A Trip Like No Other (Flash Fiction #13)

Although Pammy and her husband Pan live thirty miles away from Manhattan, they rarely go there during the weekend. Traveling through the Holland Tunnel and the forever congested lower Manhattan will dampen the most vivacious spirit and exhaust the energy of the best athlete. However their friend Fei and her husband Fang almost go there every weekend since they are addicted to the restaurant “Deluxe Green Bo” located right off Mott street. Also they want the freshest grocery from lower Manhattan. According to Fei, grocery, at least the Asian variety, is shipped to New Jersey after they’ve already be on the shelf of New York for a week. Pammy and Pan laugh at Fei’s ridiculous statement. However it’s something you can’t prove or disprove.

The trip to Manhattan requires very good coordination. Usually Fei and her husband Fang would bring another family with them so that they can split the gas cost and the toll fees. Not only that, it is impossible to afford the parking in Manhattan, which amounts to more than $50 easily for just one or two hours–that’s when you are lucky to find a parking space at all.

So for this weekend, Pammy and Pan are persuaded to go with Fei and Fang to Manhattan. After getting off Holland Tunnel, Pammy and Pan drive the car around the blocks to kill time while Fei and Fang go to get groceries and dry herbs, after which they would eat their meal at Deluxe Green Bo. Pammy always worries that they might miss the rendezvous, but they don’t. So at the designated time and location, the two families switch places. Fei and Fang drive around the blocks while Pammy and Pan go shopping and eat their meal. Deluxe Green Bo is so wonderful. Such a cramped place with people sit shoulder by shoulder, but the food is unbelievably delicious if you don’t care about the ambience.

Another rendezvous happens. Pammy and Pan got on the car and the four of them drive back to Jersey.

“How much of the lower Manhattan traffic is generated by people who have a designated driver to circle the street blocks to avoid parking fees?” Pammy asks.

“At least 25% of it. I guess.” Fei replies. Fang’s driving and Pan’s sitting at the passenger seat. The two women sit at the back.

Pammy looks at Pan’s direction but he is so satisfied with his meal that he’s already fallen asleep.

16 thoughts on “A Trip Like No Other (Flash Fiction #13)

    1. Manhattan is an absurd place. Normal people won’t even believe its ridiculous ecosystem. Those TV shows like “Friends”, “Seinfeld”, “Sex In The City” are not realistic–people who can afford the apartment in the show has to earn at least $100,000 a year. A struggling actor, a cafe waitress, an unemployed George or Kramer, or a freelance writer (who also love expensive shoes) just cannot afford it.

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    1. Same here. I hate city traffic too. Just to think of it will give me a headache. LOL. Yes, there are people who will go to the city every weekend like a moth rushing to a lamp at night. LOL.

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    1. I like NJ transit too and it is so much better than driving there. I totally agree with you. I love train and enjoy the sound of the wheels when riding. However most people still drive there since it is more economical when you have four people going. LOL.

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      1. I guess it sorta makes sense. 4 people splitting the toll is a lot cheaper than 4 people getting 4 separate train tickets. I just like the lack of stress and the nap one can take on the way there. I’ve taken the NJ transit once, it seems a lot cleaner than Metro North which I usually take. Even then Metro North isn’t too bad.

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        1. Sometimes I would just take NJ transit–the Trenton-Penn Station line–just to feel the chugging like what I loved as a child. Yes, if travel in group, we usually go by car. And NYC is never a trip for pleasure since we rush around to buy this, eat that, and exhaust ourselves before feeling any kind of enjoyment. LOL. But people still go there like moth rushing to flames at night–I will tell you human beings are not rational creatures.

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        2. Too bad, they should act like tourists once in awhile to enjoy the sights and sounds. By the way, even been to the Metropolitan Museum of Art next to Central Park. It’s great and the admission price is voluntary.

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        3. I went twice and each time I felt so guilty that I volunteer to pay $40 dollars. It’s so huge and one day is not enough. I was so tired after three or four hours that my legs were giving away. LOL.

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        4. My first time there, it has an exhibition of an Italian woman painter. That’s first time I discovered the pleasure of standing in front of a huge painting and staring. LOL.

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    1. Yes, once a week is an extreme. For me, once a year is too much. I don’t sacrifice for food that much. LOL. Nowadays, people drive to Brooklyn and Queens for Asian groceries and restaurants. So Manhattan is not the only weekend destination.

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