New York New York…Every time I go to John F Kennedy International Airport, I get held up.
Sigh…While the rest of the crew breeze through the immigration check point, I would have to go to a small holding room where they hold suspected passengers with dodgy tax records, criminal files and expired visa. Our details are then taken and sent to the FBI database somewhere in Washington for clearance before we are allowed in, or otherwise.
Apparently, there is someone with the same name who has done something very naughty, and they have to make sure that I am not the same guy. You would have thought that with the fingerprints, photographs and every other details that they have of me, they would have figured out that I am not the person that they are looking for, but hey, the American agents are the most ‘friendly’ ones around and something that looks very obvious is apparently not.
But, even after all the trouble, I keep wanting to go to NYC. Why? Well its hard to explain. Of all the layovers that we go to, I enjoy the 27 hours that we get in NY. Its a vibrant city, with lots of things to do and being open 24 hours is a big plus for us who are jet lagged. While it gets pretty cold during winter, the other seasons can be very nice. I was lucky this time around as even though it was supposed to be rainy, it turned out to be a very nice sunny day!
Linda often has a shopping list for me when I am in NY, so the time that I have is made up of walking (or taking the subway) from one item on the shopping list to the other!
Surprisingly, it’s not that difficult to get Halal food in NYC. Nearly every other street vendor sells halal rice with chicken, lamb or beef. They are mostly middle eastern, thus the food has an arabic slant to it. The vendor near the hotel has a sign that proudly proclaims that their food has been recognized as “the best halal food in New York” by some local magazine. Looking at the line of office workers waiting patiently for their lamb kofta fix in front of the vendor during lunch time makes me think that there is some truth in that best food claim.
But, as they say, the proof is in the pudding, or in this case, it was the chicken/lamb combo briyani. I wished that I had taken some photos of my lunch, because while the look might not have been great, it was really good. Some nicely kebabed lamb and grilled chicken, with fluffy yellow rice, with a side salad thrown in.
While the stay was short and sweet, I was pretty eager to get back home! The flight back took close to 13 hours and half way through we found out that Dubai was fogging up. Its pretty normal weather phenomenon for the transition between summer and winter and vice versa. The good news is that means the weather will come down further, but the bad news for us would be trying to get the flight back to Dubai!