Tag Archives: Travel

Honey, I Lost the Car.

DSC_0142-001I made it to Portland!

Christy and I stayed up until four AM my time excitedly chatting away, and BLISS. Sitting on her green couch stumbling over our words as they poured out was a relaxing, calming elixir and I wanted to bottle up the feeling and store it forever. Would someone be a dear, and inform my husband that I’m moving to Portland?

That’s not a joke, because NO WAY am I attempting to navigate LaGuardia airport again. And I mean that with every ounce of my pancreas.

It was a grand idea at conception. Tickets were cheaper out of LaGuardia [read: less plasma Kellan and I would have to sell], and it was a short three hour drive away. I’d take Kellan’s car [translation: radio and AC, of which I have neither] and really, how hard could it be? I grew up internationally and have navigated airports on six continents. [Antarctica, I’m coming for you!] Piece. Of. Cake.

And it was, up until the last half hour. As Kellan’s SUV and I puttered closer and closer to New York City, my heart began to race because HOLY TRAFFIC BATMAN. Forget lanes and trivialities like turn signals, I suddenly found myself in the midst of a giant game of  automobile chicken, and every narrowly missed car left me increasingly convinced that I was going to end up sheepishly calling my husband from the bottom of a fourteen car pileup. As I approached LaGuardia, my blue eyes widened in sheer disbelief. It was utter chaos—the likes of which I have only seen in third world countries ruled by fascist dictators that can’t be bothered with minor details like traffic safety. The road resembled an ant hill spilling out cars every which way as an angry symphony of honking and four letter words filled the polluted air. As my fight-or-flight response rushed to the surface, I began to hyperventilate and wonder how angry my husband would be on a scale from 1-10 if I jumped ship and abandoned his car in the middle of the road. Or maybe something kinder—do fire stations have safe drops for cars? Surely Kellan would understand.

My heart raced as sweaty hands gripped the steering wheel. Parking. I need to find parking! Which would have been a grand idea, if only there had been some to be found. Unclearly marked lots were “FOOL!” according to the myriad of English-is-not-your-first-language friends that I begged for help, and somehow in a dazed panic my black SUV and I suddenly found ourselves in the middle of the yellow taxi lot.

It was the closest I’ve been to a foreign country since forever—the sea of rather peeved men I suddenly found staring back at me appeared to be a mash-up of every tongue and culture but mine. A gentleman in a turban who had CLEARLY skipped breakfast began to holler at me in Arabic, and I hadn’t the foggiest idea as to what to do but sit staring back blankly, blinking like a dumb pigeon. There was no hope of hiding in the ocean of bright yellow taxis. I was a freak of sideshow proportions in my oversized sunglasses and my husband’s dark SUV, one mangy fur coat away from being mistaken for an Olsen twin. I contemplated attempting to make nice by reciting the call to prayer, which incidentally is all of the Arabic I have in my language arsenal, but opted instead to channel Danica Patrick and get out as fast as I could. Which, in case you were wondering, wasn’t fast at all because in NYC even the parking lots are jammed.

I eventually parked. I can’t tell you where—all I know is that it was at the wrong terminal and I’m never finding that dumb car again. [Sorry, honey!] The sweet Pakistani man said garage “B”, I think. Or else it was “C, D, E, or P.” I really can’t be sure. Which is fine, given my plans to hitchhike back to New York.

The rest of my trip was relatively uneventful, if you don’t count the part where I convinced myself that the man sitting beside me in row 20 was only making small talk because he wanted to stuff me into his car trunk, drag me into the woods and carve me into slices like a Thanksgiving turkey. I can’t talk about how much time I spent mentally cataloging the items in my purse, trying to figure out what I could best use to stab him in the eye. [Nail file.]

In totally unrelated news, I’ve decided to stop watching CSI at the gym.

Portland is off to a rousing start!


Filed under Cross cultural hilarity, Cross cultural moments, First World Problems, My ghetto-fab life