Sunday, April 13, 2008

Home Sweet Home

After a long and treacherous journey we have finally made it back home in one piece. Thankfully South African Airways decided to treat me a little by giving me an emergency exit seat from New York to Johannesburg (which has plenty leg-room) and upgrading me to first class for the short flight to Cape Town. I'm pretty sure this has to do with my recent achievement of silver status on the Voyager programme.

Let me rewind a bit and tell the last bit of our trip. We woke up at 09:00 yesterday morning and had to leave for the airport at 14:00. Since we had only a few hours left we chose to split up and each do our own thing. I went down to Times Square first where I walked into a few shops, but never bought anything.

After about 90 minutes of that I took the subway to 59th and 5th, where the top shopping is in Manhattan. The first shop that caught my eye immediately was the Apple store. They never cease to amaze me by their architecture, but this one was something special. It's this glass cage with the Apple logo dangling in the middle and a lift with a circular glass staircase taking people down into the store. Even inside, it was was by far the busiest Apple store I've seen. And this one's open 24 hours a day! I was blown away when the one salesman showed me the Apple TV streaming 720p video over the Internet in realtime!

After Apple I went into a few more stores. I bought something at Abercrombie and Fitch and then walked into this amazing Japanese/French department store called Takashimaya. They had some simply amazing crockery and ornaments. To get an idea of just how much there was to see in such short time have a look at this map of 5th Avenue. And what would it be without the annoyingly large number of taxis:

After all that I rushed back to the hostel where the others were waiting for me. I was a little late, but we had planned to arrive early. While on the subway to the airport taking the route we used when we first arrived at JFK we were told about a much faster route. Thankfully we took this faster route as it saved us a lot of time. As we caught the AirTrain and I checked our tickets for the terminal we had to go to I noticed I made a big boo-boo! I had read off the departure time for the wrong flight!! However, luckily the correct time was only 70 minutes earlier and since we were early for the "original" time we were able to make it to the check-in counter in time. Just in time!

Now that I'm home I'll be writing a post on looking back. It's bound to be long though, so don't expect it too soon. :-P I'm also going back through the past posts on these world finals and replacing the small images with high-res copies as I have ironically returned to faster Internet! Guess what happens when you leave 400 of the top computer minds in a hotel with free Internet? ;-)

Back to varsity tomorrow to find out when we're receiving our robots (or if they've already arrived!). And the team returns to Johannesburg on Tuesday for the IT Challenge Finals.

1 comment:

  1. you are so cute.... nice pics.....hope to chat you soon.