The day had finally arrived! I was going to America! I could scarcely believe it. I awoke early after little sleep and got the Metro to Newcastle Airport after a sad farewell with my nana. My first flight was at 12:15. The plane was lovely. It smelled of leather as the seats were black leather and I had a whole row to myself. I was able to get a little sleep during the flight.
I arrived at Heathrow with no problems. I was a bit overwhelmed by the size of the terminal compared with Newcastle. I checked in but had to wait to check my bags as I was so early. I read Jane Austen’s Persuasion on my new Kindle. It turned 15:00 and I was able to check my bags. I went to the desk and was served by a very lovely gentleman. I then headed towards security. The queue was extremely long and I waited in line for an hour. I finally got to the front of the line and got my passport out of my bag. Oh no!!!!!!!!!!! My DS-2019 is gone! (This is an important document that goes with my visa and need to travel to America.)
Panicking, I tell the man at security and empty my bag out on the desk. It is not there. I raced back towards where I checked my bags. The last time I saw it was in my passport as I handed it to the man on the desk. He helped me look for it but to no avail. I retraced my steps but still no luck. I checked my bag 20 times in hope only to finish in despair as I broke down in front of the check-in man. He assured me that everything would be fine as my visa was in my passport and made me feel a little better. He then fast-tracked me trough security.
Feeling stressed, I called Jenny and she helped calm me, which I needed as there was nothing I could do now. I then called Effie from the au pair agency and she said the document was important and worried for me, as well as contacting the American office to let them know they would need to issue me a new DS-2019. I felt more rushed than I should have having had so much time at the airport. Eventually, I boarded the flight to New York which left at about 18:30.
This time there were no leather seats. It was a very long aircraft with cubicles for those in first class and lots of room. I moved towards 44E, a seat in a row of 4 in the centre of the plane in between strangers. The lady next to me was an American medium. We had some really interesting conversations on the flight when she wasn’t asleep. She had been on holiday in Greece and it sounded fantastic. She also told me about a Greek Orthodox Monk whom she had sat next to on the plane who looked like a bearded George Clooney. I watched several movies on the flight; 22 Jump st, Bad Neighbours; Maleficent and A Fault in our Stars. Maleficent was my favourite.
When we arrived in New York we did not move very far before joining a queue of about a million people. Our flight arrived 21:00 local time and it was 23:00 by the time I got to the security booth. I anticipated that this might not go smoothly as I had lost my DS-2019. When the security officer asked for it I explained the situation and he typed in his computer very slowly and said I should follow him to the office! He walked so slowly thought that time might stop! He asked me to leave my bag and told me to take a seat and wait for my name to be called. I sat and silent tears ran down my face as I looked at the room and the security officers. I was terrified. Finally my name was called and I explained the situation again. Then I was passed onto someone else who I explained it to again. Fortunately this man was very nice. He overlooked it to save me from being detained. “I’ll tell you what,” he said, “It was in your bag this whole time. You will get another one very soon. Otherwise you would have been here all night as the paperwork was sorted”. I thanked him fervently and collected my bag as tears streamed down my face. I headed for the exit and scanned the signs looking for the pink one which was for me. I couldn’t see it (as unobservant as I am) and waited in the foyer. A man offered me his cell phone so I could call the agency which I did. As I did so the driver came up to me. Phew!
It felt like a long drive to the university and I drifted in and out of sleep after being up 24 hours. At the university we saw 2 deer and a racoon on the road. We received our orientation then headed to bed. My roommates were asleep and I was as quiet at possible, which of course was very loud.
Today I met my roommates and the other au pairs. They are friendly. I am the only English person here! I am amazed at all of these people who speak more than one language. The classes are ok. The university is beautiful and has a large campus and lots of wildlife. I also received a gift from my host family which was so lovely and touching.
I’m hanging on and looking forward to the rest of my time in New York…