May 29th 1981

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0

By no means the best of days.  Woke up early and set off into NYC.  Everything was going fine, route was well signposted, till suddenly we found ourselves presented with a straight choice between Long Island and New England, with the traffic pulsing all around us.  We disappeared down a side road or two, and pulled in at a gas station for directions.  The guy there insisted on telling both of us the required route – nonetheless, we got lost again, and found ourselves in an extremely run-down area – the Bronx, I think.  We asked again, gaining the corporate opinion of a bunch of warehousemen.  This time we were lucky and found ourselves heading down Manhattan, down Lexington Avenue. 

Dropped the car, walked to AACON, grabbing a small breakfast en route.  Good news when we got there.  The car we had been assigned was a white Ford Maverick, 1970, in perfect condition.  A Mr Walker had bought it new for his wife, and now that she had died, was now sending it to his daughter.  He was also giving half a $50 bill, the rest to be received on completion, if the car was looked after!  However, he wasn’t in yet, so we left our bags and went for a walk.  We returned – he still wasn’t there – we took another walk (and another breakfast).  When we tried again, still no Mr Walker – another walk, a look at a park.  It started to rain, so we decided to go back to the office and just wait.  And wait.  And wait.  And wait.  People came, and people went, but we stayed ever on.  To be fair, they were very busy, but occasionally someone would notice us and say – are you still here? 

Eventually, they decided to try and fix us up with another car.  They couldn’t find one going west, so they got one to Texas where they hurriedly arranged another to SF.  So we were presented with our car – a large Cadillac.  It took a while to check it over and work it all out – everything electronic – but finally we were off!  Moi – excessively nervous.  On the road, out through dreadful Jersey Turnpike, sandwiches at a diner, then time to stop.  We asked at a supermarket in Hamburg for a suitable place, they called the cops, who guided us to a parking lot, and later checked we were OK.

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