Ten hours on a bus. Talk about an experience. Let’s say there is definitely a reason that is the cheapest form of transport.
Leaving at midnight from central Toronto, the bus made it’s bumpy way through towns and also through copious amounts of nothing. My first couple hours went fairly fast, thanks to Nathaniel who sat next to me. From a minute town in Ontario, he was a like-minded traveller with whom to share crazy stories and complain about the bumpy one we were currently experiencing. Though ideally we would have spent the ride sleeping and then arrive in New York City fresh-faced and bright-eyed, this was not to be. The first half was animated conversation and U.S. customs (they let me in the country, wohoo!!) and the second half was grogginess and trying to force limbs into unnatural angles in pursuit of comfort. In hindsight, the only thing I regret about the bus ride is that I didn’t realize the seats recline until 6 in the morning.
So we arrived in the city Friday morning like the walking dead. I proceeded to trek through 30 blocks of midtown Manhattan, smiling a little more with each one. New York City, it’s good to meet again.
The weekend passed by in a flurry of friends, including one far-away and ridiculously dear old friend, Janina. Together we hopped through Central Park, visited the Met, and danced our way down 5th avenue. It still seems unreal to nonchalantly roam New York with someone you’ve spent years with in little old Finland. The world is getting bigger and smaller at the same time. Bigger reality, smaller unknowns.
My next two days were spent in Harlem with a friend I made on the plane to Toronto. What different little worlds can fit into one city! Over here, the buildings are low and the people are loud and history is visibly sprinkled everywhere.
It’s already time to go, moving on to London. Since I’ve been here, walking the streets minding my own business, I’ve been told I look like a New Yorker. Thanks I guess? I’ve also enjoyed falling asleep and waking up to muffled sirens and sounds of life floating up from the streets and in through my window. And most of all I’ve had the time of my life meeting people, some adorned with saxophones and even one ukulele! Instant best friends. We put up spontaneous shows on the streets and in the subway station, and a first for me: on the actual train. I’ve discovered that so far I can earn a living of about an apple a day this way.
It’s another good bye, it’s sad. But London is waiting, and who can complain when you have one spectacular city to another to travel to? That’s what they all say, isn’t it – life is the journey, not the destination. (Let’s just hope this doesn’t refer to a certain bus journey – I refuse to accept a life that butt-numbing.)