A few blocks later, I very nearly copped it on a pedestrian crossing at about 72nd Street when the some idiot in a dry cleaner’s van parked ON the pedestrian crossing swung open the back door with great gusto just millimetres from my face. I kept reliving that moment all the rest of the way – inches to the right and my nose would have been splatted all over my face and I’d at the very least have been knocked out. True, I might then have more closely resembled the battered rock ‘n’ roll singer the office staff were expecting, but I was relieved to have so narrowly escaped that fate.
Although I had been planning to take the M60 municipal bus to LaGuardia Airport, the lovely secretary arranged for a driver to take me there instead, so, having arrived nice and early, I was able to sip a (hideously expensive) G&T while awaiting my evening flight to Nashville.
There was only a handful of passengers on this flight, meaning plenty of empty seats around me, so at least this time (unlike on the flight from London) I could type on my laptop without any danger of an irritating neighbour pointedly covering his face with the in-flight magazine as a not-so-subtle way of saying the light from the screen was keeping him awake.
I do not like turbulence. I do not like turbulence. I do not like turbulence. I HATE FUCKING TURBULENCE!!!!! Why it seemed like a good idea to book five flights when I hate, hate, hate flying, I cannot begin to fathom right now. How I could possibly be the daughter of an RAF fighter pilot who lived to fly, I cannot imagine.
That was me in trying-to-quell-rising-panic mode on an unexpectedly bumpy flight from New York to Nashville… And this is me relaxing on a lovely comfy bed in a fabulous Airbnb apartment, beer and snacks by my side, reliable internet connection for my laptop, TV on in front of me, and luxuriating in the loveliness of it all – and still feeling absolute wonderment that I made it here from the airport in a rental car in the driving rain, on the wrong side of the road, and with the US satnav that I’d bought on eBay for this very occasion having totally let me down by not being able to find the USA in its memory bank when I desperately needed it to. It really felt like I made it here on a shaky wing and a prayer and a vague memory of this neighbourhood from my explorations of East Nashville four years ago. But here I am at last, back in my beloved Music City – yeeeee-hah!!!