20.09.2013 - 20.09.2013
When I woke up this morning yesterdays panic had disappeared. I discovered I couldn’t log in on my bank account when I was supposed to pay my bills before my trip! Real convenient just hours before travelling to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean… and while calling the bank customer support they demanded a personal code identifying me via the telephone… and of course I didn’t have one (but after this I will!). So I needed to get to a bank office in person to identify myself. Hmm… how are you supposed to do that when the bank opens at 10am and the train to Stockholm Arlanda Airport leaves at 9.30am??? After a lot of anxiety and thinking I eventually figured it out. If I got to a bank office along the way to Arlanda and then jumped on the train there everything would be solved. And thank heavens one of my brothers was able to give me a ride! Thanks dear brother!!! Though solving the problem wasn’t so easy. First they thought my log in device was locked somehow and unlocked it. But no! It was not that easy… next they switched the device to a new one… But NO! Same error appeared and my bank account was totally blocked. Now the bank had to phone their technical support and it took three different telephone calls before the problem was solved! Somehow all my bank accounts had all been frozen for some damn reason. I left the bank – so relieved having access to both money and to pay my bills! So I paid my bills on the platform while waiting for the train. I’ve never felt so happy paying bills… but the extreme situation with blocked bank accounts and my travel abroad might have contributed to that While preparing my next travel I’ll check my access to my bank online like a thousand times – lesson learned!
First after getting on the train sitting down on my reserved seat I could relax. Finally on the way! The train arrived at Stockholm Arlanda Airport according to schedule (does not happen very often) and I waited for a while in Sky City. I ate the last of my brought sandwiches and checked for the eleventh time I had passport, money and tickets with me. The flight check-in opened at 2.30pm but I stood in line half an hour prior to that… soon enough I was going to spend 8 hours sitting in a plane so I needed to stand up for a while. Passed the security check and bought some food. Food at airports is so incredibly expensive! But what can you do about it?
The long waiting started. The flight was scheduled for departure at 5.35pm and my fellow traveler would arrive at Stockholm Arlanda Airport by 4 pm from Oslo. Only a few people were at the gate when I got there. But the closer to departure the more people came. And how was I supposed to find my friend in that mass? But at 4.30pm we found each other. By then they had announced our flight to New York was delayed and scheduled to 6.15pm. There was nothing we could do. We waited and waited… and finally we could board the flight. When boarding was finished the aircraft taxed out of the gate 1 and ½ hour delayed. Once again… nothing we could do about it Perhaps it had something to do with everyone having to show both passport and boarding card three more times at the gate area before boarding? They probably looked for someone… but still, three times?
The aircraft was a new Boeing 787 Dream Liner and I have to say both technological and comfort was really up-dated. The space for your legs were fair sized and on the touch screen in front of you, you had access to like everything. You ordered and paid (with your credit card), called for the flight attendant and even the light switch was on the touch screen. And to darken your window you just pushed a button. Mighty impressed!
After dinner, breakfast and slack of time onboard we finally could glimpse New York outside the window. Cloud free and with the full moon shining, you got the impression that all the lights below shimmered like golden pearls underneath you. Empire State Building and Chrysler Building which proudly distinguished out of New York Skyline made a beautiful view. We landed at JFK Int’l Airport only 1 hour delayed. After passing the boarding control and got cleared to enter the US we picked up our baggage. By the exit door all the cab drivers jumped on us willing to give us a ride, but since we were going to Newark Liberty Int’l Airport it would be too expensive! So we found a shuttle from JFK to Newark for $24 per person. Now we needed to pass through Times Square at 7pm on a Friday evening (!). I don’t know how the driver managed to pass crowded streets at Times Square at that time, but somehow he did. We got to Newark Liberty Int’l Airport at 11.30pm and we still weren’t at our hotel. I desperately suggested a cab since we were both tired and hungry. So finally we arrived at our hotel for the night and we tumbled into bed after a well needed shower each.
And for those of you who wonders why in the world we had booked room at Newark Liberty Int’l Airport (on the other side of New York) I can tell you we had another flight to our final destination Rapid City early the following morning.