You know what they say about how you start a journey of a lifetime with an experience youâ€™ll never forget? Well, mine started the night before (details of which I would rather not go into, tee hee) and as a result I was sleepy and starving as I arrived at Hong Kong International Airport. I was told that my seat will be 40D and my departure will be at Gate 4. The silly me went to Gate 40 instead, got puzzled why I was to board a plane destined for Mumbai before I realised my mistake.
And what a mistake it was! I had to walk a big round the airport to find the right gate. Good thing was that I made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare, what with the warning about Easter weekend crowd and all.
The flight was uneventful as my previous other flights. Just that it was incredibly long, and I couldnâ€™t sleep more than three hours combined over the journey of 16-hour. So I watched moviesâ€¦ Avatar (yay!) and Kungfu Panda made the cut. I also watched all their episodes of Friends Season 8.
I mean, how apt was that, to watch a TV series which got me dreaming about New York in the first place?
It was past one in the afternoon when I touched down at JFK Airport. The queue for immigration was incredibly long, and it was here I encountered the tedious layers of US Customs bureaucracy, which include some forms and a “special interview” at in a â€œspecial” room”.
I knew that there would be a red carpet treatment for me.
The airport itself is impressive. Consisting of seven terminals, connected by a frequent air train service, going from one terminal to another was a breezeâ€¦ but not if you are looking to go to the subway (in my case, the Howard Beach station). After making some rounds on Air Train, I found the subway, at which I realised to my dismay that I was 27 stations away from my final destination!
Talk about a long train ride. On one that is not that impressive either.
The journey to Chelsea, where I would be staying for the next two days, took almost an hour. But thank god, what a different that district had made on my impression of New York!
More photos of my first day in New York here.