So for some background here – I came to the US in the fall of 2004. It was quickly followed by winter which I didn’t want to spend sight-seeing. So I decided to wait until summer, but then I got pregnant and couldn’t travel. Then my daughter was too small and I couldn’t travel. So after spending close to 3.5 years here, I have seen so many pictures of New York City, Niagara and Washington DC, that I feel like I have already been there.
At the end of this sob-story of me being stuck in Chicago all along, comes light at the end of the tunnel. My daughter finally turned 2 and appeared manageable, and so we decided to start travelling around. Last weekend, we went to New York city, and I got a taste of the city. The big apple was sweet for most part, but the few sour parts of it, left a bad taste in the mouth.
Our flight got delayed by about 4 hours – so we were stuck with entertaining a toddler in a fairly boring and big airport. Then we slept at 3 in the morning, because that’s how long it took us to finally reach Connecticut, where we stayed. The next morning, we visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis island – which I have to accept, was quite interesting and gave us beautiful views of the city and the water around it. Then we went around Wall street and I was still quite comfortable. I had always looked forward to seeing Madame Tussards museum, and that was worth it too.
Then we went to Times square – and gosh! what a place! The place was so packed, we couldn’t even push the stroller. We were perenially scared of losing each other or our belongings. Our feet were begging us to sit down somewhere. The lights were good, there were lots of people on the ground, but way too many people for my liking. I would rather go to Ranganathan street and walk in those crowds – atleast it is India, and you know exactly where you are going. My logic is – Why would one go to Times square if one was not interested in those noisy bars, fancy restaurants or didn’t have time for the broadway shows? To see the lights? It takes a minute to see them, beyone that you’re probably being pushed to the side by people walking up and down anyway. So, we (or I) decided – enough of this, let’s go home.
So, we went down to the train station to catch a train to Jersey city, and had what was the sourest point of the whole trip. The ticket machines only let you buy one ticket at a time. There was only two of them, both of which did not accept bills at that time. We didn’t have enough change, and the only store there refused to help. So we tried paying with card, but the machine kept rejecting it. So as we stood in line, my brother and I kept trying one card after the other, only to keep getting rejected. And while we did that, there was the rudest person I have ever encountered in my life standing right behind, cursing me in curses that I would consider strongly objectionable. At the end of a day that was started with little sleep and spent mostly on my feet, the experience of trying to buy train tickets really drove me mad. At that moment, I felt like I had had enough of New York. It was not my kind of city. Chicago probably was. I never felt so vulnerable and out of place in Chicago.
So as much as I have tried the past couple of days to look past the few sour experiences in NYC, I have not be able to say ‘I love NY’, the way the t-shirts too.
My next trip, I would really love to spend more time with my friends, relax at their homes, play with their kids, and perhaps just enjoy the view of the NY skyline as the plane takes off.
Sorry, big apple, you were too sour for me!