Day 17 - 12th August 2001
Flying to New York

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Today I got up quite early, at around 7am, as I have a flight to New York at 11:15am. I went and had breakfast, and then went to reception to get a shuttle to the airport. They told me that this needed to be booked 24 hours in advance. I told them that this was on none of their paperwork. I decided to take a taxi instead. The guy at the hostel told me that I should ask the driver for a fixed fare before I start the journey. He said that I should ask for $30, and if he doesn't agree, say that I'll get another taxi, and then he'll agree! When the taxi arrived, that's exactly what I did.

I arrived in good time for the flight, which went without incident. When I arrived in New York, I went to the transport information office and asked how to get to the hostel. They said the best way was to go with their shared shuttle service. I got in along with about seven other people, all going to different places. It took around 2 hours before I eventually got to my destination, and by then I was quite tired, and very hungry!

I went into the hostel, and asked to book in. They told me that they couldn't take cash at the moment, as it was the end of a shift. I put all of my stuff in a locker, and then went to get a pizza from a local takeaway. I got completely soaked on the way back to the hostel by a shower that started almost instantaneously. I sat in reception and ate my soggy pizza. After 45 minutes I asked again if I could check in, and they said that they still weren't ready yet. After an hour I was ready to beg them to let me pay them some money, but I didn't have to, as they were ready. I got the key to my room, which is in a dorm of 3. I went into the room, and it was baking hot, and extremely humid. The window was wide open, but this didn't seem to help things much. Two other people were already iiving there. A couple from Reading who were travelling together for a year. The facilities were pretty basic. There were three sinks and two shower cubicles for each floor (about 30 people). One of the shower cubicles was flooded. The other had a broken shower head. I chose the one with the broken shower head.

After my shower, I went to bed. It was so humid I had to peel myself off the sheets each time I turned over, but I still somehow managed to sleep.

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