Chapter 7: My first experience with the “City”

I finally arrived to my accommodation. It was the Jazz on The Park Hostel on the 106th street, Upper West side. Those of you who haven’t been in New York, specially in Manhattan yet, you should know that in the Central Park area the city is split to 2 sides. The left side is the Upper Left Side, the right is the Upper East Side. Therefore if you take the metro (subway), you should check to which direction is it going and if it’s the right train for you. Otherwise you have to walk a lot (or take a cab).

Source: google maps

Anyway, I entered the hostel and met the receptionist. He was a friendly guy in his 30’s. He gave me the key and sent me to the 5th floor. When I was looking for the elevator he told me there isn’t. So I had to walk with my huge luggage to the 5th floor. Opened the door of the room and got another shock. It a small room with about 12 beds with no private bathroom.

The place I’ve spent my first night in New York

I was a bit concerned about the Work & Travel again, but I said to myself it can’t be worse. Actually it could and it was. I did choose a bed, changed my clothes and went downstairs to buy something for dinner. The place had no proper dining room, and they have sold only some sweet soda drink and cold food. As I was totally hungry and would have eaten an “elephant”, so I bought whatever they had. Ate my food, went for a short walk to see how the streets look like and then I went back. I’ve decided to take a shower and go to sleep. When I entered the room, I met my new roommate. It was a young black guy, friendly, but not very talkative. He was already lying in his bed, so I’ve decided to do the same and go to sleep. Although it was the 12th of June the room was very cold and outside it was cold as well. I’m not that kind of person who is always cold, however I had to take my coat otherwise I would be frozen. Therefore I have even turned off the air conditioner. Around midnight I woke up having a weird feeling. I opened my eyes and saw my roommate standing at my bed, almost naked, just wearing red pants. You might imagine how afraid I was. What the hell wants that guy from me at midnight and almost totally naked.

To my big surprise he told me that it’s too hot in the room and if he could turn on the AC. I was freezing as it was so cold and I didn’t understand how can it be warm for him. Anyway, I did not know him, so I agreed. Around 2am I woke up totally frozen. I took on me everything what I’ve had and it was still cold. I said to myself that I don’t care what will happen, I will just turn off the air conditioner. I did it and went to sleep.

As my bus was leaving early morning, I had to come to the bus station (Port Authority) around 6am. I had no idea how long will it take to get there, therefore I’ve decided to go really early there. I woke up around 4:30am, got a shower and left the hostel around 5:15am. I went out, turned right and started to walk (by the central park) and was looking for the subway (metro) station. I couldn’t find it and there were no-one to ask. Suddenly a guy ran out of the central park.

Source: https://twitter.com/nycgov

I tried to ask him where to find the metro station, however he stopped a cab and disappeared. I was surprised what is a guy doing at 5:20 in the central park. Anyway, I walked around 1 mile and got upset. I was just thinking about to catch a ride there. I just turned my head left and a typical NY yellow taxi stopped by. The driver went out of the car, took my luggage and I was sitting already there heading to the bus station.

Source: LA times, but the bus station is in New York 🙂

The taxi suddenly stopped and I saw something amazing. Never seen something like that. A bus station, which has several floors and so many buses that it could easily cover a bus need of several cities.

I went inside and started to look for the terminal. After 15 minutes walk I finally found it. I bought the ticket and was waiting for the bus. I was the first who arrived to that terminal. After 15-20 minutes of waiting a girl stopped by. She was waiting for the same bus as I was. We started to talk. She asked me several questions and after I’ve told her that I will travel for another 3-4 hours, she asked me if I have enough food and drink for the road. I was not expecting that question. Before I could even reply she offered me food. I was totally surprised. Never happened to me that someone strange offered a food. So I’ve nicely declined and went to buy some food and drink.

The bus arrived before 8am. I went on with mixed feelings. We left NY City and were heading to a small city called Hancock NY. I was thinking about the whole trip, how it might look like, what if I won’t like it, or I will fail. What if the work will be to difficult, or what if my boss will be really hard to deal with. It was my frist trip abroad, I did not know anyone, so I was still a bit afraid. However then I said to myself: “You already survived the first test, which was getting from Newark to NY, so how hard can it be?” So I was just looking outside of the window and waiting for my next adventure to begin. More in the next chapter. 😉

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