Hobbe's "Blog": First Time in US (NYC)
[While the book remains a work in progress, I decided that I should just go on publishing some of the contents anyways. Here's "guest blogger" Hobbe's monologue-ish post of his first day in US]
Dec 27th 2013
First time in US (NYC)
I landed in JFK expecting a long line at the customs. I just hoped my friend doesn’t have to wait too long for me outside the airport in the cold. Amazingly to my surprise, I was being led straight to baggage pickup. The plane I flew in was the smallest one I had seen so this shouldn’t take long. There were two seats on either side of the aisle. I had boarded the plane to find someone already seated in my window seat. After double checking my boarding pass, I asked him whether he was in the right seat? Indeed he wasn’t. He tries to stand up from his seat but the cramped seat and his over than average weight makes it a slimy situation. So I offer to take his seat instead. He thanks me twice.
As I walked outside to my first breath on american soil, I half expect to see Prashant there. Nope, don’t see any familiar faces! I buy a pack of gums to get some change back. Got to make a phone call old school style! It goes straight to voicemail. As I attempt to call again, the payphone crunches my coins and swallows it. I need some more change. The currency exchange is a rip off. They give me 1.2 instead of the correct 1.05 rate, plus they charge me commision. Felt like i got robbed through socially accepted means.
Turns out, Prashant is still on the bus from DC to NYC. He says he is running like 4 hours late. I am not surprised one bit. He tells me his arrival station is somewhere in Manhattan, 50 minutes from the airport. So I grab myself a shuttle ticket and head on over to the heart of the city.
Now i see the irony, that a**hole was suppose to pick me up!
The shuttle driver bumps his way through the crappy road, calling out station names along the way which is very hard to comprehend. At one point I got out of the bus and had to ask a stranger in the street where I was? He says “You are a few blocks from Port Authority”. I guess no more music for the rest of the trip. I get to port authority. I call Prashant again and we decide on meeting in front of a huge Christmas tree in the middle of the main floor. This guy doesn’t show up for the next two hours.
I am making small chats with homeless people lying around in the station when I see him walking towards me with an apologetic but fun face. I am really happy to see him.
The next few days are a bit blurry with new year celebrations. First day, we go to a bar, play pool. beer is cheap, people are inviting. The first night I crash in a frat house. I win the bet of illusive $600 with Sudip bro’s girlfriend. Apparently she puked 2 minutes before me. I pass out in the dirt filled basement. Next morning I seem to have teleported to a couch upstairs. I notice numerous bunk beds and lots of familiar faces from school. I feel at home right away. We go to Times Square on New Years Eve. Couldn’t make out the ball drop from where we were standing. Ended up seeing Macklemore’s perfomance at Time Square on the TV in some bar. Prashant is more excited to see Miley Cyrus.
I am suppose to take the bus to Shelton, Connecticut soon. I am just waiting for my new landlord to respond to me with the details. I am with my friends so I couldn’t care less when he responds as long as he does it before the 5th. When he finally responds, he does it on the day of the big storm. “Big storm eh?” I ask my friends. How bad could it be. They say struggle makes you arrogant. I have struggled through the harsh climates of Canada too long to be scared of a storm. I realize I am right when I see people getting shocked about how much it was snowing. It wasn’t even half a feet tall. My landlord asks me to come to shelton before the storm. My first reaction is, maybe I can make it. I am quickly proven wrong when I call the bus service. They say all the buses have been cancelled. They have no idea what goes on up at the polite brother to the north.
We stack up food as they can’t predict how long the storm is gonna be. I had a few more days till I started work so i had no worries. Prashant has to make a sick call at work though.
Next day, the storm is over. We pack our bags, take pictures and say our goodbyes. It was a fun stay. Now comes the bad part. Dragging our suitcases down the snow filled streets, it takes double the time to reach the bus station. Once we get there, we realize we are early for the bus. Its bloody cold so we stand on the sun a little off from the stop. We are chatting as the bus just woozes past us. I don’t understand how the driver couldn’t notice our huge suitcases. It sucked. the next bus was in an hour. We didn’t have anything to do but wait.
Sudip dai calls from his house to say good bye. he is going back to the army after the winter break. We decide to visit him as it is not too far from the station. Thats when we snapped this picture.
|Me on the left with Sudip dai (middle) and of course, Prashant|