Michaela Merz

How I got kidnapped in New York

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Every now and then I am in New York and working there. I like being in this city. It is full, loud, lively, dynamic and very inspiring. Every time I have a jetlag and thus go running at four o’clock in the morning. I cannot sleep any longer and until now I have not found any trick how to get in control of the time differences between the continents and my biological clock.

But what is terrifying is the traffic. In particular, trying to get from Manhattan to the airport at the end of the day requires strong nerves. During one of my stays I tried to stop a taxi at 3pm in order to take me to the airport. No chance. After trying for 20 minutes without any success, fear crept up in me that my plane might depart without me. Obviously the ticket was booked that way that it would expire. I walked to a close-by hotel and asked the concierge for help. But also he did not have any success for 10 minutes. Then he suggested calling a limousine. That would be more expensive than a taxi but the limousine comes right away and in comparison to a taxi is much cleaner and more pleasant. A missed flight is more expensive. With the limousine I finally arrived in time, even though very tight, at the airport.

At my next stay I was more careful. As my return flight was again on Friday evening, I did not want to take any risk and asked for a pre-ordered limousine. Because in New York it is not even possible to pre-order a taxi. My meeting ended on 4pm and they called a limousine for me. I said goodbye, left the building and was very surprised that the car with a sign with my name was already waiting outside. I asked the driver whether he is really waiting for me, checked the destination and got in. I was surprised to see what direction he was driving. That route, over that bridge to the airport I had not used before. I did not know the area. I thought great, at least I see something new.

Then my phone rang. “Michaela, where are you?” the person I had said goodbye 30 minutes ago asked.

“In the car, I am on my way to the airport”, I answered calmly.

“But the ordered car is still waiting in front of the building for you” was the answer in the phone.

All details went again through my head. A car, which is waiting for me only 10 minutes after having been ordered, the route which I did not now, this second car that wanted to pick me up. Had I been kidnapped? In New York? And of all people me? That did not make sense.

But then the mobile phone of the driver rang and he starting talking to someone very agitatedly. His accent was so strong that I only understood parts of the discussion. But suddenly the driver turned left and I recognised the route to the airport. No, I definitely had not been kidnapped.

It turned out that by mistake two cars had been ordered. How trivial!!!

I not even arrived in time but almost too early. By the way, I can only recommend the pre-ordered driving service to the airport, in particular on Friday afternoons. They are punctual, clean, know clever rat runs and are only slightly more expensive than a taxi.

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