Travelling has been one of my greatest hobbies. Travelling can however have some ups and downs and it is vital to ensure that one is prepared to face all the difficulties that can arise as a result of travelling. While travelling to big cities it is possible to get lost. The experience of a traveler is one laced with different experiences and in most cases the traveler gets lost. One asserts that getting lost in a city, such as New York, is due to the lack of Global Positioning System (GPS) or map, meeting unexpected turn of events, not being provided with accurate directions to reach one’s intended destination, and travelling at night.
In one of the rare instances, we travelled to New York without the aid of a GPS or a map. My husband (John) and I were travelling to Manhattan in August 9, 2012. My husband, John, was aware that New York is a large state, so when we got close to the New York City line, my husband asked the toll attendant, “is this the way to New York city?” And the toll attendant replied, “yeah, man where are you from? the ‘moon’”? So after that we went on our way, my husband took the wrong exit, and we ended up on the bad section. John and I were scared to death, and then while looking for a sign to get out of Harlem we had a flat tire. Sometimes, having started the journey with insufficient information as to the exact directions towards the intended destination make us more preponderant to meet unexpected events.
My husband hit a pot hole, an unfortuitous event. The tires got busted. We asked these
black guys, whose names we eventually asked, turned out to be Malcolm, Chris, Jay and Emmanuel. They were standing on the street corner on 113 Gale Street willing to help change the tires. At first, John was skeptical about the appearance of these guys. I decided to compose myself and approached the black guys; “hey, could you please help us fix the flat tire?” Chris looked at me as if he had just witnessed an impromptu visit by an angel. Chris seemed to be the leader of the four guys. He looked at me and took a deep, quick look at my husband. Then, he faced the other guys without answering me. Fear dominated the better part; I began shaking. John looked at me and uttered no word. After a moment of consultation, Chris looked back at me and said, “Yes, sure mum, sorry for the unexpected accident. My friends and I can help you.” I felt relieved. I began seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Chris started by asking, “where are you both going?” To which, I replied, “to Manhattan. Any advice on how to get there?”
“As far I we know, you have to rely on your GPS or map. Otherwise, you can ask people along the way”, was Chris’ reply. I told them that we had asked people for directions; but so far, none were able to provide accurate guides. We got out of the car, removed the spare wheel and the spanners and gave it out to the guys. It was too chilly; wee hours of the morning were drawing closer and closer. We were reminded to ask more authoritative people, like the traffic enforcer or a local police officer.
My husband looked at me deep in my eyes and said, “It feels awkward to travel into a foreign place in the night, it is too risky but I know one thing, God is there for us.” I took a deep sigh and replied my husband, “Amen! We are okay dear.” I grabbed him on his back and gave him a warm hug. Chris seemed like a cool and friendly; he asked, “Where do you from?” at the back of my mind, I knew him to be a good person. I replied to his smiling, “Kansas”. Chris comforted us and went on with the wheel repair. It didn’t take long, and the repair was over, our car was back to normal operation. John went to where the four men were, stood upright and uttered, “thank you very much for your kind support; we couldn’t have managed it without your generous support, and for that I am offering a cup of coffee for each of you”. Chris smiled back and replied, “It’s okay sir, thanks for your patience, and we are so sorry for the accident.” John gave each of them a handshake and asked them to get into the car. We drove off into the nearest shopping mall; plenty of businesses such fast food restaurants and small medium sized supermarkets were still operating. We emerged out of the car and entered into one of the coffee shop. Everyone took a seat, immediately; a waitress attended to us.
We ordered coffee and accompaniments. The place looked exclusive and quite expensive; I took the courage of finding out more information about the place. I looked at Chris asked, “tell us more about this coffee shop?” Chris turned to his friends smiling, his friends smiled back to him and replied, “I own this shop, and I opened it up three years ago. This is just but one of my business ventures.” I looked at him gaspingly; I wondered how such a young man could own this kind of business. We had a lengthy chat with the four guys for about half an hour. We later learned that, Chris was the son to the New York based billionaire; El Mahmud. “Wow! This must have been a blessed night; we just got assistance by the billionaire’s son!” We thanked Chris and drove off for the remaining part of the journey. We landed at Manhattan at exact 7am in the morning. We had some lengthy rest at one of the hotels in the region.
A person may get lost while travelling in New York. It is evident from my experience from my travel to New York that travelling has many ups and downs. It is vital to comprehend a traveler should be able to make good use of the opportunities available to him to explore the city of New York. The lessons learned would be useful in future travels. If the traveler is not careful, then, one is most likely to get lost in New York.