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January 18, 2007

9:05pm 17 January 2007
221, Second Avenue, Manhattan

The glimpse of Tahiti I caught consisted of a Tahitian band welcoming passengers through their open-air airport. It was sooooo hot (only 28C) and incredibly humid and raining. But it smells amazing. (Fuch and Adam, you’re going to love it!) There were a number of honeymooners on the plane, and I was overwhelmed by the amount of engagement bling flashing around the aisles!

11 hours from Tahiti, and I was lucky that I had slept. I had somehow scored myself a centre row all to myself. For those that enjoy paying me out about my height, you’ll have a giggle knowing that lying down, I fit three seats!

Plane landed around 2:30pm and I caught my first glimpse of New York out the plane window.

Customs and Immigration was a breeze. Just took a while. The Homeland Security officer flirted with me, took my photo and my left and right index finger print, and wished me a wonderful trip…not as stressful as I was expecting.

I made my first, and hopefully last mistake at this point. When I came through the gates at JFK and was looking for the taxi rank, an older Haitian gentleman, who offered “taxi” in his thick French/Haitian accent, picked me up. I should’ve known better. Anyway, after a surprisingly quick trip in through Queens and past Flushing Meadows, there, suddenly was Manhattan. I was so excited, and couldn’t sit still! $70 later! (There is a set fare for cabs from the airport to the city of US$45)

I reached my hotel and was very pleased. My room is teeny, tiny but has everything I need. A comfy bed, a wardrobe, a desk, TV with cable, phone and a window out onto Second Avenue (soundproofed, of course). I had a quick shower, called the Loved Ones and set out in search of food!

I stepped out into minus 7 C . It is freezing! It is the first time in my life that I felt completely justified wearing a hat. I wandered down the street and found a little deli type place, grabbed some yoghurt, chocolate, and stuff. I continued on and found the coolest little soup place (I think it was called Liquiteria). I walked in and felt so welcomed. The lovely man behind the counter offered me a hot apple cider sample, called me a supermodel and took me through the menu. I grabbed some take away, and headed back.

After my lovely dinner, I jumped into my pj’s (and yes, it’s way early) have just finished watching a movie, and am now getting ready to get some well-earned sleep.

Tomorrow, I head out at ten to meet my “Big Apple Greeter” who will give me a personalised tour of the areas of my choice…Maybe Brooklyn? Maybe Harlem? I’ll let you know tomorrow!

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