03 October San Diego, before the flying
Alright when I woke up it was still dark outside so I went to the viewing cart to see the sunrise. This was again beautiful to see! I arrived in LA in the morning and I had to transfer from the Southwest Chief to the Pacific Surf liner. After a short while riding the new train we were driving along the west coast. There was a blue sea with rather big waves and palm trees on the beach. This was what I was expecting and it even looks better then on tv! The pictures tell the story themselves.
After a while we got the announcement that we were soon to arrive in San Diego. I was going to be picked up by the driver from the flight school and I had to wait an hour. I was hungry and went to find a place to eat. I hadn't even arrived at a restaurant when the phone rang and someone said that they are early and asked where I was. I headed back quickly and found out that I was picked up by the owner of the flight school who happened to be in the area. We had a good talk and he seems like a nice guy. We arrived at the flight school and I was greeted by Liz. She was the student counselor and she told me what to do and enrolled me into the computer system. After the papers were signed and a small deposit was paid it was time to take my fingerprints. After that we just had to wait for the TSA clearance to come through. I was tired and I went to the café next door to have some well deserved lunch/dinner. As expected the portions were huge and I couldn't even finish it! I was then brought the apartment complex and was happily surprised. I stayed at the apartment complex "Majestic" there are about 100 houses here that people can rent. My apartment was all the way in the back. I came in and it was very warm! First I thought the place did not have air-condition but found out that it did. The only thing was that there are no locks in the doors to the bathroom and the bedrooms. The rest was all good, the rooms are spacious and the kitchen is very decent to. It has a microwave, toaster, stove/oven and a fridge/cooler. It even has a waste disposal system. I got settled and set course to the Wall mart to buy the essentials. That day was very hot, about 33 C. this was abnormally hot for this time of the year and I was relieved to hear that! There were two more Dutch people to arrive and they came around 9 pm. We talked a bit and then all headed off to bed.
The next day we went to the flight school at 9.30 am. There is a shuttle van driving between the school and the apartment complex. It goes at 7.30 am and then every 2 hours until 3.30 pm. I thought I was going to meet my instructor but he was out for that day so I just studied for the navigation test until I took the van back home at 3.30. The school has a study room but it is not that quite and people come in and out. There is an simulator for IR training and there is a little pilot supply shop where you can get the bare essentials as a student. By now the headset, PLB and flight bag have arrived and the headset works like a charm. The active noise reduction really works! It is not cheap but then you have a quality product that does the job. After a quick shower we were going to go out for dinner with another Dutch guy who will finish his training in a week. He has a car and we drove to an Applebees. It was a fun and educational day! Just what I expected.
In the morning I got an email from the TSA that I was cleared to fly. I got my bag ready and all the Dutchies went to the flight school at 9.30 again. I told Liz that I had the clearance and she directed me to Mike. He is the one in charge of the instructors and he told me that I couldn't fly until Tuesday!!! The reason was that there were not enough EASA instructors who could teach me. I was pretty disappointed because this meant that I had to wait four more days until I could take to the skies! I spend the rest of the day studying communications and I'll take the exam on Monday. While I was studying another Dutch guy with my future instructor, Brad, arrived. We talked a little and he told me I should give him a call in the weekend so we can make a plan. He seems like a really relaxed guy. He's from the US. Most of the instructors are from the US, there is one female instructor from France but they all look really professional. That's the impression I got so far. Now I'll just have to wait and see! In the evening I walked to Target from some afternoon exercise and to get some vegetables. Fresh produce is hard to come by. I found a Turkish supermarket in downtown El Cajon yesterday but they are also far away. I did buy ingredients to make a nice good old fashioned wortelstampot. We'll see how it tastes when I get around making it! After the walk, I went out to Boston Market to get something to eat. It was surprising what they had there. I had meatloaf with spinach and potatoes. If you are tired of having fast food or fancy restaurant then this is the place to be! You choose your main dish and then you pick two side dishes to go with it. There are veggies, mashed potatoes and all other kinds of things. Now I'm typing this story, but the pictures will have to wait until tomorrow.