Alone in New York

When I was about 20, I went to New York to meet a friend who was already in America on a longer road trip. My flight arrived at 11pm, but she wasn’t arriving until the next day and we had arranged to meet at the hostel.

I got a taxi from the airport, but the driver dropped me off in a wrong place and quickly drove off. Alone in a strange city (pre-google maps!), I wandered looking for someone to ask for directions or help, but was in an industrial area and there was no one around and nothing open.

Eventually, I saw a young woman with shopping bags. I walked over to ask for directions. She had never heard of the place I was staying, but offered to take me to her home and look it up on her computer for me. It turned out I was about 45 minutes away!

I needed to get a bus to the nearest underground station and a train from there. Not only did she give me a safe place to stop and find the directions to my destination, she also gave me money for the bus as I didn’t have any US change.

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