Sunday, June 27, 2010

New Jersey : The Bane of My Existence

It was a day just like any other, except that I was going to get on a plane to move to Italy for a year. Marina was kind enough to offer to drive me all the way to Newark (about an hour and half away) instead of sending me on the public transportation. It seemed like a great idea to me because I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to her yet.

We left early enough to drive to Newark and arrive three hours early to the airport. And then it happened; Jersey struck again. Without warning, we ran into an unreasonably large, unexplainable amount of traffic. Our hour and a half drive became three hours and we made it through the twisting maze of highways and toll roads a mere hour and a half before the departure time of my flight. We said hasty goodbyes and I rushed into the terminal, hoping that I could make it through security in time.

This, as I was about to find out, was the least of my worries. I rounded the corner to the international check-in and there seemed to be several hundred people just standing around. As it turns out, it was the line, and those people were numerous and slow-moving. After forty-five minutes, I made it to the front of the line, at which point I was finally able to see the sign that said “For international check-in, you must be here one hour prior to your flight.” Shit.

I spoke with an extremely helpful agent, and she was able to reschedule my flight for the next day and I ran to the nearby seats to try to contact Marina. Of course, I’d left my cell phone (worthless in Italy, helpful in Newark) with Marina, so I didn’t have a phone or her number. So I searched facebook until I found the phone number of someone who would have Marina’s number. Then I skype called until I was able to get it. I called Marina and she was only about half an hour away, stuck in traffic, surprisingly. She turned around a came to get me and we drove back to Connecticut. After seven straight hours of driving in New Jersey traffic, Marina was exhausted and stressed, so I made her some dinner. Shrimp, butter, and garlic, with a bit of salt and pepper of course. It was, I would say, simple yet elegant. We then spent a relaxing evening with Marina’s father and went to bed very early.

The next day, we took the train to Grand Central and Marina left me at the shuttle to Newark. It was, quite frankly, very difficult to say goodbye, but the friendly bus driver helped me out by yelling at me that it was time to go. I took the bus to the airport checked-in and made it through security without trouble. I then enjoyed my last American meal for a year; a burger with cheese, bacon, and onion rings. With plenty of time to spare, I sat around writing blog entries, like this one. And now, I have to go board my plane. See you later USA.

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