NYC to Iceland – Goodbye New York

Ok.

So. Back story is this. Our first day back in NYC, I find out that Andrew is in IT, and he is a Macbook man.

Good man.

We get talking, and I crank out my Macbook, which is a beast of a thing, and he is amazed at how well this thing runs, being that it was made in 2009. I mean, it still performs just as well as any of the standard new laptops today. He looks at the specs, and was expecting to be able to replace a few things under the hood. Turns out that he kinda couldn’t. The lappy cost me an arm and a leg when I bought it, so I am not surprised that most things are still in date and functioning well. I tell him that my battery life is so average, its not funny, to which, I find out that we can get one for roughly $50 and it will take 2 secs to replace.

Done.

I order it, and ship it to his office.

Express.

Now, this is our last day in NYC, and it should have been at his office by Thursday at latest. Today is Saturday. I looked on the info from UPS, and it said that it was delivered, so this morning, Andrew and I went on a mission to find where someone had put it in the office.

We get there, and there is nothing. Not in his office, not in the office across the hall.

Nothing.

It says it was received by a ‘Lopez’ at 4:30 in the arvo. There is no Lopez at the Andrew’s office.

Well… gay. This leads us to believe that it must be the janitor, or the other office, but nothing is showing up. Its not looking good. The address on the order is the right address, so that wasn’t a mistake. We spend a good 20 mins looking for it with no hope, so we resort to going through the painstaking process of calling the courier to see where the hell this package is.

Turns out that the package was delivered to a completely random address, a good 1.6km away.

Now, for those among us in Australia, 1.6km is nothing. But in the heart of NYC, you probably will cross through 3 postcodes in that time. I mean, we are surprised that someone has got that big of a delivery area. But, what is a greater question, is how the hell did he get that so badly messed up? The address made no sense to us at all. The address that was on the operator’s system was the one on the order, so we are all at a loss here.

We jump back on the subway, and head to the address given. Luckily, the place it was delivered is only 2-3 blocks away from Andrew’s place anyway. We walk in the front door, and ask the door man if there is a package here under my name.

So get this.

Lopez is the name of the chick who lives at 2A, of whatever this building is. She opened the parcel, and took it back down to the doorman, because she had no idea what it was about, or why she received it. She sure wasn’t alone in that. The order had the right address, the system had the right address, but the label had this chick’s address. What the hell? There is no clear explanation for this whatsoever. None of it is making sense.

I was kinda more shocked that we actually got it back. I wasn’t intending on actually getting the battery at this point. I mean, the guy on the phone said that we’d be getting a refund at the rate this is going. Luckily for everyone, the battery was there, and we walked away with what we came for.

We head back to the apartment and relay the morning’s events to Bec, who is equally surprised and confused.

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Hot apple ciders

We’re all pretty keen on some brekky, so we grab our wallets, and head to the Union Square Markets. We do the things that we shouldn’t and eat the things that are bad, but it is so worth it. I had some punter come up to me, and want to hold a frame in front of me, supporting immigrants.

“Yeah sure”.

I have even got involved with political movements while in America. Done. This really is the complete experience. We spend the last of the US $ we have, tuck into our food and make our way home to finish packing.

So, Andrew just discovered Bon Iver, and by his own admission, he is going to binge on that album for the next month. I mean, the guy is a muso, so I am surprised that he isn’t all over Bon Iver yet. He’s loving every second of the album. I told him that he would, and he finally succumbed to the suggestion, when one of this work mates told him to check Bon Iver out, for the third time in a week.

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Literally Bec’s fav animal in the world right now

We finish packing and are just chatting away, then Andrew comes over with this little pouch.

In the pouch is this wireless remote, which you can connect to your phone via bluetooth, and control your camera’s settings. You can set it for intervals, you can set it for long exposures, and it will even show you the picture on your phone’s screen after the shot has been taken. Its ridiculous. He tells me to have it, because its not compatible with his camera, and he cant see himself upgrading in the near future.

It cost him a good $100+ on kickstarter, which means that it is probably $150 or more now. Its a super huge blessing. So far, half the hosts we have stayed with have given us something of their country. Its been amazing to see. The Couch Surfing community is seriously awesome, and it seems as though everybody is on the same level and just wants to help and give to each other.

If you’re thinking about it, I definitely recommend Couch Surfing.

I tell him that I am going to make a stop motion while I’m in Iceland, and that I’m going to get some epic night sky shots, which I will send to him. He tells me “I know it will come back around”. He’s dead right it will. He’s got somewhere to stay if he makes it over to Australia at any point.

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Andrew, the legend, who is

We pack our gear and we have to head off, because Andrew has a girl coming over.

I understand sir.

I’m ok with leaving that to you.

goodbye-nyc-4

We load up our packs, say goodbye to Andrew, and make our way to the Port Authority Bus Terminal. We are walking for probably 10 mins, before in magical, New York fashion, it starts snowing for us on our last day. Its great. The snow creates this buzz in the atmosphere on the streets. Everybody is taking pictures and kids are smiling as they try to eat the falling flakes.

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The closer we walk to the Terminal, the heavier it gets, to the point that we have clumps of snow now getting behind our glasses and hitting our eyeballs.

Goodbye NYC-6.jpg

Not even kidding.

The cute snow became a, “Alright. Just find the next bloody door” snow. I mean, its really dreamy for Australians to think of snow falling and everything else, but I can understand how snow could be the reason why relationships fall apart in the northern hemisphere.

Goodbye NYC-7.jpg

Look like I just spent 20 years in the slot and forgot how to stand for a photo.

