8.23.2008

A Bite of the Big Apple


After our Tour of Cornell, it was back in the car for a long drive to our final destination of the campus of Columbia University in New York City.
I was a little bit excited, having never been to NYC.

Sadly, we didn't make it there until about 9 p.m., and even though it is the City That Never Sleeps, we needed to, and so we had just a little time to grab a slice of pizza and take a stroll through Times Square, before grabbing some shut eye.

I shouldn't really say "stroll," I should say "bump," because in New York you have to have your game on to avoid bumping into people, and I was much too amazed by the giant buildings and huge flashing billboards to be paying much attention to anything else.


The Entrepreneur thought it would be nice to let Frenchie and The Brainiac stroll around near the hotel and see the sights. I thought that was insane, but three against one means I lost that one and so I sat in bed with my cell phone in my hand and called them 15 minutes later begging them to come back. Which they nicely did.

Since we didn't have to leave for our campus tour until 11:30 the next morning, I had time to do one New York touristy thing. I chose a Bicycle Rickshaw Ride around Central Park. I learned many fascinating things there and I got to see the bench that John Lennon sat on when he wrote his song "Imagine." But there was one thing I learned that was very fascinating to me.

I learned that The Entrepreneur, who sometimes doesn't seem to understand some very simple things I speak to him in English, can perfectly understand the Turkish-American dialect of a Rickshaw driver from Azerbaijan.

For example: There is a statue of a dog in the park. His name is Balto and you are not allowed to touch him because he was very expensive. He was the leader of a sled dog team that prevented an outbreak of diphtheria by delivering the serum by dogsled back in the day.

I know that from looking up the story on the Internet. Because from our driver I only got this:

"You know Valto." (I raise my eyebrows???? and The Entrepreneur nods.)

"Valto," says the Rickshaw driver.

"He is sled doc what drive mush team for the medicine. Cue no sled doc? Den der is movie. You no movie Valto? to call honor to doc. But if you touch doc there is trouble. You can take photograph and then ven you toch it this is the only way you can toch it."

The Entrepreneur nods. I shake my head.

Then, the two of them start having a big conversation about where the driver went to school and how long he has been driving the rickshaw and how much he makes.

On the way back in the cab, I told the Entrepreneur he was really polite to ask the driver so many questions about himself, even though we couldn't understand much of what he was saying.

"What do you mean," he said. "He goes to school and comes here in the summer to drive the rickshaw. He makes about $200 a day plus tips. He's thinking of finishing school in Canada. Were you having trouble understanding him?"

Who me? Not at all.

1 comment:

Donald said...

Nice picture in Times Square, and I'm delighted to hear you may be going back more frequently if "Brainiac" gets accepted at Columbia. Did she look at Fordham?