The First 20 Hours of a Biz Trip in 25 Easy Steps

  1. Engage the guilt of your roommate to entertain your child while you finish packing.
  2. Engage your child to hunt down your cell phone which you thought was packed and, as it turns out, was in your bag all along.
  3. Drop off child at friends house.  Pretend to be brave.
  4. Bus to Boston.
  5. Sit and wait for train reading about corn-fed cattle vs grass-fed cattle.  Delish.
  6. Train to NYC.  Feel ill after attempting to work.  Give up work.  Try again.  Feel ill.  Give up.  Still feel ill.  Arrive in NYC and attempt to catch cab.  Feel overwhelmed by blinky lights and very very tall buildings.
  7. Realize that you’re standing one block beyond a taxi stand, which would account for all the cabs being full.  Also realize that you’re starving.
  8. Find Taxi stand.
  9. If a man in a uniform ask where you’re going and then says to follow him, presumably to a cab, don’t follow him.  He’ll likely dash ahead and when you stop and wonder why he’s walking so fast he’ll come back and yell at you to follow him to another hotel and which point you’ll be forced to yell back that you’re not going there, you’re going to your own hotel.
  10. Walk back to taxi stand and watch as the aforementioned scam-guy places people who are not in line into taxis ahead of you.
  11. Wait until he goes away and then steal your own cab.
  12. Arrive at hostel and check in.
  13. Find room and enter.  Be overwhelmed by the stench of sleep, the heat of a box with no external windows and the dawning realization that you’re staying in a shit-pile.
  14. Prop door open with garbage can since there are no bed lamps, remove roomie’s damp clothes from your bunk and place kindly on hooks, make-up bed in dark, go use facilities while attempting not to touch anything.  Climb into bed, remove pants since it’s a hotbox and attempt to fall asleep.  It’s close to midnight and you’re still starving.
  15. Wake up at 5 as bunk mate zips and ruffles and crinkles and zips some more.  Chuckle to self as door closes behind her and sleepy roommate mutters: “I think I’m gunna scream.”  You feel the same way and try not to think about the size of the closet you’re sharing with two stinky girls.
  16. Wake at 7:45 after lying in bed since 5 and pretending to sleep.  Take scaldingly hot shower while trying not to touch anything.
  17. Leave hostel as quickly as possible.  Find bagel and scarf it down thankfully.
  18. Find hotel for conference and ask for a room.  They’re full.  There’s a room across the street, only $350 a night.  Lovely.  Call ex-hubby and cry for a minute or two.
  19. Ask for wifi.  Not free.  Must pay.  Find another reputable hostel up-town and call in a reservation.
  20. Return to shit hole, pack up bag, roommates are still asleep and still stinky.  Get refund.
  21. Return to conference hotel to stash bag.  Run into old friend in lobby.  Old friend who you had a major falling out with and haven’t spoken with in close to four years and now gets to give you a fake hug and a fake smile and see the tears in your eyes as you struggle through your morning.  But, don’t worry, you’re an independent, in-charge gal.  Swallow, inhale, and move-on.
  22. Luggage is refused by bellhop even though concierge told you it would be okay.
  23. Call new hostel to confirm luggage storage.  Catch cab.  Have enough of a brain to tip the bellhop who loaded you in a cab and reply very nicely that “Yes, you did have a good stay at their lovely hotel.”
  24. Acknowledge that you are, indeed, watching the bare ass of a man walking down the street as he carries a pile of his clothes in front of him.
  25. Arrive at new hostel.  It’s airy, clean and full of resources.
  26. Confirm reservation, store luggage for $5, collapse in a heap in the wi-fi corner and ease your heart by broadcasting to the world.

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