I’ve been fortunate enough to travel quite a bit. Over the years I’ve figured out places where I could potentially live, at least part of the time. Paris is at the top of the list, of course. The Florida Keys are right up there as well. There’s a great appeal of the ancient holy places like Lindisfarne in the far north of England. Or Assisi way up on a hill in Italy.
But there’s one place I could never, ever live–New York City.
Don’t get me wrong–I think New York is a wonderful place and if I had unlimited funds, I might splurge on a pied-à-terre there. But not until I’ve secured living quarters in all the other places first.
We spent last weekend in New York. I left my wallet in the first cab we took.
Hell damn and hell.
No wallet=no ID=equal sticky wicket when passing through airport security.
Husband said not to worry, and I attempted to do (or not do) just that.
The next day I spent some time with a gracious woman who has spent a great deal of time in New York. We had a very elegant lunch. We strolled down 5th Avenue and she pointed out some of the sights. We went to her apartment and saw the polar bears in the Central Park Zoo from her terrace.
That’s the way to live in the city. She knows how to do it. I, on the other hand, lose my wallet within 30 minutes.
By and by, it was time to travel home. We got our boarding passes and headed to security.
When I got to the front of the line I presented my boarding pass and told the agent I had lost my ID.
“Stand to the side,” she told me. (Husband asked for and received permission to stand by me.)
It was crowded in our little corner of LaGuardia and we had to keep telling people that we weren’t in line. One woman heard us talking and decided to share her thoughts on the situation.
“Oh my god–that happened to a friend of mine and it turned out that she had THE EXACT SAME NAME AS A PERSON ON THE NO FLY LIST.”
“Shhhh,” I said. “I don’t want to hear that.”
“Why not?” her male companion said. “Are you a PERPETRATOR?”
“Would the both of you PLEASE quit talking now?” I asked in my nicest voice.
They huffed away, clearly not understanding why I didn’t want to hear about other people’s misfortunes.
In the end, a nice man came and had me fill out a form. He asked me a few questions and then made a call. Evidently the person on the other end had a copy of my permanent record and deemed all my answers acceptable and I was cleared. I got patted down and wanded, and another nice young man saw way more of the inside of my suitcase than I’m sure he wanted.
We made it on the plane and now I’m back in my zip code.
It’s not New York’s fault that I lost my wallet. I just always feel a little out of step there. Like I’m moving too slowly. Talking too slowly.
In New York I’m wading through chocolate pudding while everyone else is zipping by on hovercrafts. Or in cabs–only they remember to take their wallets when they get out.