30.04.2009 15 °C
With only 48 hours left in the big apple, we have covered every tourist attraction, taken hundreds of photos, visited countless martini bars, slept through several hangovers, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute. After all that, you could be forgiven for thinking that we had squeezed every last drop of excitement out of the city that never sleeps. Well, youd be wrong.
After Sams birthday celebrations ended at around 2am, we were thoroughly asleep at around 6, when suddenly we awoke (well Sam did, i wasnt waking up for anything) to the walls shaking, and a deep rumbling sound.. Sam mumbled something about an earthquake, and then fell back to sleep... (not stressed at all).. It was soon forgotten about as we went back to the business of sleeping off another big night. It wasnt to be though, just a few minutes later there was an urgent knocking on the door.
The knocking got more frantic so eventually we dragged ourselves to the door, very grumpy at this interruption... we were confronted by several firemen telling us in no uncertain terms that we had to evacuate RIGHT NOW!
Throwing a jumper on we wandered out into the street, to find literally hundreds of police, red cross, firemen, construction workers, TV crews, random crowds and just about everybody else running around putting up POLICE DO NOT CROSS yellow tape and generally being far too energetic for this time of the morning. We looked up and saw several choppers circling... Turns out, the 6 floor building next door had randomly collapsed. Looking around, all there was in place of this huge building was a pile of dust and debris. What the hell?!?
As the reality of our situation set in, our bemusement turned to anxiety. Apparently there was a real chance of our building going down with it at some point, hence the evacuation.. While we were dressed in our pyjamas, everyone else was spilling out of our building with bags full of photos, electronics, animals, and basically whatever else they could grab in the rush. While i was envisaging the difficulty in explaining to Customs tomorrow at JFK that our passports were somewhere in a big pile of concrete in Tribeca, Sams eyes were lighting up as she thought of all the designer crap she could buy with the insurance payout....
Someone recognised us as the homeless foreigners we had just become, and shepherded us toward the Red Cross Disaster Relief van. We were given a drink and told that in this situation, the Red Cross will put us up in a hotel. Great! That was until they found out that we were just visiting and didn't actually live in the place. At that point the charity ran out, and we were told that we would have to fend for ourselves on the mean streets of New York City. And that brings us to the coffee shop i am sitting in right now, and have been for the past three hours. All we have is a laptop and the clothes on our back, no home, no money and no idea what to do next..... Ah the joys of travelling.