A small bite out of the Big Apple

Posted: November 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

What can you really tell about a nation if you have only spent a few hours on its airport? New York’s JF Kennedy airport is monstrous, but it is not a monster.  It is surprisingly easy, and almost fun, to navigate your way around it.  And it is shockingly clean. Maybe I’ve just spent too much time in our South African airports.

New York

1 day before www.tourdafrque/doomsdayride.com takes off from San Jose…

After 16 virtually sleepless hours on a flight from SAA to New York, I find myself whittling away 7 hours at the airport. It is not enough time to visit the inner city and according to the baggage storage dude, the city only comes alive at night anyway.  So I stand outside the airport and at least take in the New York air. It smells a bit like Cape Town but it’s got that lovely crisp icy bite of Autumn – just enough to clear your head. Then I take the airtrain – which I thought was called an L-train as explained to me by this cool dude from Haiti who had to go search for my oversized luggage (the friggen huge Doomsday Tour banners that I am dragging around) -and I go round and round from terminal 1 to terminal 8 called the Jamaica, train which made me smile – for a few fun loops until the security guard asks me where I am getting off.  I then get lost in the foodcourt in Terminal 4, spending at least an hour converting the various items at Dunkin donuts and Jose’s Café into Rands and decide that the cheese and biscuits from the aeroplane will do.  I visit every terminal and chat to the cleaning staff only to hear their purring, soothing Caribbean accents while, “do you know the way to San Jose”, is earworming me, badly.   I sip on a take-way coffee ($3!!) and eavesdrop on conversations in Spanish, service staff gossip and sound as if they have just walked out of an American sitcom, policemen eat donuts and look all macho – for real. Oh and the toilets flush themselves – the Yankees just don’t trust us enough. And dangling dough in lit and heated boxes remind me that I am in Bagel Country.Thanks to the movies I feel like I know all these people.   I can’t wait to get to San Jose and meet my colleagues and the mad cyclists that are undertaking this crazy journey.  But first I have to make it out of JFK airport. I am beginning to feel like Tom Hanks.

  1. Mornay says:

    Sounds lovely! X


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