Joe’s Adventure: Day 5
I sit here, on a late Saturday Morning in my native city, wrecked from a mixture of Jet-Lag and 26 hours with no sleep, writing about the last day of my adventure.
It started as always before sunrise. Taking my final morning swim and after finishing packing I checked out and headed with my new Irish companion to my host business.
I’ll not try and bore you with the details but suffice it to say it went rather well and everyone went away happy as well as rather full after the extensive lunch we had together before we left. So; the job done, myself and my companion aimed the car out of the keystone state and headed for New York.
Modern cars are incredible, of that there is no doubt. Still we still found it rather unsettling to note that the ground was still cold enough to freeze water spilling from rocks into cascades of ice like whitish mushrooms while we felt rather warm in the car.
A mid transit phone call lead to me being suddenly informed that we were not heading directly for JFK but rather into Manhattan where my companion. We figured that we would still have enough time to get to the plane if the meeting was short enough so I braved the streets of the big apple once again in the same week.
Manhattan is an island were the head is drawn up rather than kept at eye level. My companion said that this made driving somewhat difficult. Nevertheless we found our way to Park Avenue and a little piece of Ireland including the New York offices of the IDA, Ireland’s office for getting big corporations to bring jobs home. The meeting was again inconsequential but on the way out we found a few lads from the body that pays my wages.
Being Irish, these young men were not the kind of people to leave another Irishman wanting “You want to drive to JFK?” one of them asked “At this time of the day? You’ll never make it! Take the E-Train! And then the AirTrain straight there.”
I therefore abandoned my companion and found myself again trying to navigate the New York transit system on my own. Now I have been in tube systems before but never in a rush hour scenario. From Lexington Avenue out into the Queens area had us doing sardine impressions. But the further out of the metropolis we traveled the less full it became and the more comfortable I felt. The final hop on the AirTrain was like a step into the future and within less than an hour I was in JFK terminal three.
After the usual wait I ended up at the gate for my flight surveying the rest of the passengers. Patrick’s day is this weekend so there was more green clothes in the line than I would think was usual. I asked a few what they were doing. Most where tourists, trying to experience Ireland, a couple had won tickets to walk in the parade this year, another of the bright ideas from the Irish Tourist board.
We poured into the plane and practically every seat was filled. There was an interesting mix of wiley local Dub and fresh faced tourist. Directly behind me were two Dublin lads enthusiastically ripping into a young American college girl who seemed on occasion to be in serious danger of choking such was her laughter.
Besides me was a young woman who was traveling to Ireland on a whim. She seemed to be lucky too. She had managed to find a room in a B&B in Dublin on Patrick’s weekend on short notice. We mused wistfully about travel and the differences between our respective cultures.
Most sweet I think had to be the older woman to the right of me. She was widowed, but seemed to have developed something with an old widower for the duration of the flight. They kept on looking over seats at each other. Exchanging photos, mementos and speaking to each other in the loud voices. Too loud for some. One man got considerably angry as the plane’s lights went dark. Nearly shouting about how he was being disturbed. Oddly enough it was only the Americans who said anything in complaint. We Irish are loud speakers. I bet you Dublin would be a shock to those overly sensitive.
After six uneventful hours we arrived back in the old country. It was a miserable -3 Celsius but with clear skies and I walked into an airport filled with newly arrived tourists seeking the best party of the year.
Thus ended my adventure. Will there be more? Only time and this blog will tell.