Travels of 2014… Trip 1

New York, New York… Well, what can I say. The City is superb. this was my first ever visit to the US, let alone to NYC so I had no idea what to expect.
The apartment I was staying in was on the corner of 38th Street and 6th Avenue with a wonderful view of the New York scene. My first night in the apartment was pretty quiet as I was too tired to even eat, so I simply went to bed. The 6am alarm call was not well received, but I awoke, collected my things and headed out to the station, armed with directions. Sadly the directions weren’t entirely accurate and, after a slight detour, I arrived at Penn to meet my colleague.
Penn station was huge but surprisingly quiet (being used to London Kings Cross at 7.30am had prepared me well). We boarded the 7.39 (which made me smile – thinking of the Sheridan Smith drama of the other week) to Farmingdale and I was entertained to see that the buildings on Long Island were exactly as I expected.
We were joined on the train by a bright, intelligent New Zealander, M, who proceeded to talk me through the cab situation once we arrived at our station. The Checker cab company are something that I have never experienced in my life. You all pile into a cab, that Larry has sent you to, and the driver proceeds to drop you off in a (random?!) order. However you still pay the full fare. To say I was a very confused Brit, is an understatement. Still, 20 minutes later, we arrived at the office and I was soon settled into a desk with a coffee ready to start my training.
That evening, I got home at about 8.30 and by that time I had no will to go to a restaurant. I had been subjected to the mother of all ham sandwiches from a local deli (it was awesome but enough for 10), so I headed for Pret. I was greeted by a friendly American who served me and then said I should pop back as the manager was also from London. This did amuse me however I didn’t go back.
The days that followed were basically the same (although a slightly later train in the morning as my jet lag was kicking in) and I must confess that by the Wednesday I was craving vegetables and food that didn’t contain cheese.
I flew home on the Friday, but I had a couple of hours to kill (and to pack) so I decided to walk the few blocks up to Central Park. When I say few, I mean loads. It felt like miles. But it was worth it. The horses and carriages were waiting patiently as couples took the romantic jaunt around the park. I took the obligatory selfie with various high rise buildings behind me and then realised I needed to walk (at speed) back to the apartment and pack my case.
In my wisdom I decided that I should opt to go to the Airport (JFK) via public transport rather than paying the $80 for a cab. This was fine until I reached the steps at Jamaica. This was not a fun experience! The airtrain however, was a delight and once I’d worked out how to find the departure area, I was away. What I wasn’t prepared for, was having to kill over 2 hours in the tiny food court that is JFK Terminal 7. It’s safe to say that I was bored senseless.
The flight itself didn’t help my mood. The couple in front of me decided that the best thing for them, was to put their seats back for the entire flight. It was the red-eye so I expected people to sleep, but they insisted in keeping the seats back. I had no room to move. Luckily the woman and gentleman next to me were friendly and we had a nice chat about how their son was at university in Glasgow and about the town they were from in Azerbaijan.
At 5.30am we arrived over the West of England (a lot earlier than scheduled thanks to the tail wind) so after a lot of circling around Brighton and the South East, we eventually landed at 6.30. The rest of my morning was spent sleeping through my alarm and then driving back to Gloucestershire to see my family.
To those who think that travelling for work is glamourous… Think again. It’s fun and obviously I get to go to places that I would otherwise never go to, however sometimes, it’s just nice to come home.
Speaking of which, I’m off to Sweden on Monday….

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