Was up at 4am this morning -arghh - for a 7.50am flight to Miami. I had expected American Airlines to be good for some reason but this flight was probably the worst yet. Mind you, I was warned by Ben, Bettina, Stephanie and Juliana. The customer service from the staff on the plane was non-existant. When one of them dropped a jammy knife on me, I barely got an apology just a look and then a paper towel was thrust at me! The food was terrible, the plane itself was old with crappy headphones. Moan, moan, moan -I've obviously been spoiled by the likes of BA, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, Air Tahiti Nui and Lan Chile.
Things didn't improve when I got to the immigration desk to be told that I'd filled in the wrong form (again, the airline staff's fault). Thankfully the guy was cool about it and told me to come straight back to the front of the queue when I'd filled in the correct one. However, I got a right grilling about having Eqypt and Jordan stamps in my passport and whether I had any relatives living there. I know I've got a bit of a tan but I didn't think I'd pass as someone with Middle Eastern connections!
Coming to Miami from Ecuador was certainly a bit of a culture shock but it was great to see blue skies and gorgeous white sandy beaches. I'm staying in South Beach so am surrounded by beautiful Art Deco buildings. The hotel has a pool (yippee!) and a private entrance to the beach (even bigger yippee). Unfortunately, it's Spring Break so the students have descended on Miami and the place is heaving. However, it makes for quite an entertaining time when you walk along the boardwalk. There's such a mish-mash of cultures here and you could people watch for hours. You really do see people jogging, power-walking, cycling and roller-blading along the boardwalk and groups of geriatrics sitting gossiping in the sunshine. Along Collins Avenue, the music blares out of souped-up or I should say 'pimped-up' cars with huge wheels and the suspension about two-feet above the ground. Groups of guys gather to admire fancy wheels trims etc and the sports bars along Ocean Drive have pole dancers and break-dancers entertaining the beer-guzzling punters. Crazy, crazy stuff!
On a more boring note, the clocks went forward here 1 hr so I'm now only 4 hrs behind UK time.