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Day 1 – I made it. Finally! January 28, 2006

Posted by Mick in Diary, Travelling.
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It was a long day.

The 27th of January, 2006 lasted 41 hours for me and 28 hours of that was travelling on planes and trains, sitting in terminal and bus stations, and walking around looking for transport.

The plane trip was good. I managed to get an exit door seat on the window and could stretch my right leg out, and could (thanks to a suggestion from the crew) sling my left leg on the exit door and sleep pretty well. I reckon I got about 4 – 5 hours on the plane as well as watching 40 Year Old Virgin, Four Brothers, some Vicar of Dibley, and Everybody Loves Raymond. QANTAS now has the little individual screens to watch, which was nice, but it runs on a 2 1/2 hour loop, so if you sleep and miss the start of the movie, it’s hard to catch up!

So anyway, the flight from Sydney to LA was the long haul. 12 hrs and 55 minutes to be exact, We rolled into LAX at around 7am and the fog was thick but the weather was fine. Then came the Customs and security lines. I was expecting a lot of rigmarole, but it was so smooth and easy and I didn’t even have to get fingerprinted or photographed. (thanks to the job!) I didn’t see much in the airport other than a couple of shops before boarding again and doing the 5 hours to JFK Airport, New York. I slept for half the flight, and read a little bit before landing in New York at around 5pm. I tried to see some of the city in the landing, but the window was just above the wing and I didn’t see much! (downside to the exit seat!).

So, I had arrived in New York, and remember has I was trying to decide how to get to DC from there? Well I had decided to fly, but then I went to buy the ticket online and i couldn’t becase I didn’t have an American credit card. So I thought I would just buy the ticket when I got there.

Mistake No 1! When I got the American Airlines desk, they kindly informed me that the ticket I could have bought for $130 online, was now $400. He told me that I should have pre-booked. Oops.

So, there I was in a big-arse airport trying to figure out what to do next. I went on the AirTrain around the circle a bit and then somehow i ended up on the train to Howard Station, and then left the AirTrain and went onto the New York City Subway. Holy crap. I wasn’t expecting to do that. The trains all seemed to come straight away. i hardly waited and they were always the right trains. The subway took me all way through Brookyn, over the Brooklyn Bridge, past Broadway and on to Penn Station. I then bought me an Amtrak ticket for the first train to DC. $85 was a decent compromise even if it was a 3 1/2 hour trip. I bought a Chicken Salad roll, some Nacho Cheese Doritos and a ‘Classic’ Coke as my first meal in the USA. They were good, and I was damn hungry after the ordinary airline food (crap chicken and beef dishes for all!). So I read ‘The Alchemist’ on my trip to DC and went through around 5 states on the way (New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland).

I arrived in DC at about midnight of the 28th of January. I dragged my 26kg bag from the Amtrak to the Metro and came across my first beggar in the US. He asked for a buck and said he’d help with my bag. Although I could have done with help with the bag, I didn’t think his puny muscles would really be much help. I gave him a couple of bucks anyway, and then got my ticket to Huntington and headed off to the platform. Getting on that final train,I had the biggest feeling of relief. Mostly glad that I didn’t have to drag my 3 heavy-arse bags any further.

My lift arrived and then we drove to the house and to the bed. I was finally here and I could finally settle into my new country for the next 11 months.

—————————————————————————————————————–

Welcome to my America Blog that I will be using over the next year to record my life and my travels. Sometimes I will just report shit that happens to me, sometimes I will give you some of the amusing parts, or the far out parts that will blow my mind is this extravagant country.

I am looking forward to hearing from all of you as well. Let me know what is happening in your life. Send me email to mick{AT}blight{DOT}com and I will reply!

Check out the page on the right hand side as well with reports on other quirky things from my time over here

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Comments»

1. Lark - January 29, 2006

Good job, Mickle. You made a couple mistakes (airline ticket, giving money to a bum) but you did good!

You should have called me. I would have bought you the ticket and we could have settled up later!

2. glaedwine - June 19, 2006

Perfect pages… tnx


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