Day 1: In LAX

» 29 May 2007 » In Travel »

Having forgotten to check my baggage all the way through to Rarotonga, I had to pick it up in AA terminal and go over to Air New Zealand one. While standing in the check-in line, I realized with absolute and frightening clarity that there was another small, yet vitally essential thing I forgot at home. My green card. For those of you lucky enough not to need one, I’m required to have it with me at all times, especially when entering back into USA. The green card was tucked into the back pocket of my Uzbek passport cover, and I completely forgot about it, since I took my Russian passport on the trip.
I could just imagine the kind of hassle I’d have to go through at the immigration checkpoint; that is, if they let me into the country at all. My mind was in overdrive, as I walked through the security in haze and went up to the Air New Zealand lounge (that Premier Exec status sure comes in handy, thanks to all the conferences). The lounge had phones (remember, no cell phone with me), and computers (with Firefox on them!). While talking on the phone to my Mom, I hit upon a possible solution.
Observation of the day: Web Messenger is the coolest thing since the ice hotel in Sweden.
I fired it up, saw that my friend Brien was online, and asked him a favor: go to my apartment, enter the code into the lockbox to get the key, come in, find the green card, and fax a copy of it to me in Cook Islands. This was a tall order, but Brien didn’t even think twice. Hopefully by tomorrow I’ll have some sort of proof that I’m not faking being a permanent resident. Not sure if it’ll be enough to reduce that hassle, but it’s better than nothing.
With that completed, I could finally go and enjoy the lounge, get some food (the crab salad at the buffet was fantastic), and some New Zealand wine (best one was Ngatarawa Glazebrook Merlot Cabernet). I have to say that this lounge is way ahead of the ones I’ve been to in SFO, HKG, or FRA. Kudos to Air New Zealand.

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