I’m lying on the industrial grade carpet and looking out the thick plate glass windows of Fort Lauderdale’s Hollywood Airport. Outside it is 75F but here on the inside I am cold and getting colder. A delay in Lima yesterday and we missed our morning connection to San Francisco. The airplane seat was a relic from the 70s and we barely slept. I am in a mood to rant.
Now I love being in the United States, the politics aside, it is one of the friendliest and most beautiful countries on this planet. However, there are a few things that drive me crazy about the place.
First, my current situation being a perfect example, why is the air-conditioning in so many public buildings turned up way too cold? From New York to Los Angeles you often have to carry a sweater so that when you go inside a cafe or a restaurant you don’t freeze whilst eating. (The combined annual cost of all that wasted energy alone must be enormous.)
Second, in a country that produces some of the best fresh produce, food items and drinks in the world, why is it so often served in cardboard or on plastic and has to be eaten with disposable cutlery? I am not a child or on a picnic, please give me my coffee in a nice ceramic mug and my food on a plate with metal cutlery. (Ditto for straws, make them optional not mandatory)
Third, and lastly, tipping. Nobody likes it, tippers or tipped. Stop it now and pay people a decent living wage that gives them the security of knowing what they are going to receive each week. More on that in a future post.
An hour later and my good spirits have been restored thanks to a charming Cuban waiter in Casavana restaurant. The Ropa Vieja was spot on, he got me some Louisiana Tabasco sauce and then rustled up a superb cortado to go with a big slice of Key Lime Pie. Now, what to do with the next 6-hours?