not to mess with the desk guy, we could see that they had a lot to deal with everyday and it must take its toll.  Every morning we could witness a number of arguments when people felt they didn't need to pay their bill or tried to book rooms for other people which was not allowed.  They had a lot to deal with and often started a conversation on the attack until they could judge the situation. 
After a week in the hotel Megan popped downstairs to book the free airport shuttle for the following morning.  Again she encountered the "Cranky Owner".  After enquiring as to what she needed to do to book it she was shut down with "There is no shuttle!"  As she tried to argue that last week that same man had told there was one he again tersely said "No shuttle!"  Honestly we were not really surprised at this and instead asked about a local bus to LAX.  This was quickly refuted with "I don't catch bus ask someone else".  Ok then, obviously he had had a bad day so laughing we headed back to our room to make the most of the eggy shower and fuzzy TV before leaving the next day.  Rick decided to take out the rubbish we had accumulated to the bin to ensure we got our whole deposit back and returned 5 minutes later laughing hysterically and told Megan to look out the window to the car park.  There, two stories down, right below our window were two cars clearly labeled "Airport Shuttle"!  Some things we will never understand but sometimes it more difficult to argue the point.
That my friend is the tale of the "Airport City Hotel"
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