It was my first ever trip to the United States of America. I was early at the airport. I already checked in online. The checking of baggage was very meticulous and I had to open it again prior to baggage drop. After which I went inside the lounge area. And since it was still early, I went to Starbucks and ordered my favorite triple chocolate mocha. There were lots of people waiting for the coffee shop. After finishing my mocha, I went to the boarding gates and waited for the announcement to get on board. It was on the 21st of July in the year 2019.
I booked a 16-hours non-stop flight in Philippine Airlines from Manila to New York. I was seated at the last row from the left side of the plane in a window seat. The good thing was I didn’t have to bother anyone from behind since we were in the last row, but the problem was going to the washroom and there were two passengers on my left.
It was a comfortable flight, I watched two movies first, charged my phone in the charging USB from my personal space. But because of the busy schedule I had a month before my trip, I was exhausted and I slept the entire trip and whenever I woke up, it was already time to eat. I would wash up after every meal, then go to sleep after 30 minutes. I lost track of time but my belly was full after 5 meals, 3 meals with rice and 2 heavy snacks.
When I was awake, I would look from my window seat with the moon blazing into the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Or I would keep track of the plane’s navigation as it went to the sides of the North Pacific Ocean over the Vancouver skies and landed at New York JFK International Airport. And I was really excited to see the New York skyline with all the night lights while the plane descended. I could finally say, Welcome to the United States of America.
It was past midnight when I arrived. It took time to get out of the plane. I talked to my seatmates and found out why they were traveling in the USA since it took time for us to get out of the plane as we were on the last row.
We headed to the electronic immigration to scan the passport and the visa. We went to another line to be interviewed by the immigration officer before being allowed to get our baggage. It took a little while to get the bags. It took an hour before I was finally getting out of the airport. Ms. Gwen, the person I was seated invited me to her sister’s house in Queens since it was already past 1 in the morning. I told her I would just take a yellow taxi and head to my friend’s house in Upper East Side Manhattan.
They looked out on me while I board the taxi and they told me to keep in touch once I got into my friend’s house. It was one-hour drive from JFK airport to the Museum Mile in the 105th street. The ride was okay, the driver was from Indian descent. He was not a safe driver since every traffic light that we stopped, he seemed anxious to drive. Until we hit the 106th street, he drove while the traffic light was red. I heard the wailing of the NYPD car from our back and we had to stop. Three policemen came to the yellow cab and talked to the driver. I was already scared as it was my first time in the USA and it happened in the wee hours of the morning. I called my friend and told him what happened and he told me that I was near the apartment already. After 15 minutes, the policemen let the driver go and we were heading to my friend’s apartment. And eventually, I saw my friend once I got out of the taxi.
He said that the apartment was small. It was located on the first floor at the end of the hallway before the stairs and emergency exit on the right side. It was a two-bedroom apartment and I would say it was still big compared to a small apartment in the Philippines. I settled inside and it was at 5 in the morning when we decided to sleep after catching up.
You can also check my post last year after my trip to New York City with the title A Summer in the United States of America
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