Mon., Oct.23@Moving to L.A.

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The day to leave St.Petersburg for L.A. has come. In the morning, my roommate, Mr. Y and me went to a laundry where we found the previous day. Then we found a very nice scenery while we were waiting for the laundry finished. The scene of the crescent moon seen between tropical trees were so fantastic. In addition, sparrows on the electric lines added an accent to my picture somehow.

One of the house keepers working in the hotel suddenly began to say that I looked like Bruce Lee, and she yelled at me just like him when she saw me. Since this day was the last to see her, I asked her to take a picture with me. She said O.K., and gave me her address to send the picture to her. The second picture is a picture of Spanish Moss that grows in front of the hotel. The third picture is the entrance of the hotel.

We checked out the hotel and left St.Petersburg by bus. Then we went to Orlando Int'l Airport to fly directly to L.A. In the airport I had a personal pizza by Pizza Hut. Inside the airport building, we often saw shops selling telescopes and exhibitions concerning with space science such as spacesuit. That's why a space center exists near the airport.

The airplane we took was Boeing 757 and its cabin was very small. It took off Orlando, flying across Florida Peninsula, especially flew over St.Petersburg. The beautiful three highways on the Tampa Bay reminded me of our first visit to Tampa (5th picture).

As a teacher wanted to take a look at the Rocky Mountains, I let him sit on the window-side seat. But all we could see was thick cloud below us throughout the flight. Our plane flew about 3,000 miles following the sun, and arrived at L.A.. We saw tall buildings of the down town. This was my second visit since I traveled around the U.S. by Grayhound Bus in 1984, when I was studying in Minnesota. When we got out of the airport, I felt everything seemed busier than in Florida, for example, the speed of peoples' walk was faster, and the amount of cars was much more.

Our new guide was Mr.S who was a Japanese and now is an American citizen. He gave us a great amount of information about California, US, culture, and so on in his talk. From now on, I'll put a '*' sign to what I learned from him.

*Los Angeles International Airport is one of the busiest airports all over the world. More than ten airplanes often wait for landing in a line in the air in the evening. (We surely saw at least five airplanes were waiting with the landing lights on.)

*Highways in L.A. are also very crowded. So there is a lane called 'car-pool lanes' on which only cars having more than one passenger can run. (Our bus, of course, ran on this lane.)

*Several blocks including Little Tokyo are safer than other areas. But if you get out there, you could be in danger. (I saw many dangerous-looking person from the bus.)

Our new hotel there was New Otani Hotel. Below is a picture from my room. We could enjoy a gorgeous landscape of down town buildings.

We found a ramen(=Chinese noodle in soup) restaurant and had dinner there. I had Japanese beer imported from Japan, REAL ramen that tastes like ones in Japan, and fried rice that is one of my favorites. Other than that, Japanese pickles, and water w/o ordering, ... there was a small Japan there. Most of the customers were also Japanese. Some were reading newspaper, some were talking in Japanese, ... those made me feel like if I had been really in Japan. But after dinner, when we went out the restaurant, we realized that we were in the US. On our way to the hotel we went into a convenience store and I bought a canned coffee made in Singapore. Although it was my third visit to the US, this was the first time that I found canned coffee that are sold in vending machines here and there in Japan.

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