Once, I was sent to Los Angeles from Australia as part of my job. At that time I was working in Sydney for an American company that had a new product soon to be released and they wanted me to undertake training on how it worked and write it up. “Sales Support” they call it.
This was the first time I went to the USA. The companies manufacturing plant was located in Pasadena. Me, not having been to the US before ( the closest was from watching Bonanza on television ) so I was surprised to discover that Pasadena was not in Texas, but was in fact, a suburb of LA. Well, it seemed like a suburb to me as there are no trees between downtown and Pasadena. Still, I think it funny how I would hear people say they live in Pasadena, or work in Pasadena, no matter who in the world they are talking to at the time.
Reminds me of this person I over heard being asked in the Philippines by a local, “Where are you from”. To which this Sydney sider, replied, “Pymble”. Like anyone not from Sydney, this Filipino could only manage a blank polite face as a reply. Pymble happens to be where my first girlfriend lived, but that is another story. But Pasadena, I had at least heard of that name before from the movies. Sounds like the wild west and cow boys. Maybe it was once, now it was were things were made, this company I worked for and others. Though I did happen to meet some cowboys and girls there…
Before I left Sydney, I booked up a Hotel for the first night following what I knew would be a long days flight time. Not knowing anything about LA etc, I asked American Express and they booked me into the Bon Adventure. I didn’t know this at the time, but as anyone who has
been to LA would know, you do not want to stay anywhere near the airport and so the Bon Adventure, being down town and no where near the airport, turned out to be a very good start for a number of reasons. I also learned very quickly that nothing in LA is near anything else, including Pasadena. Nevertheless, I enjoyed my stay at the Hotel. They have a bar up top where you can watch the traffic. Unbelievable traffic. Neither stops nor slows, night or day.
The next morning was when the real adventure started. I obviously needed to get to Pasadena, as in the song. I checked out and with luggage in hand, stepped out onto the street in front, where there happened to be a taxi stand with a nice new taxi waiting. Alas I was too slow with
my bags and some well dressed person jumped in. I later discovered that I was the lucky one. Five seconds later an old yellow Checker taxi comes slowly chugging around the corner. This did not look good, but he said jump in and so I did. Told him the address in Pasadena of the motel. His meter was not apparently working and neither of us knowing the location of the Motel, we negotiated a reasonable fair; so many dollars if the hotel turned out to be east Pasadena and so much for West. There sure was plenty of room in the back seat. When he discovered I was Australian, he insisted I relax and put my legs up on a drop down leg rest. By the time we reached Pasadena, he had told me all about the Pasadena Race track and how it was the last race for the season that day and, would I like to come along, because he had just decided he was going. He waited while I checked into the Motel and we headed off to the races ( in his yellow Checker cab without a working meter ). The start of a long adventure of the best kind, when the company is happy to pay the bills. Welcome to LA.
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