Joy (cithra) wrote,

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Semi-live from New York

Where, apparently, my money isn't any good. No, not my money, my plastic. Which, you see, is a far more generic term. Various places have denied authorization the last couple of days to each and every credit card I have with me, including the government travel card and my Sprint phone card, which technically isn't even a credit card per se. The only thing that keeps me from thinking I've been trapped in a bad Sandra Bullock movie is for each instance of denial, a different establishment has granted approval. So Card A won't work at Shoprite, but will work for this computer time and at the hardware store (another story in itself), Card B won't work here for the computer but will work at the restaurant, etc. Except for the Sprint card, which I have not tried at more than one venue.

Lisa promised to send me good thoughts - I'm truly frightened as to how things would be going if she wasn't. I locked my keys in my house upon leaving, thereby requiring me to hook up with someone who isn't answering his phone or email when I return on Friday. This also means that while I am in New York, the key to my luggage is in Seattle. One trip to the hardware store later, I now own a pair of shiny new green-handled bolt cutters and a new luggage lock. This is not really the type of shopping I was thinking of when I was chatting with MiKeK about "shopping in New York". I am really, REALLY glad that I was not randomly chosen for a luggage search on the way here, otherwise I would probably have watched helplessly as they carted my suspiciously un-openable bag off to blow it up in private.

Other than that, I'm fine. New York, of course, seems astonishingly flat - it is simply too strange to be able to look towards the horizon and not see mountains. And colorless - yes, there are proper Pine trees here, but they are a dull olive green color that literally pales in comparison with the mighty and vibrant Douglas Fir.

They sent a stretch limo (complete with a guy in a black wool trenchcoat as driver)to pick me up at the airport, of all things - now mind you, the people the organizers of the task force gave me the number of the company to call to get a ride out to the hotel, but I can hear the auditors rubbing their cold fingers together in anticipation. They raked me over the coals for taking a taxi in Oakland - I can't imagine what sort of hoopla taking a stretch limo is going to cause. It was cool (riding in a stretch limo in New York, how cool is that?)but I felt rather silly in the end.

Really, I think perhaps this entire trip is about making me feel silly - or perhaps it's merely about finding new and different ways to make me feel odd. It's easier to talk to people - I have to agree with Tony and others that PNW people are strangely reserved compared to the legendary "rude New Yorker" - but visually I stand out fairly strongly. My fashion sense is definitely somewhat athwart the norm here - everyone dresses more... it's not that they all dress up more, or really anything much I can immediately put my finger on, but there is a definite difference. Tailoring might account for some of it, but that seems less than adequate to explain. In any case, I feel far more funky than usual, and I'm not entirely certain it's in a good way.

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