Thursday, August 9, 2012

New York diary

My flight from Toronto to New York's La Guardia airport was to take off on Wednesday the 1st of August at 2:30 in the afternoon. I got to know that it was delayed by an hour as I waited at the airport after checking in. I killed time by snacking and checking email. We boarded the aircraft and waited endlessly for the flight to take off. No luck. Almost half an hour passed after everyone had boarded and they completed the safety demo.

The captain then came online and announced that there were thunderstorms in the La Guardia airport because of which they could not land there. We would need to wait for about half an hour before we got any further information! Ok, I am not surprised!

After another forty five minutes, the captain came on again and announced that they had decided to get everyone off the plane as they were not sure if the flight would take off or not. Oh crap!

I had to reach New Jersey that evening. I had a flight to India the next day!

I checked with my relatives in Toronto and New Jersey about alternatives. In another half hour or so, there was an announcement that they were re-boarding the flight and that they would be taking off. So, we got on to the flight again and the flight did take off!

I later learnt that around the same time, there was a very specific bomb threat in the San Antonio International Airport in Texas and that they had evacuated that whole airport. Of course, I will never know if this was related to that but my gut feels it was.

Times Square

My cousin Rajul and her family picked me up from the airport and we drove straightaway to Times Square. I had only one day in the place and that was what I was advised to see.

The whole area was buzzing with activity. There are so many huge buildings, you can barely see the top. Most buildings have these signboards that have video ads playing continuously. And there are people. A large number of people. People going here. People going there. In the middle of the street there is an impromptu show going on. There is a guy wearing little, donning a cowboy hat playing a guitar who has inscribed on his undies "The Naked Cowboy"! There is someone who is dressed up like the Statue of Liberty. Then there's Minnie Mouse.

Skyline

We took some pictures and then had dinner at a joint there and then headed towards New Jersey. On the way we saw the New York skyline from across the Hudson river. We saw the Empire State Building and we also saw the Freedom Tower structure that is coming up at Ground Zero. I thought it quite amazing that the structure was already up! We got home close to midnight and I had a good sleep after a long day!

New Jersey

The next morning, I was dropped off at the dialysis center by Pratik, Rajul's husband. This part of the city was very scenic much like some of the other cities I had seen and very different from the part of New York that I saw the previous night.

Home sweet home

I took the 11:05 p.m. flight that evening to India. It was mixed feelings all the way. On the one hand I was sad that the trip was coming to an end. On the other hand, I hated in-center dialysis so much that I was actually feeling happy to be going back home for the simple reason that I could dialyse at home. At my convenience. At my will. Yes, it was good to be back home!

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