Back to America after 25 Months

Trip Start Nov 08, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  ,
Monday, February 2, 2009

We landed at JFK in New York after just 24 hours in the air.  Aside from the delirium from jet lag, being back in America after such a long absence wasn't as strange as I had expected.  It was nice traveling in an English-speaking country, because we could as directions and read signs.  And the New Yorkers we asked for assistance were all surprisingly cordial and helpful.  Fortunately, at the subway on our way to Manny's we did get to hear some New Yorker yell at a fellow tourist on the elevator, announcing, "Move your ass.  You so freaking stupid!"  She sounded just like Rosie Perez in White Men Can't Jump.  "Billy!  You so stupid!"  Good stuff.  

"Gladis Knight and the Pips!"

Manny had to work the morning we arrived, so he gave us directions to the metro stop closest to his house and said to call him and he'd pick us up.  Lugging our crap on the subways and getting stuck in turnstiles in front of angry people in Queens, and carrying backpacks and suitcases up busy stairways because the elevators were out of order, and freezing my ass off after 2 years in the tropics was a nice welcome home.  Then the payphone stole my money and some guy had to offer to let me use his phone to call Manny.  And it was cold.  And it's a 12-hour time difference between Bangkok and New York.  And it was cold.  And then I called Manny and he didn't answer.  And I wondered where the YMCA is in Queens.  But then Manny answered my second call and magically appeared to rescue us and take us somewhere warm.  

His place is really nice and was nearby.  He has an extra room (yes, an extra bedroom in NY.  My friends are big time).  So we dropped our stuff and headed to Taco Bell.  Welcome to America baby!  Then we went into the city and wandered around Central Park.  It was cold.  Ponds were covered in ice.  It was windy.  It was pretty, terribly cold.  

We went back to Manny's and slept like champs.  The next day it started snowing at 9 while we were at breakfast and didn't stop all day.  It snowed a lot.  Like in a snow globe.  It was pretty magical looking.  So when Manny got off work (he works at a hospital saving lives, but the sick people are all better by noon) he took us to the coolest park in the world.  It's not a grassy park with slides and monkey bars and picnic tables.  It's like a National Park full of trees.  And the snow made it look like Narnia, and we found Mr. Tumnus and rode him around like a Shetland.  Then I made the ugliest snowman ever.  I'm out of practice.  It looked like a yeti threw up at my feet.  

Then we wandered around the pristine blanket of white and Lindsey looked like an angel covered in snowflakes.  Then we got miserably cold and had to leave.  

When we got home, I was a little bored and so I thought it would be fun to vomit uncontrollably and take brief naps on Manny's cold tile bathroom floor.  Fortunately, Manny and his roommates have finished Med School and are privy to obscure cures like anti-spasmodics and Gatorade.  I felt a little better but still slept for the next 18 hours.  I was pretty sure I was considerably less fun than Manny had anticipated, so Lindsey and I took off to Virginia a day early.  We'll be in New York for a week in June before we fly back to Bangkok, so I'll show Manny some crazy, vomit-free fun then.  

I thought it was ironic that I got food poisoning upon returning to the developed world, but I think I just had the stomach flu.  I lived on V8 for a week.  It was great.
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