Sunday, September 18, 2005

Home Alone 2

Ok, the title of this posting was supposed to be "Lost in New York". But then I remembered that M. Culkin had a movie with the same name, Home Alone 2:Lost in New York. So, yeah, that's where I got the idea for this title from - See? How extremely creative I am!

Yesterday I went to NYC on business.

(Just in case you are reading this blog and you know me, DO NOT assume anything - I was really there on business, but I won't jinx it by blabbering about it.)

Well, the whole day went perfectly fine. My business meeting couldn't have been better.
And I was proud of myself, because I had never used the subway before and I did not screw up or anything. Got into the right one, got off at the right station, took the right direction to the place... everything was perfect till it was time to come back home.

My meeting lasted longer than what I had expected and I realized that by the time I would get home there would be no more buses running.

Well, the family I live with had offered to pick me up at the station, but I'd rather not bother them. After trying a lot of alternatives that did not work out though, I was pretty desperate. That's when I decided to give them a call. I was on the subway when I called them.

I had gotten the right subway, but got off at the wrong exit. Don't ask me how, but I looked at the map and thought I had it all figured out.

I walked for 10 minutes absolutely certain that I was going the right way. Next thing I knew I was arriving at Central Park.

"Wait, I was trying to get to Grand Central! What I am doing here?"

Besides, Central Park + night... not a good combination. Remember Home Alone 2? And remember the Brazilian grad student murdered there? Yeah, when I saw the name Central Park at the sign , chills went down my spine.

"I-I shouldn't be here. I am not giving another step forward." Really? Funny! My feet kept moving. I don't think they believed I was actually at Central Park. Those eyes of mine could be deceiving me. I was tired, maybe I was seeing things.

FEET! STOP MOVING! THAT THING ACROSS THE STREET IS CENTRAL PARK AND YOU ARE NOT GOING IN THERE! Ok, that is pretty much what my brain told my feet, so, guess what! they stopped.

Let's see, I needed to get to Grand Central, I had no idea which way to take and even less of an idea why I ended up a street away from Central Park, and please, let's keep in mind that I do not know NYC and it was a little bit past 10 pm. I needed help. And I needed help right away.

But of course I would just not stop anyone on the street and ask for help. Who knows what kind of weirdos walk by Central Park at that time of night. Na-na-nee-na-nahn, I would not talk to anyone who was not wearing a uniform. One thing I've learned as a city girl is to never trust any passer-by after dark. And, as scared as I am of NYC, I never trust any passer-by there @ anytime of day or night.

Looked around to scan the enviroment. Spotted target: hotel on the corner, doorman.

It was a little upsetting, though, realizing he had a very think accent. But I figured that in order to be a hotel doorman, he would probably understand English pretty well, and be able to give directions to Grand Central. And I was right.

"Sir would you please tell me how I get to Grand Central?"

"You have to catch the subway."

"The subway????" No, no, no, he doesn't understand English. Oh, God, why did I go to someone that does not understand English???? "Sir, I just got off the subway. Can't I walk to Grand Central?"

"Well, G.C. is on 42nd and you are on 57th. You can walk if you want to."

"42ND?!?!?!?!" Yeah, 42nd?! How the heck did I end up so far off the target? "So did I turn the wrong way? Was that it?"

"I don't know." Of course he wouldn't know it, Dumbo! How was he supposed to know how you screwed things up? Duh!

"Uh... yes, I did. So what do I do now?"

"You have to get on the subway..."

He would point in a totally different direction of the one I came as he spoke. My head spinned and I stopped listening, though I could see his lips moving. Getting back in the subway was not an option! Going anywhere I hadn't been to before was not an option, trying to figure out new directions in NYC at that time of night was not an option! Sir, do me a favor and just tell me what I want to hear.

"So if I wanted to walk there, which way should I go?"

He pointed me the way. So I thanked him and started walking.

After a little while, I understood why the funny look in his face when I used the verb 'to walk'. Argh! My kingdom for a cab!

I started looking for a cab. And many cabs drove by - all packed. A few would stop to drop people off, but before I could any closer to them, someone else would get in. Beautiful! I am just not aggressive enough to get a cab in NYC. ... uh... not yet. And maybye I never will be, since NYC is not my dream land.

So I did the rest of my walking, my legs weighing more and more by the minute.... until... WOW! I finally spotted GC! It was a block away! But even then getting there felt like forever . By the time I made it to the entrance, each leg weighed a ton and I had to use a lot of willpower to get them off the ground.

It was 5 of 11, meaning I had been walking for almost an hour. For somone who had plans to get the 10:30 train to Stamford, I was a little bit late. By 10:40 I had called the family and left a message with their little girl "Tell your mom to go to bed, I got lost and it took me forever to get to the train station." And my phone died. Good. I didn't want them to call back and say they were picking me up anyway, I'd feel the most inconsiderate person on the face of the earth."

The train was leaving at 11:22. I made it to the train, my legs begging "mercy, please! Just forget the Miss Manners walk and drop down on a seat!" ...hum... no, not yet. I had to find a seat with an outlet. Even though I was not going to let the family call me, I had to have some battery life to make sure I was safe in case of an emergency.

Once I found the right seat, I finally dropped down and forgot about the whole manners thing - I connected the phone and passed out. And I had this weird dreams that I had missed my stop and ended up in New Haven. Oh, what a troubled sleep.

At last I got to Stamford and got a cab home that cost me 12 bucks. Oh! An arrow through my heart! 12 bucks is just so much more than what I was expecting to spend on that day! But - I was home safe, and that was all that mattered at that point.

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