(That’s the Very Polite version of the “interesting” flight from Korea to New York.)
Just in case any of you didn’t know…on the day I was due to fly in, the worst blizzard in years hit this city.
But it’s difficult to keep this tough old bird down and I did make it to the Big Apple, on one of the last three planes to land before the entire airport shut down.
Of course, the drama really began in Australia – with a cyclone! Luckily for me, it was ‘way up north so we had no damage in Mackay. But the intense low pressure system that it became added more water to already flooded areas. Many towns have been evacuated, many homes lost and many people ruined. May all those people have a truly Good New Year.
So, I arrived in rainy Brisbane, queued for a cab and…got driver who took a wrong turn.Twice!
Back to the airport with the Flatulent Sparrows and on to Korea where I had a short wait for my NY connection.
some Korean snow, just to get me in the mood.No Glenn Miller
Checked-in, boarded and seat-belted…we got an announcement from our captain… due to heavy snow at JFK airport, we would not be able to take off on time.
Well, we had a few repeats of this announcement…then we were told we’d have to refuel ( we’d been guzzling our av-gas just keeping our plane warm and lighted.)
Next announcement…snow had been mostly cleared from JFK and we would be leaving once we’d been de-iced. So, off we trundled to the de-icing field where a huge machine with a kind of cherry-picker attachment squirted steamy stuff all over our ‘plane.
Then an announcement that we were waiting for the final all-clear from JFK.
By this time I was seriously worried that the rumbling from my stomach might be mistaken for a mechanical failure. Bloody hell! I was hungry!
But the engines roared and off we went.
The next bit is boring.
My first sight of New York as the ‘plane circled was pure magic! Golden and white for miles. As we dropped lower I could make out a few coloured lights here and there, then identify freeways and streets. B ut almost no moving lights!
Oh-oh …We circled low and wide over Brooklyn and I could see “my” block!
Once on the ground we just sat there. And sat there. Eventually we were told to
go and stand in the corner park behind some big hangar-thingy. For ages. I saw a 747 with icicles about a metre long hanging from its nose. I guess it must have been very,very naughty waiting a long time.
But at last we were directed to a parking bay, with much cheering and clapping from passengers.
And then the fun started…maths was never my strong point so you figure out for yourselves how many people would have been in the arrivals area from THREE big jets. And only two officers in the immigration line.
Word was filtering through that nothing was running , either on the streets or subways, as people with cell phones contacted their families.
Through immigration and on to Baggage Claim. Are we having fun yet? A baggage conveyor broke down. Our baggage conveyor. Thousands of bags and boxes were stuck in the bowels of the monster. And there was no maintenance crew.
The Customs Officers just wanted to go home, too. And at 2 am, that’s what they did. Yep! They took our declaration of good intent as stated on our cards and wished us “happy holidays” and told us to
bugg come back tomorrow for our bags.
Upstairs, a throng of meet-and-greet people, holding signs (mainly written in Chinese and Arabic) and, ta-daaa! one woman with a sign reading ”
Melanie, another cyber-friend, was waiting to take me home to her place in the Bronx.
I’ll spare you much more than to say we were dug out of a snow drift by a wonderful chap who had a shovel in his car. A Jamaican to boot!
Snow-schmo! I was in New York an’ lovin’ it, baby!
to be continued…