重归纽约城 / Back to the Big Apple

重归纽约城

农历新年过后,我从北京返回香港,开始准备随后的旅行。我要前往北美和中美的很多地方,途中要经历极其寒冷和极其炎热的天气,时间大约要两个星期。

除了气候差异较大之外,这次旅行的内容也是公务和休闲参半,其中还包括去危地马拉钓鱼,所以我得带上一些特殊的装备和器具。

尽管在收拾行李时本着一切从简的原则 ,但最后我还是把一只超大号的日墨瓦(Rimowa)旅行箱塞得鼓鼓囊囊,沉重无比:从冬天的大衣、手套、围巾和细条纹西装,到鱼竿、渔线轮、鱼饵、钓鱼衬衫、泳裤、防晒霜、钳子和小刀一应俱全;外加一个双肩背包,里面装着笔记本电脑、记事本和阅读材料。

幸运的是,这只被我戏称为“大块头”的金属旅行箱装有非常结实的轮子。从远处看,它就像是“悍马”和坦克结合后的产物。拎一拎,你肯定会认为里面装的都是大块儿的铁矿石。

我在香港机场快线的中环站办理了国泰航空的登机手续——过程很快,也很顺利——而且高兴地得知飞机仍会按时起飞,这样我还有时间去国泰/港龙的机场贵宾厅吃上一碗馄饨面。

毕竟,这是我在此后几周能吃到的最后一碗上好的馄饨面了。虽然包括纽约在内的个把北美城市也有不错的中餐,但此次我恐怕无暇寻觅芳踪——因为顶级餐馆一般都不会设在市中心。

我的飞机预计应在中午时分抵达纽约肯尼迪机场(Kennedy Airport)。当天下午晚些时候,我在纽约安排了两个会议,晚上还有一个宴请,所以准时抵达非常关键。

登机以后,我在公务舱落座,舱内已经满员了。我先看了看机上有什么新的电影,然后就把笔记本电脑打开,掏出新买的小说(澳大利亚作家蒂姆•温顿的好书《尘乐》),还有最新一期的《纽约客》,这也是一本好杂志。

馄饨面让我齿颊留香,于是飞机上的第一顿饭我没有吃。我想在航程中尽量地多喝水少吃饭,因为我发现脱水和由此导致的消化问题是时差反应的罪魁祸首。最后,我只吃了机上三餐中的一餐——就是最后那顿早餐——和一些小吃,可我喝的水却足有一个小游泳池那么多。

我不吃安眠药,而且我发现褪黑素之类的天然助眠药也不一定对我有用 。于是我就看了几部电影,又看了一会儿书,终于象样地睡上了几个小时。这套办法相当管用,后来我在纽约开会和用晚餐的时候,始终感觉相当清醒,完全没有因为时差引起的困倦和迟钝。

如果能够选择的话,我宁愿搭乘夜里起飞的航班作长途旅行——而且起飞时间越晚越好; 因为登机之后,马上就该到你平常入睡的时间了,更有可能睡上个好觉。而从一开始就睡上一、两个好觉,对于减轻时差反应至关重要。

这次飞行的整体感觉符合我对国泰航空的一贯期望,相当不错。和十多年前相比,大的航空公司(和飞机制造商)在改善跨洋飞行这样的长途航线旅客舒适度方面,已经做得相当不错。

而相比之下,对北美国内航线和国内机场的期望值就只能停留在忍受,而不是享受阶段了。

我很久都没有回过纽约——已经有好几年了——所以我很想在新年伊始感受一下当地人的气氛。

刚走出候机楼,首先欢迎我的就是冬天老伯的熊抱。跟大家谈论的一样,纽约正经历着近些年罕见的极其寒冷、多雪的冬季。

After the Lunar New Year holiday I returned from Beijing to Hong Kong and prepared for my next trip, to various destinations in North and Central America involving great temperature extremes from very cold to very hot, planning to be on the road for about two weeks.

Apart from climatic variables, the trip also involved a mix of work and pleasure, including a short fishing holiday in Guatemala which also required me to pack some specialized gear and gadgets.

