One of the great things about “swanning about South America in a rather louche way” (quote: Anne of I like) is that travelling and waiting around are no longer daunting tasks. I’ve been on enough flights and long bus journeys lately to completely get used to mentally hibernating for however long the journey takes. Even after being awake for 36 hours, I was still up for going out for a few beers with Derick and Jennifer when I arrived in Brooklyn after three hours waiting at São Paulo airport, a seven hour flight to Panama City, another hour of waiting, a four-and-a-half hour flight to Newark, and then an hour-and-a-half fannying around inside the airport, and another hour’s cab ride. Tiredness seems to be something that can be ignored now. I hope that sticks around.
So, yes: I’m in New York. This part of my trip doesn’t really feel like it is part of the trip; more like an intermission. Over the last month I’ve become increasingly ready to see some friendly faces and see some familiar sights. So, I decided to rearrange the US leg of my tour to travel east to west, instead of the planned route west to east.
Something that should be noted is US immigration at Newark airport. Apart from being dreadfully understaffed, creating an hour-long queue of sweaty tired travellers, it was excellent there. US immigration does have a terrible reputation, (example) but of the four times I’ve flown into New York over the past four years, I’ve never experienced anything other than polite friendliness. Last night, the officer and I had a chat about the Yankees. It was a thoroughly pleasant experience.
They speak English in the United States. That has been a joy so far. Even though I have found myself answering questions with “sim” a couple of times, like this morning when I did what I’ve been looking forward to most for the last couple of days: getting a cappuccino from Cocoa Bar on 7th Avenue, Brooklyn.