A Tiny Adventure to New York

I was invited to hang out with a few people from Disco NRG the other day and finally had the chance to yesterday on Tuesday, August 2nd! It was wonderful seeing Steve and Jason again, as well as meeting Dom and Tony in person! The day itself though was probably the most weirdest, most predictable string of ups and downs I have ever experienced, to the point where you would have thought someone had planned them for me.

The sun was in my eyes when I was trying to take a picture of how I looked.

I woke up at 5:30 in the morning. I cleaned up a couple of things, took a shower, and cleaned up some more. I double checked the train schedule and continued cleaning things. I finally noticed the time and rushed to get dressed. I quickly did my hair, hoping I would make it, but of course, everybody was messaging me and it was difficult for me to get out of the house. I was afraid I was going to miss the train. I quickly put on my GPS, searched for destinations and clicked the one that looked right. I thought things were going to be okay until I accidentally turned down the wrong street in New Haven and had to follow my rerouted GPS. THEN I missed the parking garage (which was right across from the station) and had to have my GPS reroute me back. I quickly parked my car and looked at the time, knowing I had missed that train.

What I saw when walking to get my ticket.

I walked across the street and got my ticket, noticing something – the place was called New Haven State St., not New Haven Union Station. I shrugged it off and went down to the platform. I pulled out my phone and checked the schedule, seeing that the station I was at was listed. And I was there shortly before I was suppose to. Meaning I didn’t miss the train! I was pretty happy about this. So I waited and waited until a train (well, commuter rail, but meh) came. I asked if it was the one to Grand Central. I was told it wasn’t, but the station we were going to had a transfer train. So I hoped on and transferred over to the Grand Central train and I was off!

What I saw from my window

At first it was exciting, because I had never done this before! I looked outside for a while, while listening to my music (in which certain songs just helped the excitement). Probably about an hour in, I pulled out my Japanese textbook and started reading it. Yes, reading it. I generally read the lesson before I start taking notes just so I have some of the information in my head. Anyway, after I read it, I began taking notes (like I usually do) until it was around arrival time.

I walked into the station and was greeted by the scent of food – I was in the dining area. I walked around for a bit. I wanted to get food, but I decided against it. I wasn’t sure if we were all going to eat together or not. Eventually Steve and I got into contact and he told me that they were going to come after they dropped their friend off at the airport. I said okay and waited. It was about a half hour later, where I was actually bored and wishing that I could find some chairs in Grand Central to sit down on that I texted to ask about what time they were going to be there (since I thought it would have been earlier). Steve suggested I go walk to Bryant Park and meet them there.

I went outside, out the door to East 42nd Street and looked around. I hung outside for a bit, switching back and forth between my Google Maps application that I had to download and wait for it to work, as well as looking on Google.com’s “Places”. I began walking to my right before turning around thinking “no, wait, I shouldn’t walk anywhere until I know the direction I need to walk in“. I confusingly tried to follow Google Places directions, but got frustrated because there was no physical map displayed. I switched my phone into English (since, if you don’t know, I have it set in Japanese) and fixed what I needed to to make Google Maps work. It finally came up, I got the map directions, and followed it.

I didn’t see them anywhere, so I just kind of walked around until Steve called me asking where I was. I was like “I see a sign that says ‘Grill’ on it”, but that didn’t seem to ring a bell in Steve’s mind, so he told me to go to the nearest street corner and tell him what I saw. As I was walking on the sidewalk, I saw the Bryant Park Hotel right across from me, which I told him and he said to stay there and they would come to me. So I sat down and waited, eventually pulling out my 3DS to see if I got any people on StreetPass (which I actually had gotten one). After we all met up, we went to some banks (because everyone seemed to need to do something at a bank), Steve and Jason jokingly called me the “Disco NRG Intern”, and we headed to Kinokuniya.

