Gritty

It's been quite a day.

I left my apartment before 9am since my estate agent cancelled the appointment anyway. At the airport I called her and she said to call her back the next day. Because that's exactly what I want to do on holiday..

Delta airlines is the most nondescript airline I've ever flown with. They called out my name at the airport because they changed my seat. I had to pay 25 pounds extra for a window seat but apparently I chose the a seat that was too nice for the price, and they reassigned me back to the poor people's section. Oh well.

Boarding was delayed and we left a bit late. Somehow we arrived in time but then we had to wait in the plane for almost an hour until a gate was available. That's pretty shit. It gets worse too. Right after we exited the plane we ran into a queue. It turns out the whole terminal building was full of people queuing for immigration. There were no toilets in sight and I really had to pee, so the airport people let me skip in line until the next section where the toilets were. Then I had to wait in the next section for another hour until I finally got through immigration. The whole process is so incredibly inefficient, and the airport was obviously overwhelmed. Very poor preparation.

I grabbed my luggage and got on the first train out of the airport. I had to change at something something beach, where I had to wait for the A train that would take me to Manhattan. As I was waiting I asked the girl next to me if I was at the right platform. She was headed in the same direction and we ended up having a very wacky conversation that I'm sure could only happen in New York. She told me about the heroin-addicted friend she was visiting and the book she was writing, which was apparently about obese soulless people living in graveyards trying to get their souls back. (sorry v., i know i'm not doing your description justice). In return I shared anecdotes about London and Japan.

I told her I didn't like London very much because it was too gritty. She liked New York exactly because it was gritty. I found that out about 5 minutes later when some weird drunk guy entered the train and started swearing, offending a big black woman who rightly told the guy to shut up because there were children around. They nearly ended up exchanging blows but it somehow worked out ok. Just what you would expect from the first train ride in New York.

Arriving at penn station I decided to walk to the hostel, which turned out to be a longer walk than I thought, but not an impossible one. First impressions: the streets are cleaner and the people look happier than in London. It's also massively hot, and it's a dirty humid city heat. I can quite tolerate humidity but if it's this kind of lingering city humidity it really does make you feel icky.

My hostel looks like the kind of abandoned house you would see in zombie movies. The reception looks a bit like the reception my dad used to have for his car spray-painting company, except in the 1980s. My room is tiny but adequate and it has airconditioning. It doesn't have Internet though so I'm typing this from the reception.

I was just about to go out and find dinner, but then some massive lightning bolts appeared, and now it's pouring down quite heavily. I decided to eat some vending machine snacks instead and get a proper meal tomorrow at google. I'm going to try and pretend that this is a business trip, even though it isn't. I'll try to work normally and experience the city as if I was living here. It'll be good to compare it with London.

More later!

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