You know the new me. Once I’m in a place, I check it out and find things to do. With the exception of the time coming on to the end of my stay in Indonesia, when all I wanted most of the time was a clean hotel room and not to interact with humans at all, I’m not down with staying in all the time when I’m away from my regular environment. And, unlike the old me, if I’m visiting someone I don’t wait for them to go anywhere with me and I certainly don’t expect them to change their plans (like going to work) to keep me company or make sure I don’t get lost.
Of the eight full days that I spent in New York for laser eye surgery, I spent three of them at home. The first of those days, the day after surgery, I stayed in for obvious reasons. The second of those days, three days after surgery, I stayed in because I thought it was the smart thing to do for the health of my eyes. The last of those days, one week after surgery and the day before I returned to Jamaica, I stayed in because I just wanted to relax without having to interact with a lot of people (my introverted nature asserting itself).
By the second day after the procedure, which was a Sunday, I was out and about. I went to church then brunch in the city with a friend. By the time I was ready to head home, it was raining and the bus was running late so Auntie picked me up at a point and took me home.
But the next day, Monday, was the bombest (I totally just made up that word) of all days. I fulfilled a relatively recent dream of being in a studio audience! “How’d that happen?” I know hear you asking.
I honestly cannot tell you when this dream was born but for over a year, before I went to Indonesia, I wanted to attend the taping of a TV show. Unfortunately, my timing always seemed to be off and I could never get a ticket for a show when I was in New York. The tickets for my visiting dates would always be finished and I’d have to postpone the dream. But that Sunday night when Auntie and I got in out of the rain, after I had stripped out of a couple of layers of clothes, I settled on the couch to plan my Monday. I would have my first post-op checkup so I’d be out and about anyway and I wanted to see what I could get up to.
On a whim, I decided to check if any last minute tickets were available for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. I love that show. Yes, there is the occasional profanity, but I find Trevor insightful in most of his comments, especially about American politics, and I like that he’s a young South African finding success on American television. In fact, I like him so much that I had read his book, Born A Crime, during my JEXIT flights beginning with the one from from LA to Atlanta. By the time I got to New York the first time, I had finished the 282-page story of his life growing up in South Africa. So basically, I finished the book in 3 flights.
Now, bear in mind that I had checked for tickets for this same show just the week before and none were available. So imagine my absolute and very loud delight when my whim worked out that Sunday night. There were tickets available for Monday night! The same Monday when I would have been out and about anyway. All the other days in the week were still sold out. How easily I would have missed a bucket list item if not for that whim.
Since my eye appointment was at 11 am and I didn’t have to present myself at the studio until 4 pm, I needed something to fill the gap hours. I looked around for things to do near the studio’s location and hit jackpot. So it was that I came to score a free ticket for the Intrepid Air and Sea Museum, because it happened to be NYC Attractions Week and tickets were two-for-one. I still don’t know exactly how the website gave me the ticket for free instead of for half price since I was only buying one but after I tried again and realised I would get the same result, I took it as an unexpected blessing and booked my ticket.
Off I went the next morning to my doctor’s appointment. Afterwards, I hopped back on the subway and got off as close to my destination as possible, then I walked the rest of the way to where the Intrepid is docked, which happened to be about 20 minutes away. I’m pretty sure I could have taken a bus but I was paranoid about missing my stop so I walked instead.
I spent a lovely 3 hours learning quite a lot about America’s recent naval history. The museum is made up of a decommissioned nuclear submarine called the USS Growler, a decommissioned war ship called the Intrepid, and the space shuttle Enterprise – yes, an actual shuttle!
So I wandered around a submarine for the first time ever – bliss!
Then I wandered around a warship for the first time ever – more bliss!
Then I saw an actual space shuttle. Bliss!
I learned a lot at that museum and I highly recommend a visit if you’re ever in New York City. Honestly, I don’t know how people can travel and be bored!
I had a great afternoon on the Intrepid, and that wasn’t even the best part of my day. I still had my impending Daily Show experience. I had no idea what to expect but I was ready for whatever was to come.