Those little town blues are fading away…

3 Jul

I made it. Just, not without incident.

Getting to Heathrow at 12:45 for my 2:00 plane, I managed through the gross incompetence of Virgin Atlantic employees and staff to miss my flight. But it’s okay, they bumped me up to a different flight. No upgrade though. I said my goodbyes and made my way to the plane. The flight was long, if uneventful. I managed somehow in the last month to watch all the films they were showing, and the food was the oddest and most eclectic spread I’ve eaten in a while.

Then, disembarking at Newark, after watching Manhattan sprawl past, the Statue of Liberty looking a hell of a lot greener than I imagined her to look, and the Empire State Building sticking out of the skyline far more than I pictured. An hour in the immigration queue – but once I was there it was deceptively easy, and there I was: In the United States of America, with no turning back and very little capital to get started on. This was compounded by the fact that US ATMs don’t like my bank card, and I have been unable to get any money out. So I was on the train from Newark airport to Manhattan, got kicked off because the conductor thought I had said ‘Newark Penn’ instead of ‘New York Penn’, had to get back on, still wearing the four layers I’d left the UK in and with my heavy duffle bag, and eventually made it to the subway, getting confused as to what trains to get. It was all a bit overwhelming. But I made it, albeit still without a bank card. So, with my original $50 I took in my wallet dwindling, I had to call in an emergency Western Union transfer to at least tide me over until I get settled, and get a job.

But New York is amazing! It’s not perfect – the subway was confusing for one, but it sits on this island with a sense of grimey regality. But the one thing that really strikes me about it is its size, just not in a cheesy ‘New York is tall’ cliche. New York in one sense is exactly how you pictured it, saw it in the movies or read about. But at the same time, everything appears so much bigger than you could ever have imagined. The Empire State, for one, absolutely dominates in a way that I could never have pictured, and my imagination isn’t half bad. Its just Shreve, Lamb and Harmon’s were better when they built the behemoth.

But now for breakfast. Lets see if that is as good as they say it is.


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