Two Weeks of Suck, Part 3: Jersey City and JFK (and London, sort of)

Part of the Two Weeks of Suck series, in which b recounts her spring break.

Still Sunday. My boyfriend and I have a few hours to kill– or so we think. We take the PATH train to Jersey City to visit my old house, which my parents sold a few years ago before moving to California. We’re accompanied by my childhood best friend, who helps jog my memory and keeps me up-to-date about friends I’d lost contact with long ago.

We also introduce boyfriend to his first burger (or five) at the White Castle a block away from my house, which, as I point out to everyone who’s watched Harold and Kumar, is the closest White Castle to Hoboken. If Harold and Kumar had gone through Jersey City in their search for a White Castle, the movie never would’ve happened. Bastards.

We also pay a visit to my old haunt, Newport, a mall on the waterfront that amazes boyfriend with its sheer size (Me: “This is nothing compared to Garden State Plaza.”), and even more by its 3.5% sales tax– with no tax on clothing. It’s late afternoon by the time we’re done picking out jeans for him, but we figure we can still catch the train to Howard Beach and get on the plane in time.

6. Nope. As we learned later, check-in for international flights ends an hour before the plane actually leaves, at least for Virgin Atlantic. So by the time we arrived back at the apartment to clean up and pack, we’d already been late. The hour-long train ride to Howard Beach didn’t help, either, and we ran through the airport in vain to catch our flight. We’re rescheduled for the following morning, so boyfriend and I spend ten hours being homeless in the shopping area of JFK, him watching The West Wing on my computer and me checking out perfume at the large duty-free store, practically the only thing open past 11pm.

Monday. The flight itself was pleasant. Virgin Atlantic has ridiculously good customer service for the post-9/11 era, including a large selection of t.v. on demand and a small amenities kit with toothbrush, toothpaste, earplugs and eye mask. Boyfriend slept through just about everything.

7. Tuesday-Thursday. We arrive at our bed and breakfast London wanting to do everything. This is kind of offset by our huge case of sleep deprivation and jet lag, so we slept through most of the day and stayed up through maybe half of the night. This becomes our routine, and we end up having midnight breakfasts instead of the typical breakfast the family of a bed and breakfast provides.

In hindsight, sleeping in probably prevented us from shopping and spending more. That was probably a good thing, given the abominable exchange rate.

Relaxing? Why, yes! But the next few days weren’t.

Next up: Freaking out about my mom freaking out about finances. Oh, and the freaking PLANE!


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This is a blog of things place-related, by a cash-strapped Stanford grad who's lived in various places and writes about life. She's currently looking for a job in Manhattan or the Bay Area.

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