As baggage allowances keep looming over our heads every time we are about to take a flight, Dutchy thought it was time to change luggage. The suitcase he had brought with him was the very large one that Bridget had taken over to Brazil for a year, but which weighed 6kg on its own, plus the wheels were getting decidedly wobbly. He chose a brand called Black Paw, which was supposed to have been made by Samsonite. The salesman could have told us anything, because of course we would be leaving in a day or so, and what recourse would we have? It was a taupe coloured hard case with an expansion zip and four wheels, weighing in at only a few kilograms, allowing more weight for actual luggage. Since he was using a big backpack as his hand luggage he lashed out and purchased a large cabin-sized trolley case also, to use instead. We had noticed that a lot of people travelling had huge hand luggage as well as other bags, none of which seem to be weighed at check-in.
I have researched that you can purchase extra baggage allowance with Qantas for $25 for a domestic flight, one which we will be taking from Sydney to Melbourne after the cruise. I have been dreading being overweight (in more ways than one) on our return, so this could be the answer. I’m going to look into upgrading to business class with Frequent Flyer points also, which would serve the same purpose and not cost actual dollars.
As we have been travelling, our Korjo digital scales have been invaluable in working out how to pack our suitcases, rearranging things so that the checked baggage remains close to the allocated 23 kg. I have thrown out clothes as I work my way around the world in order to keep around the right amount, but it is becoming increasingly difficult as I buy more stuff!
The irony of this purchase came at JFK airport, when Dutchy picked up his brand-new case to put on the weighing machine and the side handle came off!! I was so proud of him when he didn’t hit the roof in frustration or anger or any of those emotions. Anybody who knows Dutchy would see that he definitely is in holiday mode, though he still gets anxious about missing flights, understandably.
At first we had contemplated taking a walk through Central Park, but after the previous day dragging our suitcases along, we were a bit tired. We knew we also had a lot of walking to do later, so we paid $80 to our “driver” to be escorted on a thorough tour of Central Park in a bicycle driven carriage. The horse-drawn ones were a lot dearer, and this was quite cute. Our heads were covered by the shade, but the lower legs could be getting a little sunshine while we were on the move. He was an Asian-looking guy from Uzbekistan, a country next to Borat’s home of Kazakhstan, with a slight Russian accent. Every now and then I would need to clarify something with him, with me being the translator for Dutchy. One example was the “sheep meadow” which is now the only place in the park where animals cannot go, where people lie around and/or sunbake, but he thought our driver had said “sheet metal” and he was relieved I was there to translate.
Given the way we were feeling, this money was well-spent, because if we had walked, we may not even have made it to the centre of the park, we would have been really tired, and then we may be at the mercy of someone charging too much just to get us out of there. At least we knew up front what we were up for, and we learned a fair bit also. It was amusing near the beginning of the journey, where there was a building that he told us had a generator that was powered by people like him cycling. I did a double take before I realised he was joking and also testing out whether we were even listening. As we were, he probably then gave us more information than had we not picked him up on it.
There is a statue in the middle of the fountain that is the geographical centre of the island of Manhattan, and the 843 acres that is Central Park was designed via a competition.