After getting off our cruise ship on Saturday in Southampton we headed to Heathrow’s Terminal 3 to catch our Virgin Atlantic flight to New York. Although we have been to the USA before it has always been to the West Coast as that is the closest coast to NZ. We were excited to be visiting New York and also to be crossing the Atlantic.
We are a bit behind the times re checking in online so when we checked in at the desk there were no seats left sitting together so we got allocated window seats one behind the other. We thought we would be able to sweet talk our roommates into swapping so no problem.
My roommate was a young lady from New York called Lauren who was pretty happy with swapping and getting a window seat. She was quite funny making a joke about hopefully getting some hot single guy as her new roommate. Alas no, it was another young lady. As it turned out though this young lady had a husband who was seated a few seats over. He clearly wasn’t happy to be seated apart from his wife. The wife asked Lauren if she wanted to swap with the husband but Lauren said she had already swapped with us and was happy with her new seat.
Once we had taken off and the seatbelt sign had been turned off the husband proceeded to stand next to the wife in the aisle, just over my left shoulder. Every time I turned around he gave me the evils – clearly not happy that we swapped and got to sit together but they didn’t. This went on for quite a while even through the dinner service. Eventually he want back to his seat and sulked. Meanwhile, according to Lauren his wife was sitting there crying. I was feeling a bit bad for Lauren at this stage after she had such high expectations of some hot young guy. Instead she was stuck with some physco couple having issues!
A few hours later the husband had disappeared from his seat and the wife shifted there. Lauren then had a new roommate and it wasn’t the husband. Her new roommate was an Englishman named Gary who was actually travelling with his wife and children. The husband had asked him to swap seats! So not only did Lauren now have a married man sitting next to her she also had the 7 year old daughter sitting on his knee! Actually, Gary turned out to be a nice guy and the daughter was no problem.
The four of us ended up having quite a good chat over our seats about the weirdos and New York. Gary was a first time visitor to New York as well so Lauren gave us all some good insight – she said we were going to be blown away. She was also shocked that we were staying in Queens and Gary was staying in Harlem. She told us how to hail a cab, hand out to the side rather than the old heil Hitler arm up in the air that you see on TV. You also don’t tell the taxi driver that you want to go to Louis Vuitton on 5th Avenue for example, you tell him you want to go to 5th Avenue between 25th and 26th Streets.
Remove your backpacks and hold them by your side when on the subway and don’t take offence if you get pushed out of the way on the street. New Yorkers are very busy people and very fast moving so if an awestruck tourist gets in there way while gorking at the Empire State Building from the middle of the footpath, they will be removed, in the nicest possible way of course : )
She also told us that in New York it is all about where you live – that is how your status is measured and apparently people will even go as far as to ask if you rent or own! Shock horror. In Washington DC it is all about where you work and apparently the people in Washington DC are much nicer than the ones in New York.
Running concurrently to all this drama was the green tea saga. I had asked for a green tea after dinner and it was no problem. The problems started when I asked for another green tea a little later on. The air hostess told me that she would bring me one this time but it would probably have to be my last as this class was only allocated so many green tea bags and the upper class had priority over the green tea bags! Seriously! She then bought my second cup of green tea and the tide was half out! I marched up to the galley and said if this is to be my last cup of green tea the least you could do is full the cup. Anyway I decided I would recycle the said green tea bag so when the next air hostess came to take my cup and used green tea bag away I told her that due to the shortage of green tea bags on this flight I was going to recycle it later in the flight. She was a little horrified and embarrassed so point made! Next step – an email to Richard me thinks : )
We have been in New York for two days so far and haven’t broken any rules (not that we can remember anyway) and we’re also still safe and well despite our staying in Queens : )
PS – the physco’s were last seen all snuggled up together in their seats – oooooohhhhhh