Now let me tell you my story of meeting New York City. It was back in 2013 when I joined the Work and Travel program. If you’re a student and you get a chance to do this, please don’t hesitate. It will be the best decision you will ever make.
Beginning of the journey
My plane was leaving from Budapest – Hungary, but my journey started in Cluj-Napoca – Romania. I had to take a bus to get to the airport in Budapest 7 hours later. I arrived there early and had to wait a few hours in a café in the airport. On the bus from Cluj I have met other students headed to the states and we were all sharing the same thoughts. I was feeling all sorts of emotions: joy, excitement, curiosity, impatience and also fear. I would go to a country across the ocean, all alone for the next four and a half months. I was rather terrified than just scared. But that did not matter. I was finally getting to do something that I’ve always wanted to do. Go to the states.
It was almost time to board the plane. My luggage was all checked in. We were already in line. But, I still think this happened because I was way too excited. On that day the airline company that I was flying with, was on strike. That means we all had to wait for two hours inside the plane before taking off. This made me even more nervous, as I already had only an hour to change flights. And if you’ve even been in the Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, you will know why. The airport is huge and it takes a long time to get from a terminal to the other.
Of course I missed the flight. I got there at the exact moment they closed the doors and they told me that if they open the plane now, the departure will be delayed. So my new seat was waiting for me on the next flight. That meant I had to wait two hours in Paris. Remember all that excitement from that morning? It was already gone by now and replaced with anxiety. I had to contact the hotel and tell them that I would check in later. What if I couldn’t check in later? What would I do all alone in New York? What if they lose my luggage? All my things were supposed to be transferred on the first flight. What if they did that and I’m not there to pick it up? What if I forgot some documents and they don’t let me enter to country? All kind of thoughts went through my head as I was sitting there in Paris, waiting.
Finally, taking me out of my freak out bubble, the announcement that my new plane was boarding and we should head over to the gate filled my ears. As I was approaching my gate and getting in line, something caught my attention. Most people around me were talking English, not French. A particular kind of English. You know how they talk in the movies, with that funny and yet somehow serious kind of accent? Yes, that one. The New Yorker accent. All my excitement was back all at once. I was getting closer.
They did let me board and I had all my documents. I don’t even remember what I did during the eight hours flight. I just know that I was tracking the plane on the display in front of me and taking pictures of the clouds. And I know this only because the pictures remained on my phone. My impatience grew as I saw that we were finally near New York City. As most planes do before landing, this one circled around the airport a few times. And as I was glancing nervous out the window, I finally saw it. The skyscrapers I’ve seen only in movies. My heart skipped a beat. The sight did not last long, because we were finally landing.
This is only the first part of the story. You will have to come back tomorrow to find out what happened next! And let me tell you, it’s a pretty exciting part!
See you tomorrow!