Oh man. Cool, but it would create so many new issues to deal with. Issues, I am happy to not deal with. Visiting a country that snows would be like being a grandparent. Baby sit the kids and have fun, and then leave when you have had a guts full. We can just go home to funny Australia when we feel like it, and return the below 0 temperatures to their appropriate inhabitants when we’ve had our fill.

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I’m ok with it.

We head inside the terminal, and straight away some bloke asks me, “You guys need help?”.

“Yeah man. I’m headed to Newark Airport”

“Oh straight this way, follow me”

This guy starts leading us away, and I already know what is going on. He is over enthusiastic, which usually means he is hopeful for a specific outcome from helping us. Bec gives me this look, and I don’t want to hear her say it. Some dude trying to hustle some $ from us for walking us a good 15m in the direction we needed to go. We get to the bus, and the guy inevitably hits me up for some coin or unused metro passes. “Bro. I used the last of my US dollars before. I don’t have anything, sorry”, and he turns and walks straight onto the next couple for money.

I’m more than happy giving someone some money if they need it. I don’t do it on a regular basis, but I’m not tight fisted. Regardless, I can’t stand someone trying to be nice and kind, only to ask for money. This other guy comes past and asks if we have metro cards or $. This guy, I am happy to give my card to, in fact, I just chucked another $10 on the card this morning. Lucky duck.

We reach the airport, and find ourselves a comfortable seat. Not long after we are seated, Bec heads off to the toilet, and a couple younger guys come and sit just not to far from us. I see the chick eyeing off the power point near my leg. “You wanna use the power point?”. She looks at me blankly.

“Huh?” she says.

“You wanna use the power point?”

I am met with another blank stare.

“The power point?”, while I point to the power point.

“Oh right! Oh, I was thinking of charging my phone. Maybe later”. Turns out that they don’t call power points, power points in the states. Hence, the confusion.

I skip over the confusion, and ask “Where you headed?”

“Spain”

“Oh cool! What for?”

“We’re studying there for 5 months”

“Oh no way? Thats awesome!”

“What do you study?”
“Pre-law”, she turns to her friend, “and I study… *I actually cannot remember what he studies, and now I feel really bad. But whatever, he told us what he studies, and he is cool bloke, and his name is Mike, and I remember that, so Ner*”.

We get talking with Tammy and Mike, and talk about Australia and all the big and little differences between the cultures. Tammy mentions that she has seen the beaches on Australia, and that they are a sight to see. I remember that I saved the pictures of the Roos at Lucky Bay for Quinn on my phone the other day. I whip out my phone and hand it to Mike and Tammy with the pictures for them to flick through. Lucky Bay and it’s Roos is just a whole new sort of wow factor for any foreigner.

We are met with gasps and “Awwwws” (Awws, largely on Tammy’s part, just to clear Mike’s name) as they scroll through the pictures.

We chat about the dynamics of big families. Bec comes from a family of 4 kids, I come from a family of 4 kids, and Tammy comes from a family of 4 kids, so naturally, there is a lot to relate to, and it is funny that on the other side of the world, there are such similar dynamics in big families. I find latinos to be a bit romancy, so being that Tammy is of Latin decent, it is only a matter of time before she wants to know about how we got together, which then leads in to how I proposed, which is a bloody big story.

She asks, and Bec and I both go, “Whoa… Ok. Its a big story”. If a proposal is a big story, it is also a good story. In case you were wondering, its a bloody good story, but a story for another day. I’m not gonna tell you now, but I did tell Tammy the story. Mike plays it cool in the background. I’ve been in your shoes though Mike, I know you’re taking notes mate…

We finish telling the tale, and Tammy’s has this wide-eyed, buttery, hopeless romantic’s gaze, as her mind conjures up all the finer details of the story we told her. Sorry to do it to you Mike, but if you and Tammy have something going on, you got some work to do now mate.

We have to head to check in, but before we head off, we grab their contact details. Outside of the UK, Spain is our first stop in Europe. So, ideally, we can hook in with these guys while they are over there, or at a minimum, we can get the low down from them as to where we should visit some places around Spain.

This is the side of travel that I love.

We make our way to the gate, and we were told to download this app called Groupme, from Mike. Its kinda like Whatsapp, from what I can gather. We are seated on the floor, and Bec is over near the charging station, and I yell to her (among a crowd of strangers), “Babe! Download Groupme”, she didn’t hear me, so she asks, with an equal decibel level, “Root be?”. I heard the ‘root’ part of her question, and assumed the she had said ‘me’. To which, I just start laughing. I try to compose myself enough to repeat my original statement.

“Group… Me.”

By this point, Bec has realised whats happened and had huddled over, laughing. I’m surprised more heads didn’t turn. I mean, I would have been all sorts of confused if I was waiting to board a plane, and I heard that conversation.

Goodbye NYC-9.jpg

We are pretty much ready to board, and the guy at the gate entry says to the crowd, “If you are economy class, you are disqualified from this area, here”, I look to Bec. She looks back at me “Bloody hell..” surely there was a better choice of words at your disposal man. I mean, who says to a group of people that they are disqualified from standing on a certain area of carpet. Like, that is a little bit rich don’t you think? haha. We got a chuckle out of it anyway.

Its been a good day.

And the cool thing?

I am on the plane, on my way to Iceland, and I am still just running off my computer battery.

Haven’t had to charge it since this morning. Bloody brilliant. Thanks Andrew, you friggin hero.

Come back tomorrow,

Billy

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