February 2009


Special Travel

My trip back to Germany was a lot like my trip from Germany.

One of the flight attendants was the same and the person sitting next to me going to Berlin was the same man who sat next to me coming from Berlin. I thought I recognized his back as I followed him onto the plane.

My day in The City was rather quiet—I had a good meeting, then went to B-Cup where I worked for a couple hours before returning to my hotel where I picked up my suitcase and headed off to the airport.

I was feeling somewhat lazy and cheap which meant that instead of taking the L train to some fantastic junction in the sky where I could connect to a blue-line train of some variety that would take me to Howard Beach where I could take the JFK AirTrain straight to the airport. This actually is relatively unpleasant. The fantastic junction in the sky is busy with lots of stairs, and it costs $5 extra to board the AirTrain—a Metro Card I would have had to purchase on the spot.

Instead I stayed on the L out to New Lots Avenue, where I descended some stairs into the pigeon target practice zone (an older lady’s hat was nailed) for a brief wait to board a fantastically stuffed bus that would drive me out to the airport.

From where I was standing, I couldn’t easily recognize the problem at the back of the bus. Fortunately after a stop or two, a seat opened up and I sat down with my suitcase at my side.

It was then that I realized that at the far back of the bus was a gentleman who was either mentally disturbed, drunk off his ass, or having a very bad trip. Perhaps a combo of issues.

Whatever it was, he was loud and proud to be both Jamaican and/or American. I don’t remember much of what he said, but he did mention that it was his right, and everybody’s right, to ride the New York City buses as far as you wanted for only $2.

Technically true; acoustically abhorrent.

Eventually he begged the bus driver to stop a bit longer at some stop—the driver who had been doing his best to ignore the guy, obliged him and a few seconds later he stumbled down and out the back door, which, mercifully, was slammed shut as the bus accelerated down the road leaving the man to contemplate his freedom of movement outside some large indistinguishable apartment complex somewhere in the vicinity of the airport.

I ended up getting off the bus and riding an escalator up to the AirTrain on the JFK grounds—free at that point—en route to my flight.

From there, I had nothing but great luck!

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