So it was a little over a month ago that I posted the MOST EXCITING NEWS EVER. I’ve been getting more and more excited over this time and counting down days and being a little more impatient EACH DAY THAT PASSED.
Saturday was the day. Saturday was ANDREAS DAY.
I set my alarm for 4am but SURPRISE, could not fall asleep the night before, for two reasons: a., SUPER-DUPER EXCITEMENT, and b., I was trying to go to sleep at 8pm, but that stretched to 9pm, but it was STILL 9pm, and who the hell can fall asleep at 9pm? I’m not my own gramma for the love of Pete.
But I finally fell asleep. However, my insanely excited brain decided that sleeping until 4am was TOO MUCH SLEEPING. So I woke up ready to go at 3:30am. I’d say I woke up raring to go at 3:30am, but nothing about me was RARING, exactly. Who rares at 3:30am? Probably only drug addicts and crazies, I’d imagine. Or maybe steak? Undercooked steak? Get it? Rare? I GOT A MILLION OF ‘EM LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! But I was awake, and I wasn’t falling back to sleep, that was for sure.
If you remember, this was the face of someone who got up at 3:30am to take a train into the City to meet Andreas.
That’s the face of someone who needs some more sleep, yo, but is also super-excited and also hyper.
So I went to the train station. It is not far away and it is very nice there. There were not many people going to the City at 7:05am on a Saturday from Albany. I got TWO WHOLE SEATS to myself. TWO WHOLE SEATS! That’s the best, then you don’t have to deal with a seatmate who is weird and/or wants to chat about nonsense.
Here’s the view from my train-window. It is not pretty or bright at 7am in Albany. Also, it kind of looks like I was leaving from a prison yard. I promise I was not. That is one honkin’ big puddle out there.
The train ride is about 2.5 hours long. I had my Kindle and my phone. The train wifi didn’t work (it DID, but it kept kicking me off) but I am LOVING having Verizon. It gives me connection everywhere. (Well, it’s not like I’ve been everywhere, but so far, so good. Virgin Mobile sometimes kicked me off in my very own house. Multiple times a night.) Andreas and I texted and texted and sj and I texted and emailed and the time flew by.
Right before I got there, I had to use the facilities. I didn’t want to go in the train station because that’s how you get diseases. FINE, maybe not diseases, but gross. Also, I didn’t know if Andreas would be cool with me just swooping in and letting me use his bathroom. I don’t know if you ask someone you’re just meeting for the first time if you can use their bathroom. Isn’t that maybe a little oversteppy? I don’t know.
So I was all stiff-upper-lippy and went to the train bathroom. Have you ever used a train bathroom? It’s a step above a bus bathroom and a step below a plane bathroom. Also, either from a combination of not-caring or hovering or the train lurching all over, people pee EVERYWHERE. It’s FILTHY. It’s AWASH IN FLUIDS. But, I am both valiant and brave (plus I was nervous and excited and really had to go) so I managed to NOT get anyone’s fluids on me, even my own. I WIN TRAIN BATHROOMING.
Then we got to Penn Station. “Andreas, I am here!” I texted him. “I am going to wait for you in the hotel lobby now!” he replied. “You can probably wait, I tend to get lost, even though it’s only a few blocks to you,” I said, but Andreas was undaunted.
Now let me tell you a story.
I WAS PETRIFIED.
I know, I know. But Amy! You have been friends with Andreas forever and this was SO EXCITING and NEW YORK CITY and ADVENTURES and Z! O! M! G!!!!
Yep. All of that. Totally.
But also? I am terrible with humans. And socially awkward. And what if it was awkward? What if we had nothing to say to one another in real life? What if my brain shut down and I couldn’t think of anything to say? What if he HATED me? What if he thought I was crazy/weird/annoying? How the hell would we fill twelve hours if it was awkward? And them my stupid brain started flailing around all “THIS IS GOING TO BE TERRIBLE WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DOOOOO THIS IS WHY YOU DON’T LEAVE YOUR HOUUUUUUSE!!!”
When these things happen I do one of two things: freak the hell out and opt out of the activity or tell my brain to shut it and soldier on. Obviously in this case, I couldn’t opt out of the activity. What was I going to do, scuttle back to the bowels of Penn Station and huddle like a homeless person on the floor for twelve hours rocking and keening and waiting for the evening train back to my homeland? I think not.
