Jun 11, 2008

Day 12 - Montreal to New York

Today was a day of sleep.

We headed to the Montreal Central station shortly after 8AM because we had to collect our tickets for the Amtrak portion of our trip. The lady at the ticket counter didn't look very convincing as she needed to consult her colleague on a few occasions while we didn't know what was going on. She was very courteous, and it was a relief that we got our tickets in the end.

This is the first time I got on a train operated by Amtrak. I was somewhat surprised that the seats on our train were not very big and spacious even with Japanese standard. We had a very creepy and smelly couple sitting in front of us. We just decided to ignore these weirdos.

After 1.5hrs since we said goodbye to Montreal, we stopped in front of an old house-looking building in the forest. We soon found out that this is not only a railway station, but also the point where the US Immigration does customs inspection.

It's the first time I had immigration inspection done on a train, although Teruko did it before, so I was not sure what to expect. It was a bit scary when a bunch of security officers got on board. We had a few couples in front of us, including that weird couple, who were questioned longer as some of their comments raised our security officer's eyebrows. Ours was very straightforward, and we were asked to go to the restaurant coach for visa waiver. Our officer, who is probably our age or maybe a bit older, was in fact very courteous and friendly while being fully professional. He even mentioned that he has a Japanese friend and tried to learn a few Japanese words. It was very refreshing to see someone like him.

As the immigration process took them quicker than expected, we had 15mins break at this point before moving on.

After the train got back on track, we had an bucket full of rain all of a sudden. It's amazing how weather can change so quickly while it was a clear sky just a little bit earlier. The weather was on and off, very sunny and hot for a while and then rainy. We thought at the beginning that it's a shame that we are losing a day just for traveling, but in the end it looked like it was a blessing in disguise. We even had lots of lightnings and rain towards the evening as we approached New York. Also, we had tons of sleep to catch up. I think I slept about half of the time we were on board.

Here we are, we are in New York. We arrived at the New York Penn Station 1.5hrs late. It's so bizarre that there was no on-board announcement regarding the delay let alone apology for the delay. In Japan, even one minute of delay would result in announcement and apology. It goes to show what a difference a different culture can make. We had to wait for taxi for almost 20mins in the queue. I thought New York is renowned for tons of taxis, but it's clear that taxi drivers here do not follow rule just like any other cities and countries. We arrived at Space46, our accommodation in New York, around 10.20PM. They have a policy for late arrival because this is not a hotel but like B&B, and we had to pay $20 for that. Bugger. We wanted to do laundry as soon as we checked in, but they only allow laundry until 10PM. Bugger, bugger.

Now we have to wake up early tomorrow so that we can make the best out of our time in New York!


Anonymous said...

Hey dodgy, sounds like you're havin' a great time. Not sure I believe you can spend 10hrs asleep on a train.... Nice to hear gf actually has a name, another dodgy habit. I'm impressed with the camera but methinks a trained dodgy Jap tourist eye helps make them nicer pics. Sorry to talk business but Scolari was just announced manager of Chelski. Keep bloggin' we all love reading it, well Jackson likes the pics anyway - Dodgy Dodgy Dodgy he yells. rgds Harrylover & his son & Kimmy

Wotadiamondgeezer said...

Hey, Harry's lover

We had an amazing time travelling around North America. Both the US and Canada don't have as long a history as European and Asian countries, each city and town in these countries really showed some unique characters.

Photos taken by a dodgy Jap tourist with a stunning digital camera made by a Japanese company - can't get any better can it?

Speaking of Scolari, I am so glad that Portugal went out of EURO early!

Say hi to Kim and Jackson from me!