New England Journal of Travel, Vol. 1

New England Journal of Travel, Vol. 1 - Wednesday

Yes, I was part of that mob, that throng, that mad melee bent on murder, on the Day Before Thanksgiving. I was one of the 38 million Americans that set out on foot, boat, plane and car to meet friends, family and partake some turkey and apple-pie. I attempted to drive in one evening from Cleveland to sleepy Glastonbury in CT across OH, PA and NY. Not a bad drive otherwise, but contending with a thousand others with the same opinion on the same day, did not turn out to be so much fun. It really became crowded when the elements - Relentless Pouring Rain, Roaring Thunder and the Nasty North Wind decided to take to the road to meet more of their own.

If you are smart you leave early, a whole day and a half early, like my boss. The next best alternative is to leave as early as you can. Smart as I am, I left early at 3pm and found a like-minded million others also on the road. We wanted to honk each other out of the interstate. Had it been 30 degrees warmer I could have set up a picnic table on the roof of my car and played cards. The traffic did not move. The usually ignored 'Minimum speed limit 40 mph' sign looked smugly at me. Boy! That really hurt! Finally we did move, not after taking an exit to a wrong highway. I am often gripped by the long distance driver's worst nightmare -
The right interstate, but the wrong direction. I turned to my travelling companion, Sumedha,
'Are we on the right road?'.
She studies the MapQuest directions and scans the AAA map of PA/NJ and answers nonchalantly,
'I am not sure, but at least we are somewhere in Pennsylvania.'
After 5 hours of driving in some direction, it wasn't a very helpful answer but it quite reassuring. At least, we had not misnavigated to Arizona given the circumstances. Driving circumstances that would lead to me to drink.
We stopped at a Subway which seemed to be held hostage taken by Indian folk. Without a doubt, it had been a very interesting night for Mr. Joe Schmoe in rural Penn. He might never ever again make so many Veggie Delights in one evening.
If it wasn't the traffic then it was the rain at the end of journey that I had to contend with. I felt I was in the belly of a huge washing machine that was in the 'rinse' part of the cycle. Finally at 2 am we made it, in one piece. Frazzled and comatose with bed sores, but we made it. At the end of this harrowing 9 hour after-work journey there would be 3 days of great Indian food ( sans the turkey or the apple pie). I was totally looking forward to the total laziness and lounging about. For that I was prepared to go great distances.
(to be continued)

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