Around the World in 36 Days
Glasgow to New York
I flew down to London from Glasgow. The first time I’d been on a plane on my own. Somehow most of my flights were BA or Quantas, which made for pretty pleasant journeys for the majority. I sat in Terminal 5 and spent the last hour before boarding on the phone to one of my best friends, Carina. I still don’t think I could quite believe I was about to go to New York. I was never a big fan of my visits to London. Apart from seeing Carina I always felt that it was too big and anonymous. So although I was excited I didn’t think that I would enjoy the city in the way that I did.
When I was 17 I moved to Glasgow to go to uni. I lived in halls with 5 other girls. Some of it was great, some of it was awful. But out of it I made a two life long friends. Tina had just moved to Melbourne and Naomi had been in New York for a good few years by this point. She had met a Long Islander when she worked in NYC over the summer between 1st and 2nd year of uni. She now lived with him in Astoria, Queens.
Naomi and Alec were going to pick me up from JFK in 7 hours… And I would be in New York. So I spent those 7 hours eating free food and drinking free wine and watching free movies. I think that’s when I really fell in love with flying (and BA). The thought that you are suspended 38,000 feet in the air having a movie night. The plane was basically empty, which the flight attendants had rarely seen, so every passenger got 3 seats to themselves. I like to spread out when I travel so this worked pretty well for me… Although it did give me a slightly false sense of what it is like to fly economy long haul!
I think I was quite nervous. I hadn’t seen Naomi in a few years and I was suddenly turning up on her doorstep for 8 days! After a slight misunderstanding at Boarder Control I was finally allowed to cross over the other side of the blue tape on the floor and let into the country. I had forgotten entirely that the Americans might take a disliking to me and stop my trip before it had even begun.
There was a sigh of relief when I saw my bag on the carousel. I was sure it would be in Africa by this point! Naomi was a few minutes late so I waited out front with a slightly loud American family. I could see the yellow cabs whizzing by outside and I think that was when the realization hit me. I am in the United States of America and I am on my own. Luckily Naomi turned up and put a halt to my freak out. We put my bag in the back of Alec’s car and headed home.
Alec decided we were going to go into the city. It was about 9pm NY time so it was dark and I could see the city lights so clear. We survived a near death collision on the freeway. That was a little terrifying. I was always kept on my toes in that city. We had to stop off for gas and Alec was having a few issues with the card machine. He was not best pleased and I got to see that famous New York tempter people talk about.
We got back to Queens and talked for a few hours and then I hit the hay. My bed for the next 8 nights was a very confortable sofa. Couldn’t really complain. Tomorrow Naomi was talking me to meet all of her friends. We were going to something called SantaCon…