We caught the night train to Paris with no worries. The bunks were full, but our sleeper mates were quiet, even the Jack Russell tucked into the top bed with his owner. Julien slept like a rock, but in my normal fashion, I tossed and turned and dozed, stomach in knots with what-if worries.
What if we miss the 30 minute cut off limit for the Eurostar check-in?
What if there is a public transportation strike in Paris (don't laugh; France is the land of strikes. And when we stepped off on the platform in Austerliz Station, what was the first thing we heard? Train strikes. Fortunately for the lines going to the south of France)?
What if I miscalculated and it takes longer than I thought to get to Heathrow?
Everything went off without a hitch. The adventures began once we landed in NYC.
My shampoo bottle was punctured and, despite the plastic sack I placed it in, leaked all over the interior of my backpack.
A guy tried to rip me off in the subway by not giving me the correct change (he withheld a 10-dollar bill until he saw me counting my change.
We navigated the subway system like pros and arrived at our couchsurfing host's house only to not be able to contact him. Silly buzzer story. A woman about my age, maybe a year or three younger, saw me waiting and waiting and offered to help. After I explained, she primly informed me that I should probably move along because, and I quote, 'This is a building with a lot of yuppy conservatives, and I doubt very strongly anyone here would be doing couchsurfing.' She then kindly explained, "There are a lot of police patrols here, and they've been cracking down on punks, so I think you should move because, you know, I don't want them to crack down on you.'
After nigh on 2 hours of waiting, a kind bartender at The Gibson let us use his phone, and we were able to get in touch with Lenny, our host. He was hosting another surfer
More news later; gotta hit the streets!