I had to be a good little soldier. I was already here! It would be RIDICULOUS to let my broken brain freak me out when I was about 4 blocks away from meeting someone I talk to about ten times a day, and that’s on a slow day.
You do not get to win today, broken brain.
My first problem was that I do not have a compass in my brain. Some people can stand in a city and know that they have to head north, or whatever, so they have to head straight or left or whatever. I do not. So I knew I had to go one block up and one over, but was it one block in FRONT of me up or BEHIND me up? And once there, was it LEFT over or RIGHT over? I know I could look at my phone, and did, but mostly trying to figure out directions from my phone is like most people listening to Charlie Brown’s teacher: mwah-mwah-mwah-MWAH-mwah-mwah. Incomprehensible.
So I just started walking, hoping that the direction I was going was the right one. If the street signs when I got to the next block said 6th Avenue, I would win New York City; if not, I had to turn around and walk two blocks in the opposite direction. Not a big deal.
I TOTALLY WON NEW YORK CITY! When I got to the end of the block, the signs said 6th! WIN!
Then I stood on the corner for a while gawping around wondering where, exactly, Andreas’ hotel was. He said it was very tall and I could see it right from the corner. However, I could NOT. So I gawped and also gawked and then realized it was RIGHT THERE and if it had been a fire it would have burned me. I just had to cross one teeny-tiny street and then there was the hotel.
PETRIFIED PETRIFIED PETRIFIEDDDDDD
I told my brain to shush and walked on over to the hotel. The hotel had those revolving doors that I hate and then one normal door, so I totally opted for the normal door. (I feel like I’m going to be trapped in revolving doors and turnstiles, and also that maybe they will clip my heels, therefore I avoid them like the plague. I am not especially sure-footed.)
This was Andreas’ lobby. Whenever I enter a place that looks like this, I feel like I’m about to break or spill something and someone’s going to say “WE DON’T ALLOW YOUR KIND HERE!” and they’ll firmly escort me out.
That did not happen, and also a doorman opened the door for me so I felt like Eloise at the Plaza. And can I just say that this hotel was in Chelsea so it was TOTALLY a Chelsea hotel (if not THE Chelsea Hotel) and then I had Leonard Cohen in my head and there’s nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all. That’s one of the most appropriate people to have there when you’re in New York City.
And then I stood in the lobby with my big old bag of Andreas-and-family-presents…
…and my petrified heart saying please please please don’t let this be scary…
…and there was Andreas. And I probably looked like a crazy person. And I didn’t even care. I was so happy to see him. My scared stupid petrified heart and my dumb broken brain be damned; I kind of leapt across the lobby like Dumbcat running after a bug only even LESS graceful and gave him a big old hug. Because there was Andreas, and there was Amy, and it was time for an adventure with my friend who had come all the way from Finland and wanted nothing more than to spend the day with me. Someone came all the way from Finland and wanted to meet ME.
I know. I KNOW. Stop it, I’m kind of weepy myself.
We’re already at like 1,500 words and I haven’t even scratched the surface. Andreas thinks none of you will care about this story. I think a., he’s wrong, and b., I don’t care, because I’m stretchin’ this shit out for a WHILE, yo.
So this might be one more day, or might be two, or hell, three, I don’t know. We have things to talk about like where we went and what we did and what we ate and walking and talking and laughing and scary things and funny things and SO MANY THINGS.
Stay tuned, jellybeans. Lots of travelly goodness coming up this week, promise.
And just in case you think you’re ALL being catfished, like my dad thinks all you internet people are doing to ME for some strange reason, here is PROOF that Amy and Andreas were in the SAME place at the SAME time. I know. Fancy! (I promise this is not a GOOD picture of us. But this one makes me laugh because I have this terrible camera app that takes a billion photos in the blink of an eye and it was taking photos we didn’t even know were being taken and we were talking and so we have weird faces. YOU ARE WELCOME!)
As I write this, Andreas is just about to board a plane home. Fly safely, plane. Get Andreas home safely. Thanks so much. I worry about the people I love, you know.