Saturday, April 15, 2006


After a hellish trip that was exacerbated by the fact that I'm emotionally unstable and by the fact that it is Easter/Passover weekend here in the U.S., I am now in Leominster, MA.

The Tokyo-JFK flight was jam-packed with (enormous) tour groups from China. The cute little Chinese grandpa seated behind me took off his shoes shortly after take-off and the stench was epic. I was practically bleeding from my eyes, it was so bad. Then he put his feet on the back of my arm rest and started wiggling his toes on my elbow. I was half-asleep so I don't remember exactly what I said but let's just say I lost it completely. That took care of that.

Once at JFK, a customs agent with the fitting surname of Lapuzzo (does that mean he comes from a long line of putzes?) further took the wind out of my sails by being a putz extraordinaire. But hey. It's a long uphill battle against one's own DNA.

From there, the plan was to hop a train to Edison, NJ, where my brand-new friend would pick me up and drive me up to her dad's place in Leominster, MA, which is less than 2 hours away from Hollis, NH. Being unfamiliar with NJ Transit, I asked JFK staff for transport options. There were as many opinions as there were staff but I decided to believe one guy who said that the best way would be to take a shuttle into Grand Central and take a train from there to Edison.

Except I'm now thinking it may have been the worst way to go about it. It took me about 2 hours to get from JFK to Grand Central, only to find that the NJ train was only available from Penn Station. Not a big deal, you might say, Penn Station is just a few blocks crosstown. But with my 40 pounds of luggage and grand total of 20 sleep hours in the last week, I was not having it. I decided to take a cab, which was another turn for the worse, as the driver spoke no English and ended up dropping me off at Penn Station after driving around trying to find a fictitious Edison Street in Manhattan for about half an hour. (He still charged me full-fare.) There was also a fat girl in line at the taxi stand who was yelling at me to "get in the cab already" when I took an extra 5 seconds to ask the cabbie through the window if he'd drive me to New Jersey. That was when the tears started and it didn't stop for the next 4 hours.

By the time I got to Edison, it was past 8 and pitch-black. My head was pounding and my nose had tripled in size from all the wiping and blowing (which made my nose almost a normal size). People were looking at me as if I was crazy.

Thank god for my friend, who waited the extra 2 hours for me to show up. We then packed up the car, boarded her beautiful dog Sal, and drove the 5 hours to Massachussetts. We had to stop for 2 hours to nap in a parking lot on the way there. At this point I'd been traveling nonstop for about 20 hours.

But it all worked out in the end, as it always does. I popped a sleep aid upon arrival at my friend's dad's place in Leominster at 3 am and now I'm feeling almost normal again. We're hitting the road in about an hour to go to the wake in NH. Feeling a bit queasy.

So that is what I've been up to for the last 40-odd hours. This post is like the blog-equivalent of Hansel and Gretel's breadcrumbs.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey cool adventures, and thank you for visiting Leominster MA...

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