Saturday, February 9, 2008

the Nomad abides, but still...

Nomad Survival Rule #1: Never get too comfortable.

I'm a big follower of rules. The law and I are close as close can get. But my desire to abide and my inability to understand LA's self-contradicting and singularly quirky transit system keeps getting me in trouble.

Take today for example.
Took the subway to Long Beach. I assumed, like in London or New York or DC, switching lines inside a station was allowed. One ticket would do. I was wrong.
And I got cited, pulled off the train, and will probably have to go to Compton (ya heard me right, Compton) if I want to dispute the ticket.

The MTA official issuing the citation said this happened frequently. Wanna know why? There are no manned booths at the LA subway stations. Nor are there stiles through which one must enter and put a ticket to get into the subway. It's an honor system thing. No one's around for you to ask questions. You're just supposed to figure it out, I guess.
To which I say, "What the hell?"

So, don't get too comfortable. Don't assume because the subway system in eight other cities work identically, that the subway system in city numero 9 will follow the same rules. Because then you'll pay.


Other than that Long Beach was cool. I wanted to go to Acres of Books, but after filling up three bags worth of guide books, brochures, posters, post cards, bookmarks, key chains, magnets, and other paraphernalia at the Travel and Adventure Show at the gorgeous Long Beach Convention Center, I was plum tuckered out. I entered approximately 80 giveaway contests, and I hope I win a trip to Australia over the trip to Fresno, but I'll take the trip to Fresno over nothing at all.
Should you go to the Long Beach Convention Center, might I suggest NOT eating at the center, but moseying on over to the Pike at Rainbow Harbor. The LBCC food is wicked expensive.

Um, yeah, loved the show. Will definitely go next year if I'm still around and not in Palau.

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In summing up, I wish I had some kind of affirmative message to leave you with. I don't. Would you take two negative messages?
-- Woody Allen