10
Jun 05

Nightmare Journey

OK, I have FINALLY arrived in The Big Apple! Its so refreshing to have Internet access too! And WOOOOO is it fast!

Anyway, my journey from hell started in Yangon when my flight to Bangkok was cancelled. So I had to wait around for 6 hours to get another one and that is NOT a fun airport to be waiting around in. I was “Randomly” searched twice while waiting. Hmmm…Why? They also took the memory card from my camera and looked at all my (Or lack of) photos from Burma. Anyway…moving swiftly on…..

Arrived barely safe in Bangkok. Had to wait another 4 hours in Bangkok Airport for my flight. My Journey and last day in Thailand would NOT be complete without me loosing my phone. And that’s what I did. Oh well.

Oh, Guess what…when it was time to check in, I was picked for a random open luggage check. Why? Don’t know! Anyway, after 30 mins of trying to get my tickets changed, I got checked in and was finally on my way. But wait….it Wouldn’t be right if I wasn’t….you guessed it… randomly picked for a “Routine random search” on BOARDING! . Upon my search, I asked…Why? The lady who initiated the bag check said that “I looked like a guy with an English passport she saw earlier”. Hmmmm. Interesting.

The journey from Bangkok to Sydney was SUPPOSED to be 9 hours BUT some poor lady had a heart attack or stroke or something and we had to stop off in Indonesia (Jakarta) for 2 hours. (At least I can say i was there!).

Arrived in Sydney after the 11 hour journey from Bangkok only to have realized that I lost my Bank and Credit cards (Still had my passport). Turns out I left them on the plane and I realized in time for someone to go get them. Another 6 hour wait in Sydney…

I tried to get out to see the bridge and Opera House, but at immigration I was stopped by police and told I needed a visa to leave the terminal. Whoops. The guys were cool and they liked my passport picture so much they took a photocopy and put it up on their noticeboard. Had a good laugh, and at least I made a mark SOMEWHERE in OZ!

Anyway, after the 6 hour wait was over, I was on my way to Los Angeles… but not without….U.S sanctioned searches. EVERYONE got this, not just me. All my lighters and matches were removed and I had my SHOES searched. The 13 hour journey across the dateline went without a hitch (Well…with the movie Hitch actually) all thanks to a rake load of valium, my new best friends on flights.

Arriving in LA was almost FRIGHTENING. Had to take my bag off the plane and have it RECHECKED to get to New York, fair enough. WOW, after getting my fingerprints taken and mug shots done (Smiling ones of course 😉 ) I got out into LA for a smoke. Nice place but then came the RE-CHECK in disaster where they wouldn’t check my bag in because BA already checked my bag through to NY. Weird. Anyway, after that was sorted came the fun…

Going through the boarding gates of LA I walked through the machine thingy. BEEP. Took off EVERYTHING metal and went through again….. BEEP. “Male at four!” was screamed and over came some pretty rough looking black dudes with magic wands.

I was made take off my Sweater and shoes and socks. BEEP BEEP BEEP What the F%&K ?!?!

I was then taken to a “room” where i was asked to take off my shirt. OK, fine. I’m cool dawg, I’m cool 😉

The BEEPING was going off in my “Nut area” so I was a little hmmmm surprised to say the least.

“Sir, I am now going to touch your front and i must stress that this is with the back of my hand and is for security reasons only, do you understand?”

“Yo Dawg, I say you I cool!”

After being nicely patted down, I was asked to remove my jeans. So I did. Wanded again. No beep.

The guy took up my jeans and rooted through the pockets again. He pulled out a little ball of the cigarette foil you take out when you open a new box of smokes.

“OK sir, thats fine”.

“So I no longer a security threat to yo mo fo country of the ‘FREE’ dawg?”

“No sir, please take your items and continue on, we are very busy…oh and stop talking like that”.

***True story.

Anyway, another 2 hour wait in LA airport and I was on my way to NEW YORK CITY! Finally. Got the same seat and got stuck beside a REALLY STINKY SWEATY SMELLY DIRTY SMELLY and above all SMELLY American. So I referred to my old friends and went to sleep.