Even with a zero-based approach to packing, I ended up with one very large, heavy Rimowa suitcase containing everything from winter overcoat, gloves, scarf and pin-striped business suit to a fishing rod and reel, fishing lures, fishing shirt, swimsuit, sun block lotion, pliers, knife, etc.; plus a carry-on backpack containing laptop, notebooks, and reading material.

Luckily the metal case, which I have nicknamed “Big Bertha”, comes with very heavy-duty wheels built in. From a distance it looks like the offspring of a Hummer which married a Panzer tank. To pick it up, you’d think there was a collection of large iron ore-bearing rocks inside.

As I checked in with Cathay Pacific at Hong Kong’s Airport Express Station in Central — a painless, quick process — I was pleased to learn that the flight was still scheduled for on-time departure, and I still had time to get a bowl of wonton noodles at the Cathay/Dragonair airport lounge.

After all, this could be the last good bowl of wonton noodles I’d have for a few weeks. There is good Chinese food in a handful of North American cities, including New York, but I might not have time to track it down during this visit — the best restaurants are usually not located in the middle of town.

My flight was due to arrive in New York’s Kennedy Airport around midday. I had two meetings scheduled for later that afternoon in New York as well as a dinner that evening; so on time arrival was important.

After the boarding process, I settled into my seat in the Business Class cabin, which was full. I first checked out the new films on offer, then organized my laptop, a newly acquired novel (“Dirt Music” by Australian writer Tim Winton — an excellent read), and the latest copy of “The New Yorker”, a great magazine.

Still well sated with wonton noodles, I gave the first meal a pass and opted to go long on water and short on food during the flight, because I find that dehydration and resulting problems in one’s digestive track tends to be a significant contributor to jet lag. I ended up eating only one of three meals offered — the breakfast meal late in the flight — plus a few light snacks, and enough H2O to fill a small swimming pool.

I don’t take sleeping pills, and find natural sleep-enhancing supplements like Melatonin produce mixed results for me. After several films and some reading, I managed to catch a few hours of decent sleep. The whole approach worked reasonably well, and during my meetings and dinner that evening in New York I felt reasonably sharp and free from that narcoleptic, zombie-like feeling which jet-lag can bring.

If given the choice, I would always opt for an evening flight departure time for long-haul air travel — the later the hour, the better; because after boarding the aircraft you are closer to your normal local time for sleep and therefore more likely to obtain a sound first night’s sleep. Getting started with a good night or two’s sleep makes a big difference in keeping jet-lag at bay.

The overall inflight experience, as I’ve generally come to expect from Cathay Pacific, was very good. Compared to ten or more years ago, leading airlines (and aircraft manufacturers) have done a good job in improving the creature comforts on offer to passengers on long-haul air routes such as those across the Pacific.

By contrast, domestic North American flights and airports are parts of the trip you generally expect to endure rather than enjoy.

I hadn’t been back to New York in an unusually long time for me — several years — so I was curious as to the mood of the people as the New Year began.

The first welcome I got as I came out of the airport terminal building was a bear hug from Old Man Winter. New York, as everyone was talking about, had an extremely cold, snowy winter, unlike anything in recent memory.


更多



相关日志/Related Posts

阅读数 81,166 / 81,166 views



重归纽约城 / Back to the Big Apple》上有 5 条评论

  1. 茄子 说道:

    我一直都有关注你的作品,果然是一个知识丰富的人。敬!!!!

  2. 匿名 说道:

    很实用

  3. 匿名 说道:

    写得很好,有许多实用的内容。

  4. 匿名 说道:

    评 5 分

  5. 匿名 说道:

    评 5 分

发表评论 / Leave a Reply

电子邮件地址不会被公开。 必填项已被标记为 *

*

您可以使用这些 HTML 标签和属性: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <p> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

:wink: :-| :-x :twisted: :) 8-O :( :roll: :-P :oops: :-o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :-D :evil: :cry: 8) :arrow: :-? :?: :!: