Help Is A New York Minute Away

, , , , , | Hopeless | April 1, 2016

(It’s my first visit to New York and the only place I can afford to stay is a really tatty motel in New Jersey beside a major road. I’m from the UK where most places are walkable and most bus stops clearly marked, so am very confused as I try to discover where to catch a bus back into the city. I go into a donut shop but no one will answer when I try to ask them. I’m 19 and the area is really rough, so I’m pretty worried. I head next door to a garage where I figure that people will need to get away by public transport sometimes.)

Me: “Excuse me, can anyone tell me where I can catch the bus into New York?”

Mechanic: “You’re catching the bus?”

Mechanic #2: “You okay, kid?”

Man In Queue: “There’s a stop outside [Store], isn’t there? But that’s across the freeway.”

Woman Halfway Down The Queue: “I have my car booked in at 10, but I’m taking this girl to the stop first. Come on, honey.”

Mechanic: “No problem, ma’am.”

Mechanic #2: “Travel safely, kid.”

(Bemused I follow her and we drive off.)

Woman: “So, how did you get here?”

Me: “I caught the bus out yesterday. I stayed at [Motel] but it was pretty grim so I decided I’d head back to Boston this evening rather than tomorrow.”

Woman: “Hmm. I’m taking you to the train station. I’m not putting you on the bus when you are all shaken up.”

(We pull up outside a railway station.)

Me: “Thank you. Thank you so much.”

Woman: “I have kids your age. Now, do you have enough for the train ticket? Here, have a candy bar to eat on the way. You take care now.”

(That was almost 20 years ago and I haven’t forgotten the lovely lady who rescued a very confused English teenager! It is also the story of how I broke the golden rule: never get into a car with a stranger…)

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