I love going into Kinokuniya – so many books in Japanese that I’m angry at myself for not being able to read yet. I immediately separated from the group and made my way downstairs, knowing I wanted to go check out the language study books first before anything else. I stayed down in that section for a while, browsing over the books. I know my mom said not to spend any money, but hey, I got some commission money and I felt like I probably should get something. I eventually settled on getting the workbook that goes with Kanji: Look and Learn, which I didn’t realize that it had a workbook until after I bought it a while back (and really, that book isn’t that effective without the workbook). It felt necessary to have since it was part of the learning. Eventually I went upstairs, glanced over the magazines, then headed up to the second floor where I browsed through the manga and the light novels, deciding to get Beezlebub volume 1 (which I figured I would be able to read) and OreImo volume 1 (which is a light novel, which I can’t really read because of the kanji…grrr…ONE DAY THOUGH…one day…). I bought them, we left, and eventually went to a crepe place.

Strawberry Shortcake Crepe! Delicious!

I got a strawberry shortcake crepe, which pretty much everyone was saying looked good. Some person came up to me too to ask me what did I get. I must say, that crepe was quite good – the strawberries were absolutely delicious. Anyway, we talked for a while about a bunch of things while sitting down, eating our crepes. Eventually we got up to go to Chinatown. And oh my gosh, my legs and feet were hurting. Seriously, sitting down was probably the worst thing I did. Of course, I sucked it up.

We went to Chinatown and spent at least an hour inside this mall building. We mainly went to stores that had circle lenses, which Dom and Jason bought a few pairs. I wish I could have gotten some, but I’m clueless on how to put in lenses and I don’t have money. We were checking out one of the stores which I didn’t really feel like looking in until my friends pointed out they sold Gatsby products in there. If you don’t know what Gatsby is, it’s a Japanese hair product line that I love using. I have yet to come across an American product that keeps a hold so well. Anyway, I checked out the prices and were excitedly shocked by the low price! It was $10! Usually I can’t find it for that cheap! Normally I find it for twice that! We asked if they accepted credit cards, which they didn’t. I shrugged it off, thinking “well, I don’t have money anyway”. We hung out for a bit more before Steve and I decided to walk to a bank (so I could draw out some cash to buy the Gatsby product because I’m almost out) when I realized that I don’t remember my pin numbers. We went back, we left the building, and walked to another store.

It was called Daigar Beauty Shop. When we walked into the shop, I noticed the sign on the door indicating that they took credit cards, which frankly, made me happy. We were checking out the store and my friends pointed out that they carried Gatsby products. I looked at them and was EXTREMELY excited to find out that they had them for $9. NINE DOLLARS. Cheapest I could find! I was really excited! I bought one container of the usual line I buy from, some molding wax to try, and a shampoo.

The items I got (...that Pocchama plushie isn't part of it). And mom, I do have the money for this. Haha.

We then killed some time checking out shops before I went back to the train station. I had about an hour to kill. We got onto a subway, they told me where I had to get off, and I went by myself back to the station.

I primarily began walking around Grand Central for the purpose of finding a plug because my phone had only 2 bars of energy left, eventually finding ONE in the dining area. I got myself some food first before I sat down and plugged in my phone, recharging it to half a battery. I got on the train and everything seemed to be okay. The train was really crowded. Eventually they told us that there was something wrong with that particular train and we had to switch at another station, which we did. While we were waiting and everyone was standing up, I ended up talking with the guy who had been sitting next to me (I think his name was Evan?). We were talking about the show he had been watching (it looked interesting to me), Netflix, and computers until we arrived at the station that had the train we had to get onto. Of course, I didn’t see him after that. Everything else seemed really smooth after that until we got off at New Haven Union Station.

There was no train schedules or anything that indicated they were going to NH-State Street, other than the online schedule that told me that the train was going to be there. I looked around, asked people, and no one could give me an answer. I ended up calling my mom to ask her to bring me to where my car was because, well, I didn’t know and my battery was possibly going to die unless I could find a plug. I ended up going back and forth between my mom and my dad. While I was waiting, when it was around the time my mom was suppose to arrive, I got into a conversation briefly with someone about the lack of plugs. Seriously, why don’t they have plugs everywhere for people to plug things into? I could only find a total of three plugs. THREE. Grrr.

My mom and Jenni eventually came for me, brought me to the area with my car, and left for home without a problem. I was pretty much reminded at how much I love returning back to a familiar area when I’m driving back from somewhere – it’s the point in time when I can completely ignore the GPS and go the way I’m familiar with. Which is exactly what happened.

So, basically, overall, it was a great day! I really wish I could hang out with all of them more often. It was fun. Definitely left me feeling a bit sad when I went to sleep that night.

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