I am still alive. Right now I am at the Harford County Public Library, computer #5, having some trouble with the US keyboard. Yesterdays adventure was as follows:
- Got up in the morning (7:15) -> breakfast(7:30) -> taxi (7:45) -> blue bus from Gebze to Istanbul (8:00)
- Reached Istanbul 4.Levent (9:00) -> Got to the metro and reached Taxim (9:30) -> Went to Aksaray metro via Taxi from Taxim (9:45) -> Got to the aiport via metro (10:15)
- Went through x-Ray -> Found thy to check in, but they told me that I first had to go through security check -> Went through questioning -> Got hungry and ate Twix -> Went through another x-ray -> Baggage was searched manually (11:15) -> They told us not to worry 'cause the plane was 50 min. late. -> Check in accomplished -> Got on an internet machine at a photo express to amend my car reservation due to late flight.
- Passport control -> Bought Snickers, seeing the huge gate que -> Qued up and ate Snickers -> Through x-ray again -> Another manual baggage search -> Boraded plane, my seat being 37G (3 rows before the last row)
- Concerned about the fact that the family next to me having a 4 year old child -> Captain anouncing a flight time of 9 hours flight (darn!) -> Plane take off (13:00)
- Eating lunch -> Kid spilling cola over my trousers (I knew it!), me keeping cool -> Being through the journey in a half coma state, neck aches (reminder: bring a pillow with you, the plane wont have enuff) -> Watching a Bruce Willis movie -> Eating dinner -> Filling immigrant and custom forms-> Plane touching down JFK airport at 15:55 (which came as a surprise for me - I was expecting it at 16:50)
- Going through passport control, fingerprints and photos taken (16:30) -> Taking the airtrain in JFK to car rental -> Gettin my car, a Nissan -> Investigating car -> Looking at the maps, trying to figure my way down Aberdeen (17:30)
- While still in the car park, a girl and a guy asked me if I could them give a lift to the airport terminal since they were late (plane @ 18:00). They promised me 20 $. When they saw me struggling with the automatic transmission she said that I have to press the brake first and then move from P to D and asked if it was the fisrt time i drove a car. I assumed it was a joke (!). They were from California. The guy was from Mexico I think. She knew 4 Turkish people, they were nice bla bla. After making a few circles (they were not sure about the way to terminal 7), we arrived. 20$? I am a gentleman...
- After wiping the sweat from my forehead, I slowly proceeded to exit the airport. There was heavy traffic up to Verezano bridge, but I had no trouble. Paid 9 bucks at the bridge. Next target: Goethals bridge. I somehow missed it, thinking New Jersey Turnpike is the wrong way since NJ is in the North. Well, NJ Turnpike was correct. Found myself at a restraunt, asking them about I-95S. Misinerpreting their direction, I found myself at the Goethals bridge, but at the wrong side. Paid 6 bucks for nothing. Made an exit, got to a gas station, bought silly items (e.g. peanut butter - essential traveller item (!)) to change my 100$ bill. The nice people there told me to follow 40s (on which I was) down to overbridge crossing and then follow NJ Turnpike. I thought it would not be far, but boy I was wrong. After anxciously driving 60 miles I reached NT Turnpike (sigh of relief) (21:00)
- After some time, I realized that I could fall asleep, I stopped at a service station and had a 1 hour nap. Woke up with the alarm while I was having strange dreams. Continued driving and everyting went OK. At 23:30 I finally reached Aberdeen Red Roof Inn. I fell asleep totally exhausted.
- Woke up at 7:15, ate the slice of cake with sprites that I bought last night (wise decision). Shower, shaving, way to Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) (8:15). At the APG gate I met people I knew from previous meetings and followed them. Unfortunately, it was the NABK meeting. Asked Mr. Lieske about the NIFAK meeting. Building 305. Did I find it the first time? 'course not! After 2 iterations I finally found 305, which looks like a maze to the un-trained eye. At 9:15 I found the NIFAK guys.
Samil reporting from Aberdeen-Maryland, 17:49 local time, 00:49 Turkey time.