Times spent with Bernadette are always eventful; I don’t know why but he has an ability to get himself and others around him in all sorts of weird situations. So a trip to NYC with Bernadette was bound to mean : trouble.
Having had such a strange time in New York, I have decided to publish a list of things not to do when you go on an NYC back2back, so all of you who are going to do this after us can benefit our great experience.
Thing #1: Do not check your account balance a minute before your plane is scheduled to take off
Yes, I know, you are mighty sure you know how much you’ve spent, how much you’ve earned, you’re a live calculator and who needs bank statements when you’re so good you’ve got your balance worked out in your head! But still. You might end up like poor Bernadette; who discovered, at the ATM, right on the morning we left,that whilst he thought he was practically a millionaire, he disposed, in fact of the substantial sum of 4, 53 $, for four days of tourism in NYC.
thing #2 : Do not assume your luggage will arrive with you on the same plane and you’ll be able to go your merry way
at least, that’s what the employee at JFK told us. When we landed, we waited for our suitcases to come out; and waited; and waited. Everybody left with their cases, except us and another couple of people, and then a woman who reminded me of Queen Latifah came out of her office and motioned for us to follow her, telling us “not to panic” words which, of course, made us panic right away.
“Not to worry, not to worry” Queen Latifah assured. “I have some stray suitcases in my office. I’m pretty sure that’s where your luggage is.” we followed her in the office and the cases weren’t there.
“Not to worry” she said, her smile wavering a little. “where did you guys take your connecting flight? Philly? they must be there. I’ll call the airport.” And so she did.After a few nod, a few “humhum” “okay” “are you sure?” “well okay” “thanks anyway” she hung up and turned to us, and I could tell our luggage was in trouble. “well isn’t that funny now!” she cleared her throat embarrassed.” They are not in Philadelphia either! my files says they left Orlando but we have no clue where they are now!how funny!”
Neither I nor Bernadette found any of this funny, but we still filled in the “funny little forms” for lost luggage. “Now there was a flight to Oahu departing at the same time as your flight!” Queen Latifah explained.” Wouldn’t it be funny if your suitcases got to Oahu and not you guys? have you guys been to Oahu yet? I bet you haven’t!”
I casually explained that we were on our four days holiday on a tight budget and that, given that everything we needed, clothing, toiletry, travel guides, adapters for cameras, etc (…) was in our cases, it wouldn’t be that funny if we had to wait for our stuff to come back from Oahu. After that she got cross at us, she snorted that we had no sense of humour and it was a pain dealing with customers like ourselves, that we were difficult and so on! Bernadette mumbled a reply in French about her shoving her funny little form up her arse and about her moving the aforementioned arse out of her chair to go find our luggage, an answer that I translated to Queen Latifah by :” My friend asks that you do your very best to help us retrieve our luggage and he feels that filling out forms is not enough.”
She nodded and said we should hope for an appearance of our luggage in the afternoon; After all it was “funny how sometimes lost luggage turned up out of the blue!” so we left and went to visit New York. We went to Fifth Avenue and had a great time eating free chocolate sample in Godiva. Luckily for us, the cases were not gone to Oahu and they arrived at the airport at 3 o’clock.
thing #3 : Do not check in to your guest house late
With all the shenanigans at the airport, plus the time we took to find our way around in the subway, we arrived at the guest house way later than we were supposed to, 1 pm; when we put down our cases in front of the house, it was 8 pm and pitch black outside; we were bone tired.
“At laaast, we’re going to have a rest!” Bernadette said, satisfied. we knocked at the door. Nobody answered, and that’s when I noticed it was also dark inside the house.
“Don’t tell me the check in dude is gone” Bernadette sighed.
When I climbed the few stairs to the door, I noticed the guest house owner had left and stuck a note to the glass panel :
Bernadette and Kenny Cat,Welcome to NYC guest house!! please call me on your arrival to get your keys, George 321-xxx-xxxx
Bernadette and I looked at each other. Both of us had lost our cell phones just days before the departure. We were in a quiet suburb and there was nobody around.
“Allright.I’ve had it with New York.” Bernadette slouched down on the porch.”I wanna go back to Orlando!”
And actually, now we were on our own in the cold heartless city, I kinda wanted to be back in Disneyland. I think living in Disneyland is highly addictive. Whether you have lost your keys, crashed your car, wet your pants,run out of m&m’s or whatever, there’s always one of Mickey’s employees here to ease you out of any situation; it always seems to take them nothing but a phone call and a Colgate smile. After a few month there, you are totally freaked out when you go out on your own. Anyway, after sitting on that porch for a few minutes, we both decided to make our way back to the train station, dragging along all our cases with us, in the vague hope of finding a payphone that I thought I’d seen when I got off the train.
“Ahhh here it is!” Bernadette pointed out and we sighed with relief.
I picked up the receiver, fed the phone our quarters and dialled George’s number.
“I am sorry, the number you have called is no longer in service.Please check your number and then dial again” said a female robot voice.Before swallowing my quarters and asking for more money! I screamed abuse at the payphone and slammed the receiver, so a guy waiting for his train took pity on us and let us use his I-phone. But I hadn’t dialled a wrong number, the number was not in service, simple as that.
We eventually made our way back to the guest house, and that’s when one of the neighbours, walking past us on his way home, noticed our miserable faces and decided to help. He knew George’s number and so he called him; George had hidden the key in the pot plant, we retrieved it and got inside to rest…
…the story is nowhere near finished, so stick around for the end 🙂
Go here for part two