It's almost time...

New York Travel Blog

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When my friend Ian and I drove up to the airport this morning, the realization that I was actually going through with this sort of struck us both at the same time. "Holy shit, you're actually doing this. There's no going back now. I'm nervous!" Ian exclaimed, half-joking. And with his exclamation I came to the realization myself: This is actually going to happen.
I spoke with my host on the phone this morning. She had an interesting accent and appended an inquisitive “yeah?” to the end of all of her sentences. It confused me at first because I thought she was asking questions and I didn’t know how to answer them. We sort of fumbled through a brief give-and-take that ended with me simply agreeing to call her when I got into the city. I hope I can figure out how to get a cab to take me to her place.
On the plane ride to New York, an elderly Indian woman with a thick accent had trouble communicating that she wanted a bottle of water. The flight attendant kept asking her to repeat herself and other passengers tried in vain to translate her request. Eventually I think she just gave up and ordered juice. I can only imagine how my first few days are going to go, as I stumble blindly through a completely alien set of cultural conventions. I’m trying to internalize the fact that I’m never supposed to use my left hand for anything social. Oh man, I really don’t want to be that ugly American that eats food with his wiping hand…
Well, hopefully all of my loose ends are tied up, because now there is nothing left to do but wait. I have exactly five hours until my flight takes off. I was toying with the idea of venturing into the city, but I think I'm just going to sit in the airport instead and cruise the spotty wifi for last-minute rendezvous with the residents of Mumbai. I might check out the duty-free later. I mean, I suppose I could use a giant bottle of gin in case I run out of malaria pills… or courage. And who can say no to forearm-sized boxes of Toblerone, or cartons of some sort of tobacco product called 'Sky Dancer'?
Well, here I go, back into the seething mass of excitable travelers. Wish me luck…
vances says:
Good luck, Tristan...I'm confident you will survive and have an incredible experience!
Posted on: Apr 14, 2008
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1,616 km (1,004 miles) traveled
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New York
photo by: herman_munster