Penn Station, Please

December 16, 2008

Go on a little journey with me, will you?

Imagine you are really sick.  You’ve been in NYC for over 10 days which means all the bugs have gotten all over you and your immune system, while fighting valiantly, has finally succumbed to the invasion.  Since you are staying at someone else’s place, you consider it rude to stay and infest their home with your germs, so you change your flight to go home early.  Filled with every cold medicine you can get your hands on to get you through the day, and deciding to pamper yourself by not taking the subway, you hail a cab to take you to Penn Station.  This was me.

I got into the cab and say, “Penn Station, please”.  Now, one would think that a cabbie would know how to get to Penn Station, yes?  But as I’m sure you’ve already guessed, since I hailed this cab in Inwood, he indeed, was not so sure about the location of one of two of NYC’s busiest train stations.  After asking how to get to the West Side Highway (which is like asking where the nose on my face is), I barely had enough time to direct him to head South to Penn Station, not North to Upstate New York.  It was in that moment that I also realized that he did not speak English.  The Dominican Flag on the rear view mirror and the fact that I got in Inwood should’ve been my first clues.

After navigating him to the West Side Highway, I sat back and tried to relax in order to survive my long journey home.  He got off at the right exit and figured that he knew where he was since he was driving directly towards Penn Station.

We stopped at a light, and since we were in the right lane, I assumed he was going to turn right and drop me off at the station.  Um….yeah. That was the wrong assumption to make.  He hit the pedal and proceeded straight.  With alarm in my voice, I said, “Sir, that’s Penn Station! I need to get out!”  By that time it was too late and we had passed it.  He flailed his hands to indicate that he would go around the block.

Well, going around the block was not so easy due to all the one way streets and “No right turns” signs.  For 20 minutes we circled around trying to get back to Penn Station.  Since I was sick and was lugging a 50 pound suitcase, I didn’t really want to get out and walk back to the station.  He managed to get me to 33rd and 7th, about a block away when I said, “I’m getting out. I have a train to catch”.

So much for pampering myself and avoiding the “stress” of the subway.  I would’ve made it faster had I taken the subway.  I did make my train, but the trip wiped me out. I slept the whole way to the airport.


One Response to “Penn Station, Please”

  1. […] freakin’ Epcot shuttle bus driver!!!!! Am I back in NYC with a cab driver who doesn’t know the way to Penn Station?!!?!?! What universe am I in!? It’s certainly not Walt Disney’s because he would know […]

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