Innocence Abroad  
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• JFK way smaller than I ever expected (more like Stanstead than Heathrow)
• Busy taxi despatchers in funny hats hollering at cabbies to move their asses
• First NY Yellow Cab!!
• Slow drive through a well-worn and slightly shabby Queens to the Midtown Tunnel
• First view of Manhattan Skyline

• Discussion with cabbie about the Hansie Cronje match fixing scandal and current strength of SA cricket side. Brain-Does-Not-Compute!!! Oh, that’s alright – he’s Pakistani!
• Seeing well-known street signs for very first time- 5th Avenue, Broadway, Wall St; I’ve obviously seen too many New York movies!

• Looking up at Empire State Building
• Stopping next to Empire State Building
• My apartment building next door to Empire State Building
• Too close to Empire State Building to look up – sore neck!
• Big studio apartment
• Slow stroll around block on a quest for pizza
• Too knackered for a shower – fall straight into bed.
• Constant honking of cabs and sirens going through night, it’s just like a movie.

    • Wake up late, shower, shave, get ready for a new day
• Leave, wait 5 minutes for elevator to come to 21st floor, come back for wallet – Duh!
• Leave again
• Nod good morning to Empire State Building
• Head up 5th Avenue, looking at shops and stop in Bagel shop
• Too much choice!!! End up with garlic bagel – can now kill pigeons from 10 paces
• Slow meander up road gawking at tall buildings
• Damn tourists!!
• Oh yeah – I’m going to work…
• Memorised address wrong, so looking on wrong side of street – keep ending up outside Mexican Consulate with other weirdoes
• Finally call for help, but spot CEO standing across street having cigarette.
• Look sheepish
• Morning of setting up stuff to my liking – work stuff, not that important – skip ahead to lunch and visit Mulligan’s Irish Pub as per local instructions
• Lunch and quick look at NY City Guide
• Wander around, see brass plaque on sidewalk – bears a poem
• See another brass plaque on sidewalk – this one with famous quote.
• Look up and see long line of brass plaques; follow brass plaque breadcrumbs and look up to find myself in front of the NY Public Library
• Jaw drops, small amount of dribble forms at corner of mouth, utter quiet, but highly articulate ‘Wow!’
• Library closed, so wander up and down steps which have been worn into smooth curves by millions of pairs of feet, admiring façade.
• Suddenly feel completely immersed
• Huge grin covers face, head back to office

I’d just like to point out that if I ever suffer a heart attack I am certain that I’ll be able to trace it back to the sandwich I had for lunch today. Have you ever seen footage of those snakes eating prey about four times bigger than their own head? That’s how I feel right now.

Supposedly, Pastrami on Rye is very New York, and since I’m on a voyage of immersion it’s my duty to fling myself headlong into becoming a Native Noo Yawker.

Let me try to describe this sandwich:

It was contained in a large foil container with a plastic lid about the size of a laptop computer. Pressed up against the inside of the plastic lid was the equivalent of two enormous slabs of cheese (melted). This blanketed a mountain of sauerkraut, which was in turn straining to completely smother enough hot pastrami to build a fair replica of Mount St Helens. The aforementioned items needed something to hold them up, and this was done by several loaves of rye bread (fried, or course).

Just as my heart skipped a beat, possibly its last, at the prospect of the millions of calories and kilograms of cholesterol about to begin their assault, I moved some bread aside and discovered enough fries to keep Greg happy for a week.

I’m happy to report that I managed to finish off this behemoth before it finished off me. Now I’m off for my next New York experience, a night in the ER…



In Manhattan's desert twilight, in the death of afternoon, we stepped hand in hand on Broadway like the first men on the moon.
And "The Blackbird" broke the silence as you whistled it so sweet and in Brendan Behan's footsteps I danced up and down the street

Then we said goodnight to Broadway, giving it our best regards, tipped our hats to Mister Cohen, dear old Times Square's favorite bard
Then we raised a glass to JFK and a dozen more besides; when I got back to my empty room I suppose I must have cried.

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