Tuesday, March 06, 2007

New York, New York...

First time in New York: at first I had a pang of excitement, then the guilt about leaving Joshua (my two-year-old son) crept in, then I justified it (well hubby will appreciate me more when I get back... won't he?) and now I'm here feeling jet-lagged and my head feels like, any minute now, it will cave in. And I've still got about five hours of work to go!

Wait, gripe one: I need to get this gripe out of my system before I explode...

Why do people have to talk so loud on mobile phones? I was way too early for my flight on Sunday - check-in was from 3pm, I got there at 2pm due to past bad experience leaving me £50 shy. When I arrived and settled down near my gate, there was only another soul there, and he was trainspotting. Then comes Miss Italy - this is not an 'is you a racialist?' comment by the way, but speaking at that volume, even the cemetry bones could distinguish her accent.

Gripe two - Heathrow Airport: what is with those noisy mini car things that airport staff use to transport old or lazy passengers around in? Why do their sirens have to be louder than all St John's Ambulance sirens put together? Do they really need them? I mean if you were hit by those 3mph things, at worst you'd be huddled up in stitches - laughter - at the thought that it had dared hit you, let alone hurt you, so that's the health and safety excuse out the window.

I didn't realise how much of a Londoner I am until I landed at JFK airport. The queues for non-US immigration was so long... and I seemed too close to the end for my liking, considering I had flown World Traveller Plus! It just niggled me that there were four members of staff ushering people to queue behind four counters - surely they trust passengers to get that right themselves? And surely one person could have done that and the remaining three members of staff could have been at the other end of the counter, killing the long queue...

Anyway, by the time I got to the counter, my way-too-big-to-be-hand-luggage bag was in tatters. One handle was broken, and the zip looked worse for wear. I felt at ease for a split second when I finally got my turn at the counter and the attendant asked me what I'd be doing in the US. She seemed half interested in what I was saying, but just as I was about to make eye contact, I realised she was not bothered one bit, she was just using that to find out where I bought my necklace from... hmmm. If you wanted to see what nonchalant and bored in a pictionary looked like, her mug would be shot right there.

JFK airport isn't a patch on Heathrow - even crummy Terminal 4, which to my shock didn't have much options for food, besides Upper Crust and Wetherspoon. What happened to McD's - weren't they supposed to have the monopoly on fast food? Maybe the healthy options they are serving up these days have shoved them down that list, but whatever the reason, I was not impressed at the £4.49 price tag for a pannini that is the size of my palm. And the smoked-out bar-cum-restuarant thing only proved to irritate by cold symptoms further. And even that was with me wolfing down a nugget meal - yes, it was a kid's dish, but that's another long story!

Gripe 3: how did it get so cold in NYC? This was meant to be my working shopping experience, but my bones have frozen to stiffness that would stop Carrie herself... even Posh wouldn't venture to Gucci in this weather... well I don't have that priviledge, I'm headed for Soho - which according to my research (yes, work has been that slow today!) stands for South of Houston. I've got shopping to be had, and I've got three more days to do it! No pain, no gain!

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