My little tri-state adventure was completed successfully. Only four buses, three cabs, one train, and one plane later (within one day) and I am back to my fourth state of the day, the bigger and better one.
I managed to label all of my belongings and realized that my entire life can be packed into 10 boxes and 3 bags, not even enough to fill in one tenth of the container I am eligible for. Such is the life of the nomad.
Irene (or her friend Maurine), did have their impact, with water damage to two of my boxes. Thankfully, they didn’t contain anything important (although I do know some who would consider the Accelerated Corporate Finance course pack an essential tool for life).
As always, my wait time at the airport created an opportunity for people watching. First, I must say I almost gained some respect for JFK, after spending time in Jet Blue’s terminal (5). Fast service through check-in and security, modern fixtures, cleanliness, decent selection of restaurants and shops (they even had a Muji travel shop, it can’t get better), free Wi-Fi and computer stations everywhere – I was almost pretending I was at some civilized airport such as the Hong Kong one.
It’s always interesting to watch incoming flights, when the origin is not announced, and try to guess where the people were. If they are well dressed, look calm and refreshed, with expensive carry-ones, they are probably from Europe. Loud, with tons of duty free bags, screaming kids, dressed in casual crap, they often can be Israeli. Over-tanned, dressed in Bebe sweatpants for girls, t-shirts and shorts and baseball cap for the guys, their skin orange and their hair beach blond, they are probably another Jersey/Long Island couple coming back from Cancun, Dominican Republic or something along those lines. And the list goes on. A plane arrived when I was waiting for mine, and based on the very trashy crowed, I kept trying to guess where they came from. From the conversations, I could pick up final destinations such as upstate NY, and Jersey, but not the origin. I tried to guess some cheap locations such as Dominican, et al., but nothing seemed to support the claim. I turned to my most useful technique of inspecting shopping bags, and struggled with the pattern as there was little in common between Cole Haan and McDonald’s. Finally, I’ve identified a couple of different people with Disney bags, therefore concluded that the plane came from Orlando. Some other signs such as sunburn and abundance of little kids seemed to support this logical conclusion. I wanted to verify my assumption with someone from the plane, but then I got distracted by something else.
I saw this very posh Louis Vuitton luggage right in front of me, and decided to investigate the owner. She was an African American women, in her early thirties, just sitting by herself, and reading something on her e-book. My eyes fell on her gold D&G watch. She was also wearing a lot of gold jewelry: a ring, necklace, bracelet. I continued my inspection and identified a Burberry shirt. I started to think, must be some kind of a heiress, or maybe a wife of a football player (I might have watched 2 episodes too many of The Real Housewives). As I was nearing this conclusion, my eyes fell on her shoes, which were cheap and synthetic. And then it downed upon me that all the other stuff must be fake. There were just way too many brands flashing out of this person. I then also noticed a small piercing above her mouth, just below her nose, something I normally associate with very low class (yes, I am judgmental but I find this super trashy). Eh, what a disappointment.
My other target was a Buddhist monk in orange gowns that was sitting right across from me. For some reason I started feeling sorry for this poor monk, that stood out so much and had to devote his entire life to his gods. I assumed he’s going to Austin to share his wisdom through some lecture affiliated with the university. For some reason, when I got on the plane, and saw this monk stashing his fancy leather laptop bag under the sit in front of him, while talking on his smart phone, my entire sympathy evaporated. These monks are big fat capitalists just like us.