Thursday, 19 June 2008

waiting and waiting


Last week I was privilegged to be in New York. One of the most breathtaking cities in the world. For once I was also rather lucky with the weather, which did not seem like a possibility upon arrival. Plane from Frankfurt has been circling around JFK for an hour or so due to thunderstorms in the area, plane fuel levels were shrinking and finaly captain took a decision to go for Newark. Once we landed in Newark, the plan was to refuel and fly back to JFK once the weather improves. So the entire packed 747 was seated in the plane on US soil waiting as we were explained for necessary flight transfer of 15 minutes to the airport of the final destination. It took a while for the ground staff to find free re-fuelling equipment and after one hour and a half we were refuelling. The moment our reservoirs were filled we could not push back from the gate were we parked as another plane was blocking the exit. So another 30 minutes passed quickly and then ironicaly thunderstorms have reached Newark. It was raining cats and dogs with occassional lightnings scattering the sky of New Jersey. So it took another half an hour for the captain to state that we will be disembarking in Newark and the place wont fly to JFK afterall. This squezzed quite a few laughs of despair from annoyed passengers and then it took antoher 30 minutes for the ground staff to connect us to the terminal and start deboarding. Overall 3 hours in a plane after 8 hours in a transatlantic flight was not a promising start for the journey. But as an experienced frequent traveller would say: "shit happens".


But this is not the story about delayed and frustrated air passenger it is a post about marketing and tallest building in the NYC. Its observation platform on the 86 floor gathers a total of 3.5 million visitors per year. So an entire Lithuania visits ESB once per annum. It happened so that throughout all of my previous visits to NYC, I never had the chance to visit ESB, so one evening, I decided that the sky is clear and no specific plans on the agenda would allow for this memorable moment to happen. So I took my camera and headed direction of the ESB. Courteous staff of the ESB was greeting visitors outside the building and inviting them kindly to run for a swift tour. Many did, so did I. And thats how it started...
30 minutes later I have seen with my own eyes that this visit will be anything bu swift, while standing in the queue that was snaked in numerous barely visible turns, I was in the midst of the crowd of tourists like me waiting to see the miracle that ESB clearly is. After an hour we reached the ticketing desk, where for modest 19 USD you could buy yourself a ticket to view the world. I thought this is it, in the next 5 minutes will see the top, take few pics and off with it. Well... not quite yet... after passing the ticketing office we have succesfully realised that around the corner there is another queue that is formed throughout a longish hall towards an unknown destination... but now we all have the ticket so it is sort of embarassing to step out... so you turtle on in a tiny tourist steps... next 30 minutes led us to the organised photo service experience, where if you wish you could take a pic in the background of beautifully lit up picture of ESB... I thought, right, this is the last corner to cut and then I am in an elevator up up up! Well, dear reader, it was not to be... Queue continued throughout another long corridor and finally we reached an elevator and it took us only 30 minutes more... At this moment "queue people" started to see those lucky ones that were going down after the visit to the top. I got very worried then. Faces of young and old tourists alile were not overly happy or excited, they all looked annoyed and tired... one naturally started to doubt whether one should continue to stand in this endless queue to get this faciall expression after the visit... The trick was that once we finally got to the elevator it took us to the 80 floor, not to the 86 where Observatory is located... and guess what we found upon exiting the elevator.... well of course another queue. In all fairness I must say that it took me just another 30 minutes to get to the other elevator which finally brought us to the destination... where the view of Manhattan was impressive and memorable, but the observatory was overcrowded and after those 2 and a half hours of waiting the facial expression I managed to squeeze out of myself on my way down with the second elevator was equally desperate, so fellow tourists still waiting in the queue surely were puzzled what is the matter...


So what is the morale of this story... not much really, but while you wait dont get too anxious and it is so great to have someone to talk to or at least an iPOD which has a functioning battery...

1 comment:

berto said...

yeah! thats awsome!! i like it!


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