New York, Last Stop Before Home

I wasn't really sure how to get to my hostel in New York so I was relieved to find there was a door to door shuttle for $21. I was so cold when I landed and the mini van was freezing. The driver was really rude and threw everyone's luggage in the boot, his driving was terrifying and he nearly knocked over a cyclist. I was last out and gave him the fare. He told me it wasn't right. I said it was and he said I had to give him a tip. No, a tip is optional. No, I have to give one. I pointed to the receipt where it says 'optional' and I was told everyone in New York tips. I told him only for good service and that was not good service! He shouted at me to get the bus next time! I was furious, the cheek of it!

The hostel let me check in early and I huddled under the duvet for a while before deciding to head out for something to eat. I walked about 10 steps before walking back and eating at the hostel cafe. Zero degrees was just too much for me. The hostel had a comedy show on downstairs in the evening so I went to that, which was cringe from start to finish, then bed.

I went out clothed in 2 pairs of socks, leggings, jeans, vest, t-shirt, jumper, hoody, scarf and gloves. I could barely move but at least I was semi-warm. I went to the 9/11 Memorial Museum, which was incredibly moving. Not that you forget how bad something like that was but seeing it again brings back the horror of what happened. The museum was brilliantly done and was housed underneath the original towers so you see some of the original structure and some stairs. I was definitely fighting back tears.

I did all the usual sightseeing which I'm not going to waffle on about. The whole city was bustling with people, the air was pinching my cheeks and the festiveness of Christmas was starting to seep into my veins. I couldn't wait to go home.

Deciding to get public transport to the airport and avoid the stress of another shuttle ride, I headed out to the subway station. I was down to my last few cents and was hoping I could pay on debit card for the airport express ticket. I got the subway to the station I needed and was a bit lost when I arrived at the station. I saw some signs for the express and popped up above ground. It looked like I needed to get a bus. Without any money I was a bit stumped. I'd just have to bite the bullet and take some cash out. I went into a little store that had an ATM but it wouldn't let me withdraw cash. The woman running the shop wasn't sure where another ATM was. I wandered around and tried 2 more cash points. Nothing. I was starting to panic. I was in the middle of nowhere, it was getting close to my check-in time and I had about 30 cents in my pocket. I walked back to the station and the lady from the store popped out of the shop to ask if I had sorted it. Another woman overheard us talking and said I needed to go back down and get my subway card activated for the express and that it was free. Hallelujah! Panic over. 5 minutes later I was on the bus headed to the airport. It took about 5 hours in total to get there, then ages to get through security, then my flight was delayed. But at last, I was excitedly on my way home for Christmas! :)


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