This probably qualifies as one of the oddest turns for the better.
The Pod Hotel bell captain obviously was onto something this morning when he smugly asked whether I needed a car to get to the airport in the afternoon. In a city fulled with yellow cabs I figured there’d be no need to tie myself to a set pickup time.
Little did I know. Come half past three, and there’s not a cab in sight on the fifty-first.
Figured I’d bide my time with the twin suitcases for a credible while before moving onto the second avenue round the corner (and a bit).
Noted that two women, obviously from the hotel, were stuck with their luggage as well. Idled for a while before asking them for how long they’d been waiting. A while enough for them to address me. In finnish. (Strange thing #1, for those keeping the score at home).
Turns out that there was no black magic involved, they’d just picked my name off a suitcase tag. And their car was late, very late – and naturally, if it’d be big enough I’d be allowed to ride with them to the airport (we turned out to be on the same flight over to Frankfurt). Decided to find out whether the car was indeed large enough to accommodate all three of us. It was. It sure was. It was a stretch limousine, proudly equipped with all kinds of bling inside. But sadly there was no Cristal in the fridge. (Odd event #2).
Road to JFK was bristling with cars, and the limo took its good time using some odd shortcuts to optimize the route. But got to the airport without any incidents, and in very decent time. And the shared ride, ended up being much cheaper than a taxi ride. Pleasant surprise indeed.
Security formalities were on the extensive side, but the lines flowed rather fast, and ended up beyond the checkpoint early enough to have a leisurely dinner before the flight.
After walking to the vicinity of the gate, noted that there’s a lot of very sombre looking lean gentlemen in black suits and hats… It’d appear that a third of the plane will be settled by orthodox jews. All of whom are packing amazing amounts of gear. So it’ll likely be a struggle to get enough room in the overhead bins. (Peculiar coincidence #3).
So yeah, as an executive summary – not bad for two afternoon hours: I ended up hitching a ride in a stretch limo from two countrywomen, and then forced to mingle with people whose idea of a good time is probably geometrically different from mine.