..the wind goes right through you, its no place for the old.

Timewasters, idiots, creeps and crazies. Much like the rest of New York, these are things present in the real world, just amplified by a thousand.

I’ve spent the first couple of days sightseeing, and after buying a sim card out here, Ive discovered it’s almost, but not quite, completely useless. Reception is crap, and people can barely hear me. Fortunately I have a netbook to do most of the bookings via email, but it doesn’t help having to crane out of the wondow to talk to anyone! Not that it matters – I switch my phone off during tours etc, turn it on, and kick myself for missing 15 calls, but today I feel better for finding out that  they’re usually all by a man who has no intention of turning up anyway!

So I’ve been trying to juggle. Work, sightseeing, seeing friends..and I’ve just made all three suffer. So today, I took a bit of much needed time out to concentrate on taking bookings. Typically, 2 no-shows so far, and several idiots. Including:

‘Can you shout at me and cuckold me?’

‘Not really, cos Im in a hotel room..try when I move to an apartment tomorrow.’

‘Oh, thats ok, I don’t mind you’re in a hotel..’

‘Well, I do..and so will the other guests if I starts busting your balls at a loud volume..’

And:

‘Whereabouts are you?’

‘The address is this..’

‘Wheres that near?’

‘Err… I landed in this country 3 hours ago. ‘

‘Yeah..so just gimme a landmark..’

‘!’

Or perhaps:

‘Can you do an outcall?’

‘Nope, but you’re welcome to come to me..’

‘Moneys not a problem!’

‘Well, if moneys not a problem, just catch a cab…and come to me.’

And many more besides. More of which Im sure Ill relate when I’ve just gotten lost on the subway, or been ripped off by a hot dog vendor (advertised as $2, with water advertised as £1.50…add the two together, and suddenly it’s $7!) or asked for directions from someone who’d rather send you the completely wrong way that just admit they dont know.

Yes, yes, yes…Im tired (the air con is noisy and on all night) I’m frustrated, and even a little homesick. But I’m sure that by tomorrow I’ll be back on form.

My problem has been to try and fit too much in. Today, just sitting, taking calls, and sorting the wheat from the chaff has really done me good. Mainly because Ive managed to see people who are good, clean, nice, polite, respectful, and turn up on time. ..and discovered who out there is a complete cock knocker with no intention of seeing me. Made worse by the American ideal that they’re all really polite to visitors…. pah!

But I have also reached a goal. I wanted to basically let the trip pay for itself. And by my rough calculations, Ive done that. Paid for the flight and the accomodation. The rest is just a bonus.

Tomorrow, I expect I’ll do much more of the same before getting back on the tourist trail on friday and shopping over the weekend.

Dont get me wrong, it’s all good out here. Its just…different.  And I guess my Great Expectations dont help.

Tell you what Im going to do…

I’m going to go out, have a nice meal with some lovely, patient friends who have stood by my strops and tantrums, and get very very drunk.

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