Although I’ve posted an entry on Los Angeles, I’ve never really elaborated much on the city. This post is an effort to make sure that I will not completely lose touch with my experience in the City of Angels. Right now, my memory is sketchy at best but what I do remember clearly is this: I had a grand time.
Even after I’d touched down in LAX (man, I feel glamourous already just saying that – LAX. LAX. LAX. LAX), passed the tight airport security and seated in my van heading towards the hotel, I still had a hard time trying to digest the fact that I was in Los Angeles. Tinseltown. Hollywood.Wow.
The moment I stepped out of my van, there was already a team of film crew shooting some scenes at the entrance of my hotel, Millennium Biltmore. Then I heard someone mentioned that Nicholas Cage was holed up in another hotel nearby, shooting a new movie.
I was terribly jet-lagged but my colleague wasted no time in asking the concierge whether there were any game happening at the Staples Centre. Luck was on our side, Lakers was playing against Memphis Grizzlies later in the evening. We booked our tickets and went back to our rooms to freshen up.
The view from my window was Pershing Square, the park featured in Speed!
At 5.30pm, we started making our way to Staples Centre. It was about 3 blocks away. We were so gungho, thinking that 3 blocks must be a short distance. Turned out one block is the distance between one main road and the next, which was about 200-300 metres -_-. So we walked about 1km, which was shit when you’re still trying to recover from jet-lag.
Finally the sight of Staples Centre greeted us and there was already loud catchy music booming in the surrounding. We decided to kill time at the merchandise store, couldn’t afford much of anything in there except a foam hand.
To be honest, I don’t even know why I decided to watch a basketball match because I’m totally clueless when it comes to the game. Sure, I know who are Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant and Dennis Rodman, but my knowledge of them is limited to what’s published in the tabloids. Thank goodness I decided against sleeping and joined my sports nut colleague. By the time I got my hotdog and nachos & cheese, I knew I had made a right choice.
Me doing the American thing – eating hotdogs and watching sports.
While looking for our seats, we saw the players warming up. The security guard allowed me to take pictures when I explained to him that it was my first time at a game :)
It was THE experience that you must go through at least once in your life. American sports entertainment is a class of its own. Even when I didn’t understand the game, the atmosphere was so electric that I couldn’t help but be suckered into the whole brouhaha.
The event started with a man singing Star Spangled Banner. Everyone stood up and was completely silent. The air of patriotism was thick.
Singing Star Spangled Banner.
Then, the creme de la creme of cheerleading, the Laker girls came out to strut their stuff. Each and everyone of them was smoking hot!!
Check out the moves!
Finally, the boys came out! All the players from both teams were introduced to the crowd and when it was Kobe Bryant’s turn, the crowd went crazy. Here’s a video of the introduction.
Recognise any player?
The game finally started. I had no idea what was going on. I was just doing what everyone was doing. When they chanted “defense”, I chanted along. When they cheered, I cheered. When they booed, I booed too. Hehe. But it was by far the funnest “monkey see, monkey do” I’ve ever done.
Game in progress.
During the intermission, the song Kiss Me (by Six Pence None the Richer) was played and the camera kept zooming into the spectators, showing random couple’s faces on the big screen. When they realised they’re spotted they would then kiss each other. Sometimes they would get the wrong couples and upon noticing their faces on the big box, they would stretch their necks in the opposite directions really fast. It was really funny and heart-warming at the same time. Laker fans were also promised free nachos if the home team won the game.
Well, Lakers did win the game. We thought of joining the queue for nachos but decided against it. So, Malaysians aren’t really the only ones who are suckers for free things, hehe. On the way back though, we stumbled upon this stall selling hotdogs wrapped in bacons and we.could.not.resist.
Just look at this and tell me this is not the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen.
Hotdog wrapped in bacon.
It was an interesting walk back to the hotel indeed. After a satisfying supper, I was screamed at by a homeless woman. I was kind of spooked but just kept walking with my eyes cast downwards while she followed me for a short time, all the while screaming into my ear. Gibberish and something about going back to my country.
Oh well :)
Part 2, soon!