Well, we made it back.
I think the trip went remarkably well. It’s taken me a few days to get this post up because I’ve been in recovery since we got home (at 4:30am!) Also, I think I’ve spent some time digesting what all we saw, and fielding the questions that my son has fired off to me almost non-stop since our return. He didn’t have the time or energy to ask me while we were actually there.
We saw some truly amazing things, one of the best being “The Lion King.” If you ever have a chance to see a Broadway show, do it. It’s worth the money. There really aren’t any words that can adequately describe what it was like–just a long string of superlatives that make it sound cliché, which it certainly is NOT. I saw what New York looks like at twilight from the top of the Empire State Building, ate lunch from Fluffy’s Cafe in Central Park, watched a performance in Carnegie Hall, walked through the immigrant registration station on Ellis Island, and stood at the foot of the Statue of Liberty. In short, I knocked about half the items off of my bucket list.
Ellis Island was especially fascinating. There was a quote on the wall there from a Lithuanian immigrant about how her mother said watching her get on the train to the coast was the same as watching her go into her casket. They never saw one another again. That young woman did that because of the golden opportunity she thought was waiting for her in America. It’s an odd thought. So many of us complain constantly about our government and our country, but some viewed it as the promised land–a place they would literally give up everything to come to. Interesting thought.
Mostly, as usual, my son and I were both fascinated by the people. We heard as much foreign language as we did English. And as for the New Yorkers themselves, well, I’m still undecided. We hear that they are rude and overbearing, and upon first glance, you might take that as the truth–certainly upon entering a vehicle everyone in the city transforms into some sort of homicidal lunatic–but I’m not so sure. To me, it almost seems like something more, something different than what we “southerners” call rude. They have become immune to tourists, and really to themselves as well.
When we were travelling, we wore matching tee shirts. So, we stood out. Our commander-in-chief would ask some random person waiting on the train if we were picking the right one to get where we wanted to go, and immediately that person would become very helpful and courteous. They would sort of look around at us like they hadn’t noticed us before–which I fully believe to be the truth. It’s not so much that they are rude, it’s just that you have to penetrate beyond that cocoon that they have enveloped themselves in to find the real person underneath.
I guess you’d have to be a little immune to it–there are umpteen billion people there bustling about, tourists and locals alike, and at times you are literally squeezing through crowds. There’s no way you could say “excuse me” to each person you nudge or bump. I’m reminded of Crocodile Dundee when he went to NYC, and he tried to greet everyone and be polite. If you haven’t seen the movie, I’ll give you the answer–it didn’t work. So everyone just goes along with their own lives, headed to wherever they are headed. Another point–I don’t know where they are going, but boy are they in a hurry!
Don’t get me wrong–there were rude people there just like there are everywhere, including right where we live. Business Bitch Barbie, for example, ran right over our friend Lucas, and rather than say sorry, she had an expression on her face like she stepped in something stinky. To add insult to injury, she ran over his foot with her Business Bitch Barbie rolling briefcase accessory. I called “Excuse us! Have a nice day!” after her, but I didn’t get a response, of course.
So, there are rude people in New York, and there are nice people, and mostly there are just regular people doing what everyone does–working, shopping, going to school, just living. It was an awesome trip–so much so that I want to go back on a private vacation so I can explore a little more. The city impressed me, and I can see why so many not only flock there, but thrive there. I recommend it highly to anyone who is looking for a vacation destination, just listen to a little advice–take plenty of spending cash, wear your walking shoes, see “The Lion King,” and watch out for Business Bitch Barbie. She’s hell with that briefcase.