ResoSummit - Trip

The U.S.A is a funny place, being very similar to Australia but with subtle differences.

It's sort of like the differences between Apple and Microsoft operating systems. They both provide the same functionality but use different methods, such as,

In the U.S.A. you,

Tips

In the U.S.A. the cost of an item to the buyer is divided into three parts/steps.

  1. The cost of the item.
    This is what's shown on the shelf.

  2. The tax applied to the item.
    This added at the cash register. I still think the cash register would be smart enough to handle this task by itself as we do in Australia.

  3. The tip given to the person serving you. A variable amount based on how well the service was provided to you, but, you are expected to pay something.
    As I paid for my last meal at LAX, I managed to use nearly all of the coins I had in my pocket to pay for the bill. I explained what I had done and was quickly challenged with "Where's the tip?" Oh yes, the tip.

Petrol

It seems now that you have to prepay to fill up with petrol. You first go to the service desk and hand over your money, fill up, and then collect the change.

Coffee

Coffee is everywhere making tea drinkers a sort of historic element.
At the first hotel they did have tea available in the room, but you had to use the microwave to heat up the water. At the second hotel I had to go from my room with my cu to the hotel lobby and ask for hot water, then go back to my room to make the tea.

Retail Hours

Retail shops open at 10:00 am and close later than our 5:30 p.m. A large store in Nashville close at 9:00 p.m.
When I arrived in Los Angeles I took a taxi to the closest AT&T store to purchased a SIM for the phone. I arrived at the shop at 8:30 a.m. and just had to wait.

Lines/Queues

At airports you are faced with the long lines and early show up times.
Firstly through customs and then through immigration. The scanning of all items in your possession.
While I was in the U.S.A. I decided to ditch the belt holding my pants up with braces (or suspenders as they call them). This caused the scanner some issues.
A lot of the time you are just waiting, lost time.

Non-standard airport routines

Airports are required by law to process customers, I don't have a problem with that. The problem I have is that each airport implements processes in a different manner and that can be confusing. One is automated. One is part automated. Another has different routines.
Very long lines.

Efficiency

Some airports are just too efficient.
I purchased a small suitcase on wheels to handle the stuff I purchased. In Nashville I had put in some chips and biscuits to eat on the twelve hours between connecting flights at Los Angeles. The airline decided that I didn't need to handle the suitcase at LAX and automatically handed it over to QANTAS. There goes my munchies.

Rental Cars

I rented two cars while I was in the U.S.A.. One in Nashville and one at Los Angeles.
In Nashville I rented a small Ford and it was functional and efficient. $20 to fill up with a 500 mile range.
In Los Angeles, on the last day between flights, I rented a Mercedes. Yes, it was more upmarket than the Ford in every way, had motors on everything that moved, it used a hell of a lot more petrol. $10 for 150 miles.
I know I shouldn't complain as the price of petrol here is very cheap.

Tours

I didn't do any of the Coutry Music stuff except for the shops on Broadway and they seemed pretty sad.

I did go to:

Cities

I found Nashville a friendly place to drive.
I found Los Angeles an aggressive place to drive in that was relentless at its pace. Least enjoyable city I have ever been in.

Highlights

Attending the Earls of Leicester tour at Station Inn.
The previous night I had listened to a Bluegrass band and had left after a few songs. With the EoL I was amazed at how well Bluegrass could be presented. One of the best shows I have attended leaving me wanting more. Great musicianship, great sound and with great entertainment. Do yourself a favour ...
After the show I caught up with Jerry and Jill Douglas. Lovely people.

Caught a concert by Tim O'Brien also at the Staion Inn.

Caught a concert by The TimeJumpers at 3rd and . Two of the band members were Vince Gill and Paul Franklin.

Disappointments

I attended at concert at the fabled Ryman theatre, the original home of the Grand Old Opery. The show I attended featured Joe Bonamassa and band.
As for the Rynman, it now acts as a theatre ala Las Vegas style. Very upmarket.
As for Joe, well I was disappointed. I had read a lot about him on Facebook and YouTube and he was praised for his work. In my opinion I beg to diifer. He was LOUD, NOISY: lacked definition, and, repetative. After you had heard one song, you've heard them all. It was difficult to discern between songs. You could barely hear the organ and two brass players, it was all blazing Joe. Definately not worth the $130.00

In Los Angeles on the twelve hour wait between flights, I drove to the Fender Shop in Corona. What a trip, road works and very heavy traffic, very slow trip. I go to open the door to the showroom and read a sign stuck to the door that stated "No Friday tours from now on". Guess what day today was? Grrrr!

Friendliness

Overall I found people to be friendly and open to a conversation.
Only once did I find a difficult situation. When I attended the Earls of Leicester show at the City Winery in Nashville, I was seated at a table of four, butted up against another table of four. I arrived first and sat at my allocated chair. Later a table of five shows up and was clearly miffed that they had to share a table with a stranger. They were two senior couples and a young lady. No one made an attempt to communicate with me, and made it clear I was not wanted.
Jill douglas was a table close by and was nearly going to ask me to sit with them. Nice thought on Jill's part.

Station Inn

The Station Inn is advertised as THE place to go to to see Bluegrass music in Nashville. They are celebrating their fortieth year of business. The seat about one hundred and fifty people.
They are in the proverbial position of being surrounded by building developers. I think it's just a matter of time before they are gobbled up.
The SI has a interesting environmental policy. They keep the air temperature low. If you plan on attending I recommend that you rug up. No wines or spirits, it's a beer place only. The doors open at 7:00 p.m. and there's no pre-booking tickets, it's a first come first seated affair. Mind you, there is an invisible table booking system in operation. You find tables with a paper plate with someone's name on it.