NORTHEAST USA 1999-2000
NORTH-EAST USA 1999-2000
The first time I'd travelled to North America was with Laurence, a Belgian girl who I had met when I moved to Brussels. She and I had flown to New York at Christmas 1998 to have a look around, as I'd applied for a job there in the EU's diplomatic representation to the United Nations. We'd groped around like the archtypical innocents abroad for three or four days having a look around and taking a few photos as souvenirs.
When Laurence and I separated a couple of years later, she took all the photographs with her, and I was left with nothing to remind me of our journey. That was a shame.
Christmas 1999 was the first Christmas I'd spent on my own, and what with the New Year 1999-2000 having a special significance, I decided that I wasn't going to stay home alone for that. I was going to do something significant. Like go to New York, revisit the places I'd been to a couple of years ago, and retake the photographs.
I didn't really have a clue what else I was going to do once I arrived. I'd been spending my free time reading a few books about the Lindbergh kidnapping, thanks to a book I'd picked up in a junk shop several years ago. Maybe I might have a wander around New Jersey visiting the sites connected with the kidnapping.
The trip started off on the right foot for a change. Having checked in my luggage such as it was, I was just loitering around in the departure lounge of the airport reading a book, when I was approached by a TV crew from a Flemish television station looking for people travelling away from Belgium to celebrate the new year. A couple of minutes later, I was on live television explaining (in Flemish!) my plans to the viewers. This is in marked contrast to my attempts to leave Belgium in 2002 to visit the USA, by the way. On that occasion I was arrested.
SABENA (Such A Bad Experience, Never Again) excelled themselves with a Jumbo Jet to JFK, and after an interrogation by the customs service and immigration service, I was decanted into the New York night.
This collection of photos was hanging around in a cupboard for years since my voyage to the USA to celebrate the New Year 1999-2000. With nothing better to do just now (Open University students know full well the theory of TMA avoidance), I've scanned them, and put them on line. I'll write the text "in due course".
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