Los Angeles to Madrid

March 2, 2010

I have just arrived at the international airport in Los Angeles. I got here about 4:30PM even though my flight is not till 8:30PM. I am flying British Airways. That is an hour earlier than is requested by the airlines and probably about two hours earlier than necessary, but traffic in Los Angeles can be fierce at this time of the day and I am driving from a long distance. I live about a 100 kms from the airport. I must admit that I am a little extreme when it comes to these matters, so I would rather wait in the airport knowing that I am here early than wait till the last minute and then sit and fume in rush hour traffic. One thing I have learned about traveling, always give myself more time than expected and always have contingencies built into my travel plans. This makes travel enjoyable and less stressful. I also leave my car at a valet where they store it, wash it, refuel it and bring it to me when I return. This way I am not bothering other people for rides and besides there is nothing nicer than to return to one’s own car, all clean and ready to go after a long trip. It is a good way to travel.

One thing that I notice about American airports: there are still no military police patrolling the airports. I hardly see guns and when I do see them it is usually just a pistol equipped policeman. All over Europe one sees young soldiers, usually “kids” with machine guns walking the floors at airports and train stations. One never sees that here. Security in America is still “hidden.” Occasionally I will see a bomb sniffing dog. These are usually small beagle dogs sniffing for drugs or bombs. In France you see ferocious looking German Shepherds on patrol. Here the dogs are still “cute and cuddly.” I have no doubt that behind the scenes there is an army waiting to descend on any American airport in case of an emergency. Security is becoming tighter and tighter these days. Every incident edges us closer and closer to bigger guns and bigger dogs. No doubt, that as the world becomes flatter, the troubles of far away places become closer. Pity.

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