After being woken up prior to decent, I could see New York. YEAY! The flight in was great and … well, it was nice to look out the window is all.

Landed in NYC and got very few checks. I was free to go. FINALLY

Called Sarah, let her know I was here and met the guy who won “Late night poker” on Channel four last year. “The Poet”.

Got the air-train the wrong way but finally made it to the NYC subway. MAN, it is EXACTLY like in the movies. Its FILTHY and old and New Yorkers are rude, obnoxious and VERY VERY overweight. Oh, and did I mention….. REALLY STUPID. Its like, how did these people make it so far in life?

Met a Canadian guy on the subway that offered me to come out with him and his girlfriend and her friends the next day for beers cos he was only visiting here and he wanted a GUY to speak to. I agreed.

Got off the subway at 42nd and I needed to stop to breath. WOW. My first glimpse of New York. Walked over to Time Square. Its MUCH bigger than it looks in photos and on Friday night, it was BUSY and while I was stopped looking up in AWE, I got my first welcome to NYC. A Shove to the side and a “Move it along fat ass!”. Am I really fat?

Look Meg, there’s a guy touching his crotch… Oh I love this city…SO ALIVE!

***Lois Griffin

Went for a beer ($10 a pop!) and then proceeded to look for a hostel.

Made my way up to 106th west of CP and found a place. Jazz on the park hostel. REALLY cool. Only 2 beds left and a Canadian girl arrived at the same time as me so we got them. The queue behind was pretty long and everyone behind was turned away. Ill Start a new post.

3 Comments

  1. Anita says:

    where the hell did you go to get that disgustingly expensive beer? i woudlnt go back there anyway, its normally only $5 although you should always tip a dollar with every drink you buy. This really cute bartender who i was sure was going to be my future husband gave out to me for not tipping him!!! the cheek! the wedding is so off!

  2. Dave says:

    Hey Mike,
    Thanks for the reply. To be honest, your dead right. I am a total idiot for loosing my things, but believe me, I do blend in and it is completely my fault. I LOST them.

    Regarding Yangon airport, I was completely normal and to be honest I think I know what it is. I hate to admit it but I shaved my head again.I HONESTLY believe it is that that is causing it. I am aware that a lot of people shave their heads (Especially the revered) but I get it at home a lot also in clubs etc. (Ask Sarah!). I just have to look of a bad-doer. Seriously.

    Regarding the US airport… the story was in blockquote as to indicate a certain level of fiction. I would fully expect to be taken down or at least hauled away for a beating if I spoke like that to ANY level of authority in the US. I was pleasant to them mostly and they were to me. I completely understand that they were only doing their job and I completely understand that it was MY fault there was metal on me. Who elses would it be. The point of this story is not to poke fun at the security level here, but to show to my family and friends who read this mostly, that I GOT THIS TREATMENT. I am the most harmless person in the world and this is what happened. If you knew me you would see the humor.

    I was not trying to offend your country or its security system. It is very good and obviously does a good job keeping the bad guys out (Or in 😉 )

    Regarding fitting in in New York, this has been the EASIEST place. I had to make some small changes but theres such an array of different people here and everyone just accepts it. I feel safer and less like a tourist here than anywhere I have been.

    I do appreciate your comments. But while taken on board fully, I feel that the fiction element tainted your judgement a little. I am really one of the good guys. But one thing I will agree with, I am also and always will be one of those “Stupid tourists”.

  3. Dave says:

    Hi Nita,
    Got your mail. Sorry to hear the bad news. Ring the number I gave you if you need more infor on the job info I sent.

    Tomorrow, go to:

    345 Park Avenue Banking Center
    345 Park Avenue (At 51st st)
    NY,NY 1154

    They are looking for temporary tellers.Its kind of like a recruitment day. One of the girls in my hostel is going tomorrow on the advice of someone she knows who lives in NY and works for BOA.

    Hope that helps.

    If it does, let me know and we’ll go for a beer before I go.

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Dave's World Adventure (2.0) is a round the world travelogue (Travel Blog) started by Dave in 2005 and follows Dave as he tries to cover the entire world in different phases starting in South East Asia, then North America followed by the South Pacific and South America.

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