Thursday, June 24, 2010

Jersey Sucks

Alright. So this blog begins where my journey begins, a little place called Newark International Airport. I arrived in Newark after a seemingly endless plane ride next to two very excitable twenty-somethings. They had just discovered that airlines that overbook flights often offer vouchers to people willing to give up their seats. Of course, that just wouldn't do on the way to the east coast, but they were totally going to do it on the way back. I was happy for them... I suppose. But my enthusiasm dwindled much more quickly and I sank into the travel coma. You know that one where you're not awake, you're not sleeping, and, somehow, when it's over you're more exhausted than when you started.
Anyway, I arrived in Newark and proceeded to retrieve my baggage which consisted of a mid-size backpack containing 7 shirts, 1 pair of pants, 1 pair of shorts, some flip-flops and a frisbee. My life in a bag. The plan was to catch the train from Newark to NYC and meet my friend Marina at Penn Station (the one in NYC, not the one in Jersey). So I headed to Jerseys crowning technological achievement, the AIR TRAIN! It's a monorail that moves slightly faster than walking pace, has large windows, and doesn't include ventilation. I was psyched to discover these things, as it was over 90 degrees out (31-32 for all you Europeans).
After my adventure in the sauna on rails, I made it to the Newark International Train Station where I hopped on the train to NYC. As I was riding along, I was very excited to take some pictures of my crazy east coast adventure. Unfortunately, I was going through Jersey, which seems to have hit it's peak sometime during the industrial revolution. I quickly decided that everyone was right about Jersey. Pretty disappointing.
I made it to NYC without a problem. I made it to street level and was buffeted by a wave of heat and car horns. It was very much like the movies and I couldn't help but laugh. After wandering several blocks with fairly vague instructions, I made it to Marina's vehicle and we were reunited at last. She told me, among other things, that we were heading back to her home in Connecticut for the evening and we'd get a chance to see the city later. So she set off through the NYC traffic. After two to three blocks, confusion set in and we found ourselves locked in to a street that just kept turning right. Suddenly, it entered a tunnel and when we emerged I found myself, once again, in the cesspool known as New Jersey. By this time, I had concluded that the only way to enter or exit Jersey was through tunnels. It was like some sort of alternate reality that thoroughly sucked. But, I was in a good mood and decided to give it another chance. After twenty miles of bread factories and cemeteries, to my great chagrin, I once again had to declare New Jersey a piece of crap.
After escaping the dark recesses of Jersey, we made our way up to Connecticut which, as it turns out, looks like Oregon. But with big, old houses. I met Marina's dad and extremely charming dog Pele (like the soccer player). All went well, and I settled in for the night in a room decorated only with baby pictures of Marina and her brother. Under their thoughtful gazes, I drifted off ready to begin my great adventure in the big city the next day.

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