My mate Nick in Sydney sent me this story today. I love it. It's very Nick.
I'd been in transit from Rome via Madrid and New York for maybe 20 hours when finally, at 11pm, I got to Logan Airport. I'd been in contact with my Australian friend Andy, a native of Boston who was coincidently there at the same time and he might be there to pick me up. Im tired and jet lagged, No Andy… okay, I'll make my own way. Change money somewhere and get some coins to make a call in a local pay phone. Its a dollar a go. Three go's; nah, incomprehensible. Foreign country. Try the nice lady at the information desk. My first experience of service in America: impressive: and now I'm speaking to sleepy Andy… "Oh I thought you were getting in tomorrow night… " its actually my mistake: l gave him the right day but the wrong date. It happens. His house is thirty miles away and I don't want him to come out at this hour so he tells me I can jump the Logan Express and take it all the way to the end, to a place called Framingham where he'll pick me up.
The nice lady tells me there one due in eight minutes. Trip will take half an hour, so see you in forty minutes at Framingham. Sure enough in eight minutes the Logan Express pulls up and there's a big loud lady bus driver who enjoys my accent. I take a seat and watch Boston go by in the night. I'm the last one left as the bus pulls up at….Braintree…. Oh, you want the red Logan express, this is the green Logan Express…. By now its 12.30am and despite it being her last ride of the night, amazingly she offers to take me all the way back to the airport. I'm grateful, apologetic and worried that by this time Andy will be at Framingham wondering where I am with no way to contact me. Its dark, the bus terminal is deserted but my driver says "wait a minute, I've got an idea…" She comes back in a couple of minutes. "I've got some good news and some bad news" she says "the bad news is that you are at the opposite end of the city to where you want to be and it will cost you a hundred and ten bucks to get there in a cab, the good news is that this guy (she points to a shabby car across the road) will do it for fifty five."
The guy is clueless. I give him the address and he's got no idea. We look for it on google maps on his smart phone but no luck. We call one of his buddies who has a rough idea. I've got Andy's Boston landline, but I know he'll be at the bus stop, waiting for me. I try it anyway (borrowing the driver's phone) and thank god, his partner Judith picks up. She's from Australia too and can't direct me, but says she'll call Andy at the bus stop and tell him what's going on. Cut to a bit of the story I heard later: Andy gets the call and gets the wrong idea, thinking the driver is dropping me at the house, so he leaves the Bus stop and heads home, twenty minutes away. When he arrives Judith is perplexed: "wheres Nick?
At roughly the same time me and the driver have found our way to Framingham and we are driving around in circles looking for the bus stop. They have these humungous sprawling shopping malls in the US and they're not multi storied like here, they just spread out over acres with massive parking fields that go on to the horizon. The put down point is somewhere in the parking lot, but no sign of Andy. We do a couple of circuits, nothing. then eventually spot Andy arriving outside of a Denny's dinner. Much gawping, hugs, thank you's and confused apologies. Feels so good to be in the front seat of a car being delivered to a shower and a warm bed.