Saturday, October 10, 2009

After our near month in England, we left Bosworth and Dennis and Barbara sadly and in Susan's case with tears. Den and Barb were wonderful hosts and friends. Liz stayed of course but seems to have decided to return to Australia before Christmas, perhaps. Anyway, we were off to NY via flying backwards to Zurich and then on to NY. The Fokker 100 jet was a bit squeezy but endurable for two hours and a bit but we looked forward to the eight plus hours flight to NY in the comparative luxury of the big Airbus. Sadly, Swissair did not quite live up to its once sterling reputation. Cabin crew varied from outstanding (a young man) to grumpy and surly (a 30ish woman). The food was just OK (just), don't ever bother with Swiss wines on a plane, and the whole entertainment system did not films, no TV, no music, no nothing! For eight and a half hours! Lucky for us we are both readers with good books and the seats were fine except that Susan's seat did not work and would only recline rather than move into the full bed position as mine did. I could not sleep for feeling guilty because she couldn't. When we told the stewardess, her responsive was "yes, I know. A lot of them don't work properly". And that was it. Never again will we fly Swissair.....luckily for us, we have a Qantas flight out of the US, and our first two legs were Qantas and Singapore Airlines.
Arrived very tired at JFK airport, having effectively travelled all night long and half the day and found a taxi driver who did not cheat us, well, not too much.....and he gave us a hand with the baggage which seems to have gotten heavier the more we have had to handle it, even though we sent seven kgs home.
When we arrived at our flat, I was fibrillating and feeling pretty ordinary and we were both horrified when we realised that our flat was first up ten steps to the lobby and then up 55 more steep steps to Apt. 7 on the top floor and no lift. Although I failed to see the humour at the time, once in the flat, the bedrooms were another 18 steps up a spiral staircase, so steep and curly that Cyn and Roel's spiral was a doddle by comparison. The flat itself was very good, plenty of space and with two bathrooms and toilets, one for each floor and we had a large deck as well.
The problem was the steps, especially because I was not well. It was all I could do to carry one small bag up and I nearly karked it doing that. Poor Susan insisted that she could manage the big cases and she managed, I don't know how, to lug each monstrous bag up all those flights and the rest of the "small" luggage as I had managed only one. I was wrecked and even she, brave girl, was looking more than slighly peaky by the time she had made her third trip up and down. When we both recovered some time later we took the time to enjoy the space and amenity of our new home before we descended for the start of many such trips to find a local supermarket for our first night's meal. The lessor was very mean and did not have a single thing for its guests, no salt/pepper/bread/eggs or milk for guests who had come thousands of miles to find empty fridges, no dishwasher powder, no detergent, no washing powder........but the flat was still nice.
Susan was an absolute Trojan and cooked a tasty scrambled egg dish for our supper. And thus ended an exhausting, eventful first day in the Big Apple.

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